Cafe 338 – A Favourite East London Brunch Spot

Every East Londoner knows of Cafe 338. On Bethnal Green Road, the cafe always has a little line of people waiting outside the door to get a seat by noon on a Saturday and Sunday.

This is why Hannah and I got there at 11:30am this Sunday morning. As Hannah is going away on business for a few weeks next week, we went for a brunch date.

I love the orange juice there. They make it fresh and it has a bit of a sourness to it that definitely wakes you up.

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And I got a flat white for some waking up as well.

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Hannah got a scrambled egg breakfast (£3.80) with some black pudding and I went for the special breakfast (£3.80). Make sure to ask for the cumberland sausage, otherwise you’ll get a frankfurter-type on your plate.

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Cafe 338 is nothing tremendously fancy, no frills, no magic tricks; its just a good, old, well-priced, cheerful little brunch spot that hits the spot. Everyone needs a naughty breakfast once in a while, so go on, treat yourself 😉

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Que Viet – Along The Great Pho Mile

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We decided to be adventurous this one evening and make some new discoveries on Kingsland Road (aka The Great Pho Mile). As I have said before, Kingsland Road is literally Vietnamese food heaven, with door after door of Vietnamese restaurants one after another.

I always go to Tay Do restaurant, just because the service is excellent, the food is great, its cheap and cheerful, and its bring your own booze (always a bonus). But, on this adventurous evening we went to Kingsland Road without a plan, except that we wanted Vietnamese and we were going to venture away from Tay Do.

So along the road we went peering into the windows and looking at the menus on all their doors, until finally we stumbled upon Que Viet. Different from Tay Do’s hustle and bustle and table sharing with strangers, Que Viet is a quaint little place. Dimmed lights, candles, lots of wooden decor. It is not a bring-your-own-booze place and its slightly more expensive than Tay Do, but still very affordable, and the atmosphere was lovely so we decided this was where we would end our search.

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We were seated and then given some prawn crackers to munch on as we chose our food and I decided on an Iced Vietnamese Coffee to sip on. Vietnamese coffee is great. Its a very strong espresso-like coffee mixed with condensed milk (£3.50).

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We decided to share a couple dishes.

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We started with Prawn Vietnamese Summer rolls (£3.80), which was very refreshing because they had a lot more salad inside them than the vermicelli, which I personally enjoy.

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Then for our mains we shared a Chicken Bun (£7.50), which is vermicelli, stir fried chicken, salad, which you then mix together with a fish sauce. It is a very refreshing noodle salad. The one minor detail is that they served this on a plate, whereas I prefer to eat this in a big bowl.

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We also ordered a Beef Pho (£7.50), which is a noodle soup cooked with an amazing beef broth, some fresh thinly slice beef, and some flat white rice noodles. This was delicious. Unfortunately they did not have as many choices of Pho as Tay Do, but what we did have was absolutely perfect. It definitely warmed our tummies before we headed back out into the windy weather.

A great night for a sophisticated Pho Mile experience and may I add, the service was terrific!

http://www.quevietrestaurant.co.uk/

New World – an original London Chinatown Dim Sum spot

The London Chinatown that we know and love today was established in the 1970s and New World was one of the first restaurants in this area, which is around the time that my mother discovered it. It became a regular Sunday Dim Sum spot for our family at least once a month.

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It has a great atmosphere, with its trolley service that reminds me of the old Hong Kong Dim Sum service, which makes the experience exciting as you wait for the trolleys to come by and you can see all the food and pick what you would like for the table.

Esme was visiting London and as China Town is one of the tourist attractions, Russell, Patrick and I took her to New World for the experience.

It always buzzing when you walk in. You sit down, order your drinks (we decided on Chinese tea for the table) and wait for the trolleys to come round one by one.

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The first trolley that decided to stop at our table was the steamed baskets. We chose siew mai (a pork and prawn dumpling), har kau (a prawn dumpling), and xiao long bao (a Shanghai-nese pork dumpling).

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The next trolley that came round was the cold meats (that you can ask them to warm up). We decided on some char siew, which is a sweet barbecued pork dish.

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Then the fried foods trolley came round and we chose some spring rolls, Woo Kok (fried yam puff with a pork and mushroom filling) and another dish which is a deep fried sweet sticky pastry with a pork filling.

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To end the meal, we had some Portuguese egg tarts.

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We left the restaurant extremely full of Chinese deliciousness and paid £15 each. Overall its a fun, sociable meal to be shared and a must try if you fancy some affordable dim sum in Chinatown.

http://newworldlondon.com/