"HoaPhuong on the upper end of Walworth Road is one that adheres to all the cliches about mythic diaspora restaurants. Unassuming exterior? Check. One old aunty cooking? Check. Small blackboard menu and odd opening hours? Double check. But owner Phuong’s bun bo hue here puts almost everyone else’s to shame, a deep fiery broth with a marine funk from fermented shrimp paste, herbal, citrus, spicy, umami all in harmony, with well cooked beef meat and Hue sausage. The pork on rice or in summer rolls is done well here, with aggressive caramelisation and crusted with thinly chopped lemongrass, and the beef with pickled vegetable is an exceptional stir fry, but after one bowl of bun bo hue, the only temptation is to order another."
It was worth the wait (about 30min) for two starters and two mains, which can be explain by the fact that the lovely Vietnamese lady was on her own in the kitchen cutting fresh vegetables and pretty much cooking everything from scratch on the spot.
Like said in the previous review, the menu is short but you have all the essentials. One main course cost only £5 and the portions are big!
We had lemongrass chicken/beef rice and it was absolutely delicious. It was served with plenty of fresh vegetables, including big chunk of peppers and slices of cucumber. It was well-seasoned and reasonably spicy (we asked for spicy and in addition we were also given a pot of chili sauce on the side). It was very tasty, without being greasy!
Overall, highly recommend it. It felt like it was the vietnamese equivalent of a home-cooked meal by grandma.
Do note that the opening hours are: 12-2pm and 5-9pm. It is also closed on Mondays.
We will be returning there by the end of the week for sure.
Thanks Andrew for the head's up!
Hoa Phuong has a small menu: pork, chicken or beef served either with rice, noodles or baguette. You get a separate sealed little bag of dressing to throw over the meal just before you eat it, and a tiny pot of chilli sauce.
Highly recommended, and lovely people running it. Go!
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