Well, well, well. This is what happens when you don’t book ahead for Chinese New Year. After having the metaphorical door slammed in my face when trying to make a reservation at Yipin or Dotori, we resorted to the always reliable Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road. We momentarily considered Spanish tapas but then I didn’t want to risk being struck down by a malevolent Chinese spirit. Settling on a place we’ve never tried before in the spirit of trying new things, we settled on Loong Kee rather than return to our favourite – the always reliable Tay Do. There were six of us and as the food was not memorable and the lighting was terrible, I didn’t bother taking loads of photos.
This is one of my favourite dishes of all time – Bun Thit Nuong with vietnamese spring rolls – vermicelli noodles with lemongrass marinaded chargrilled pork, fresh herbs and fish sauce. SO GOOD. I’ve had it at countless family dinners and it’s my failsafe order (besides pho) when I go for Vietnamese. The Loong Kee version didn’t make a good impression – the pork didn’t have much flavour and it was just very bland. I almost didn’t feel like finishing it – it’s the basic bitch version of the glorious original dish. But obviously I did because to not finish food would be out of character and I didn’t want to arouse suspicion. On the whole, the menu was all over the place – there was Thai food, there was Chinese food, yada yada yada. Usually not a great sign.
The best thing we ordered was the coconut ice cream. Served in a coconut shell. Refreshing, sweet and delicious. I would come back here just to order this!
Also can’t go wrong with fried banana fritters with ice cream. The bananas had a tad too much batter but maybe I’m just splitting hairs at this point. Next year, I won’t forget to book a table and a karaoke room at Yipin for Chinese New Year. OY VEY.
134G Kingsland Road
London E2 8DY