October 14, 2015

The Little Viet Kitchen Islington, By Thuy Kelly

A girl with a passion for sharing food from her home in Vietnam, and turning her dreams into reality is the master chef behind The Little Viet Kitchen in Islington. Meet Thuy Kelly.

I met Thuy through friends years ago and through her facebook updates, I saw her journey from posting home cooked meals, to blogging, to creating her successful supper club, to pop ups and now her remarkable restaurant. Talk about inspirational!

Due to a case of bad timing, I never managed to make it to her supper clubs so when she finally let out the big news she was opening a restaurant, I knew it wouldn't be long until I tried it out.

The Little Viet Kitchen in Islington is one of the most charming and cosiest restaurants there are in London. The decor is a fantastic mix of shabby chic, rustic, industrial and romanticised by the fresh pink peonies and soft candlelight throughout the restaurant. I loved the finishing touches in here and the fact that everything was so Instagrammable!

I've now been twice to Thuy's restaurant and sampled a good range of the menu. The food is fresh, tasty and healthy, and you'll find menu items here that can't be found in other Vietnamese restaurants.

From a combination of both visits, here are the Starters:

Deep fried tofu with LVK lemongrass chilli sauce. The tofu was fried until golden, with a crispy exterior and squidgy middle. Topped with that sauce, it tasted devine. My favourite of the starters!  

Vietnamese pork spring rolls. Crispy and chewy on the outside with deliciously filled insides. The fish sauce vinegerette nuoc cham is spot on in flavour. This is the soul of the dish and can rectify even the most disastrous of dishes and Thuy's version is one of the best I've had.
 
Pork summer rolls. Fresh and healthy, although it's a little light in flavour. The nuoc cham made it special again. 

Caramelised Chinese sausage summer rolls. A most interesting way to use Chinese sausage but I did find it a bit too hard to work with the soft textures of the summer rolls. Still tasty though.

 Prawn summer rolls.
 
Prawn pops. Crunchy crumbed coating with succulent and flavoursome prawns inside. Delicious dip of spicy mayo too.

Crispy pancake banh xeo. I was never a fan until trying Thuy's version. It's crispy, slightly chewy and the fillings are well seasoned. 

With all the starters, first of all, the presentation was incredible and definitely made all the dishes look even more appetising that it already was. Secondly, is it even possible to make fried food taste so healthy?! Of all the deep fried starters we ordered, non of it was greasy. In fact, I couldn't even detect the oil! Along with the abundant green garnishes, I feel so healthy eating here.

For the Mains:

Mixed beef pho. Look at that marrow! The soup is the soul of the a good bowl of pho and this was a good one. There was lots of depth of flavour and all the beefy bits were good too.

Prawn and spring roll salad bowl. The prawn was super delicious, crisp, meaty and succulent. 

Bun bo hue. This spicy noodle soup wasn't spicy at all, but I've been told that I can ask for more heat. Again, good broth but it was leaning on the oily side.

 Caramelised pork salad bowl. 

Pork slow cooked in coconut juice with eggs with rice. This is a proper home style type of dish that I love seeing at LVK. The pork was tender and surrounded by sweet coconut liquid.

Thanks Thuy for treating us to dessert!

 The first visit.

2nd visit. 
 
Thuy was so generous and sent me home with these beautiful sauces. The lemongrass chilli is excellent! So far, I've eaten it spooned on top of a bowl of rice and used it stir fried with pork. The pineapple and chilli sauce is especially great for salads and grilled seafood. They also went so well with some summer rolls I made at home - I had some serious cravings for Vietnamese food after eating all that deliciousness at TVK.

If you haven't been yet, you need to book your table.

Address:
2 Chapel Market
Islington
London
N1 9EZ


 

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Maira Gall