Cây Tre’s longstanding popularity is partly thanks to its location: easier to stumble upon for the non-local than nearby Kingsland Road’s Vietnamese cluster. Its crayon box-like signage catches the eye too, and suits the neighbourhood’s peacockish outlook. Inside, the scars of revelry are plain to see: the wallpaper, busy with swirling Japanese imagery of dragons and warriors, is scuffed, splattered and even burnt.
The menu is brief for a budget Vietnamese, and scattered with the unexpected: ‘anchovied chicken wings’, ‘Indochine lamb’, ‘Cornish’ scallops and ‘Somerset’ pork. But a beef ‘carpaccio’ couldn’t have tasted more Vietnamese: just-so tangy, and alive with diverse herbs and chillies (albeit served tepid). The backbone of a banana leaf-roasted mackerel was flicked out expertly by our server at table. Its flesh was pleasingly robust, contrasting with the soft, granular ‘marinade’ of galangal and lemongrass. A huge side dish of water spinach was excellent – firm stem, sloppy leaf and soft garlic – as was a squid and green mango salad. The view out of the window (a solicitor’s and a stationer’s) will hardly distract from Cây Tre’s enduringly good eating.
Cây Tre's Soho branch is a bit more glamorous: a small fortune has been spent on the interior design, to good effect: it looks modern, spacious, airy.
|Venue name:||Cây Tre||Contact:|
301 Old Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Sat. Dinner served 5.30-11pm Mon-Thur; 5.30-11.30pm Fri, Sat. Meals served noon-10.30pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Old Street tube/rail or bus 55, 243|
|Price:||Main courses £5-£9. Set dinner £20 per person (minimum 2) 2 courses|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
3.1 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:5
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:2
The Soho branch is better in atmosphere and service, but it was overpriced too, like this branch. To start with, the atmosphere is very run down. The toilet was not clean enough.
Especially in terms of decoration and atmosphere, this Old Street branch is in a bad condition. If I would pay 30 pounds per person for a mediocre food, at least I would expect a much better service and ambience! But alas, none of this was there to be found! Still you have to pay service charge. This is not fair.
The service was friendly, but not attentive. The waiters just didn't care about you. They cared more about chatting in a corner with each other.
Also, the plates that placed on our table were dirty. The waiters were not aware of that. When I told them to change them, they didn't say sorry. The spaces we sat were dirty too, there were lots of crumbles! The table was wiped, but there were some oil stains nevertheless. When we used our first napkins because the food was really messy, they were not replaced because the waiters are not attentive to care about that!
The portions are big, but the food is really average, so I think Cay Tre is very overpriced, especially if you add bad service and atmosphere. I can find great dishes from the same region's cuisine (Korean, Chinese, Japanese etc) for much more affordable prices and a better service, in a cleaner venue. I don't recommend here! I won't go back!
Great pho. While I love pho I often find they can be disappointing. I got a takeaway pho from Cay Tre when I had a cold, and it was just what i needed .Very fresh came with loads of mint lime and chili. Recently I went back to eat in. I had the hanger steak which came in a bowl that was on fire. Fun, not what I was expecting and above all very tasty. Nice light decor. service is so, so but that is kind of what you expect.Still, keen to go back!
The food was really plain and the service was really poor. We booked a table but had to wait half an hour to get the table. The staff didn't really care about it. Once we finished they immediately brought us our bill. We didn't feel welcome at all.
Food is nothing special. And service is very poor. They just want to kick you out to make space for other poor (and not well-informed) people queuing outside to get a table. Awful experience.
We had our table booked for 8 people, however 2 of them were late and we were constantly rushed and reminded that those two places will be taken away if they don't show up now. Eventually we had to leave due to the staff being incredibly rude and impatient. I understand it was busy evening but this is unacceptable. Can not rate food as we did not even get to try..So if you want a relaxed environment for your diner this would be the last place to go..
Enjoyed my take away of Pho and deep fried tofu with chili and lemongrass, although the latter could have done with a little more lemongrass. Portions were generous, service was efficient and prices about right.
Excellent variety of food. The scallops and monkfish with dill were fantastic. On the negative side, the wine is overpriced, the place is very noisy, and the waiters are keen to move you on.