Friday, December 08, 2006

Cay Tre

I think that Cay Tre is really hit and miss. It's one of those restaurants with a really long menu, but only about ten items are actually worth eating. So the first time I went, I followed Guardian food writer Jay Rayner's advice from 2005, had an amazing meal and went back a week later. Being a creature of habit, I ordered the same thing again. I keep finding myself stuck on dishes in certain restaurants, especially Vietnamese places. So Viet Garden on Liverpool road is golden pancake and then pho...and so on.

So I liked Cay Tre so much I started taking people there. At first, people who hadn't read the review, but who were adventurous eaters and who liked the same kind of things as me. And then I got cocky and took non-adventurous eaters who don't want to eat the specials. And then it all went wrong. I remember one dish, I think it was squid in tomato sauce and I asked for a taste and the sauce was watered down Heinz tomato soup.

So, off the top of my head, the pho sate is OK, but the normal pho isn't. The summer rolls get by and the Imperial spring rolls are good. There's a pho roll as well, with beef, that was pretty tasty too. The La Vong fish is the best stater and I'd just go for that. Avoid the soft shell crab. Mainswise, I'm stuck on the mackerel in banana leaf and despite being told the cat fish in caramelised sauce is great, I haven't tried it. Campfire sirloin steak was overpowered by a crazy hand with the red chilli on my last visit.

There's a simple rule of thumb, and if you follow it, you'll eat well here. Order anything with a smiley face next to it, otherwise you're on your own!

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