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Loong Kee is the most northerly of an incredible string of Vietnamese cafés on Kingsland Road – and one of the finest. Step up off the pavement into the clatter and bustle of typically trendified Shoreditch cheapskates and a smattering of Vietnamese kids, all tucking into Cantonese-style rice or noodle dishes and big bowls of pho. We were disappointed by the bland prawn and beef spring rolls in their typical gelatinous white wrappers, but cheered up by a hearty serving of beef and knotweed canh (hot and sour Vietnamese soup) and by mackerel and pickled vegetables, served steaming in a clay pot. The staff, initially too busy to be anything other than brusque, warmed up once we showed an interest in the food.