Standing on the site of the old Hung Viet Restaurant is the new Cu Tu Restaurant. I’d never eaten in Hung Viet, so I cannot say if this is a new incarnation to avoid some taxes or is a totally new gaff in its own right, but it certainly has a lived in feel about it already.After a week or two of over indulgence what better way to kick in the new year with some healthy food than a good bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup. It’s heart warming, soul nourishing and after Christmas it’s a bloody blessing.
The menu at Cu Tu is a little interesting, I mean it has all the usual suspects but a few other surprises as well. I’ve not seen goat on a Vietnamese menu before, or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough. But this could be a fun place to investigate further.
We were in no mood to mess around that much, so deep fried rolls, one Pho Bo and a Bun Bo Hue were ordered.
The rolls were very tasty if a little greasy but ok nonetheless, the accompanied dip was pretty bland to say the least. I didn’t know you cold buy a dipping sauce so bland. Well you learn something new everyday.
The soups were ok, my Bun Bo Hue had a subtle hint of vinegar, which was odd, but it never affected the overall dish. It needed more spice to warm my cockles as I was in the mood for some heat. The noodles were nothing special, the type I had eaten at every bus or train station in China last year. But it did its job.
The Pho Bo had a lovely stock, not over powering, but good flavour. The white rice flat noodles were cooked perfectly and I was jealous that I had not ordered that instead. Nice slices of beef that melted in the mouth, good accompaniments, even if a little tight on the herbs.
The staff were super friendly, which on 1st January sometimes in London is hard to find as moist people like us were supporting some bad hangovers.
Cu Tu isn’t the best on the Pho Mile, but with a tweak here or there it could become a good restaurant and a firm favourite. Looking forward to trying these goat dishes.
On another note, I noticed a couple of other restaurants being redone, not sure if they are reforming as Vietnamese or something different, but the Pho Mile looks like it is a changing.