City Caphe, Bank
City Caphe is my new favourite lunch spot in the City. It is a nice little Vietnamese cafe located right in the heart of the City on Ironmonger Lane, run by a lovely lady called Julie Vu. The cafe menu ranges from the ever popular noodle soup Pho and Bue Hue, healthy vermicelli salad Bun, the hearty Vietnamese baguette Banh Mi, and the colourful rolls Cuon. If you have been following my tweets, you would know my favourite is the Bun Bo Hue - spicy beef noodle soup. Totally worth the twenty minutes queuing during lunchtime.
I was very excited when I found out about the two-night special supper club co-hosted by City Caphe and Banhmi11. With both teams offering their expertise on Vietnamese cooking, with Banhmi11’s modern twists and City Caphe’s French-inspired dishes, it was too good an opportunity to miss.
Green mango, pomelo and sun-dried squid salad
Pan-fried scallop on lotus roots chip
I used to eat pomelo a lot when I was a kid, especially during mid Autumn festival. I remember we used to make a lantern from the pomelo skin. It was nice to see it being used as an ingredient for a dish, its refreshing taste went well with the dried squid, which could be quite fishy on its own. The scallop was pan-fried on the shell, giving it a beautiful charred look on the outside.
Prawn banh xeo
Fish Q roll
The banh xeo was not as crusty as I would like, but the prawn and vegetable filling was scrumptious. The slight disappointment was soon lifted by the bouncy fish q roll. The fish was bursting with herbs, it was perfect with the light fish sauce and mint dressing.
Bun rieu crab noodle soup
Oven-baked sardine in lotus leaf
Most of the guests on our table were pretty full by the fourth course, we all went into shock when we saw the generous portion of the crab noodle soup, which could be a meal on its own. The highlight was the specially made fish broth, it was totally different from the one I usually get in the bun bo hue at lunchtime. The last savoury course was the sardine. It was wrapped in lotus leaves together with chopped garlic and bay leaves, then baked in the oven.
From left to right: Che troi nuoc mung bean dumplings in ginger syrup, Durian ice-cream
Durian is not too everyone’s taste, but I love it. I think the chef had toned down the durian flavour for the first timers. The bean mochi-like dumpling and the ginger syrup was a sweet and warm ending to the night.
This was the first time I had attended a supper club. The experience was unique, and I got to meet some new people over great food. Julie, Anh, Van and their teams had done a great job on creating an amazing evening for all the diners. I hope to see some of the dishes from the supper club appearing on the regular menu soon :)