beef pho at Cafe East

beef pho at Cafe East


It might be a bit of a trek for many getting to the secluded Cafe East in Surrey Quays, but it's totally worth it.

Traditional Vietnamese home cooked food in a casual canteen-style environment, this bustling place has had a lot of praise from people who know what they're talking about.

The Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner has described the pho here as 'cheap, fresh and delicious', and others have gone as far as to call it 'arguably the best pho in town'.

Expect an intensely deep beef broth, an assortment of greenery for adornment – mint, coriander, basil, bean sprouts, chopped fresh red chillies - and delicate, slippery rice noodles.

beef pho from Cafe East

beef pho from Cafe East

There's the option of pho tai, where the lean beef is rare, pho chin, where the marbled meat is well done, or pho tai chin, with a combination of both, all for £8. For all of these, a spicy option is available.

Another serving suggestion is to order one of these hearty bowls between two, alongside some Vietnamese rolls, as I saw many others doing - perhaps the bahn cuon at £6.80.

It's worth noting that because Cafe East doesn't sell alcohol, they are not obliged to serve tap water. And so they don't, and don't allow you to bring your own water in either. They sell soft drinks and bottled water however. They're also closed on Tuesdays.

Want something to do before or after your noodle slurp? Head over to the Leisure Park next door for a game of bowling, and make an evening of it.

Words and photography | Bisi Bajomo


100 Redriff Road, Surrey Quays Leisure Park SE16 7LH

Opening hours
Mon & Wed - Fri 11am - 3pm and 5.30pm - 10.30pm
Sat | 11am - 10.30pm
Sun | 12pm - 10pm

Website |
Twitter | @CafeEastPho

Tel | +44 (0) 020 7252 1212

Last updated 9th March 2016