Vietnamese is a relatively unknown quantity but London has some excellent zesty offerings

Cay Tre
Cay Tre is that small Vietnamese joint that you always dreamed of. Its legendary Pho takes a day to prepare. And they fly their handmade noodles in from Hanoi, which is commitment to the cause if there ever was. With steamed rice rolls with prok or chicken, Saigon pork belly stew and Mekong catfish Cay Tre are making it easier to eat adventurous Vietnamese food.

House of Ho
Vietnamese scotch egg, avocado and sweet potato tempura, and popcorn shrimp tell you that House of Ho is trying to do something different and nicely positioned in Fitzrovia, it is sending out contemporary Vietnamese cuisine for hungry diners. It has four floors including a lounge bar with uptempo soundtrack and the long menu (shaking beef, Asian spiced lamb chops, sushi/sashimi, phos, salads) has something for everyone.

Mien Tay
For a little more earthy authenticity Mien Tay has stuck to to the homestyle menu that holds a real charm for some in our sometimes try-hard dining scene: minced beef in betel leaves, stewed catfish, spiced chargrilled pork patties with honey. The four restaurants in this mini-chain are all run by a different member of the same family hailing originally from the Mekong delta.

Banh Banh
Banh Banh started life in Peckham’s CLF-founded Bussey building space, a hub for music, pop-up food, and bars and now has struck out on its own. Run by five siblings it has produced a menu of real interest with pulled pork and crispy fired egg, chicken and root vegetable coconut curry, lemongrass dry-fried tofu, hot and spicy vermicelli soup. Small, cute and tasty.

Co Ba
Chef Damon Bui serves food like his mother used to make, so he says, groing up in a Vietnamese-Aussie household, so what you get in this great Kings Cross space is fresh and zingy and flavourful. So you get chilli mayo with the prawn toast and punchy prawn and pork summer rolls. But they major on BBQ and the beef, prawn and pork sing with the crispy edge of charcoal.