I fell in love with Song Que on my first visit over 4 years ago and have been returning frequently ever since. Especially after having been to Vietnam myself I could appreciate the flavour and authenticity of their dishes even more.
For me, eating at Song Que is always a treat. It doesnâ€™t matter that the atmosphere is canteen-like, the waiters are impolite and too many people are packed into too little space because I am there for the food. And the food is delicious and very cheap.
Mind you, not everything is equally nice and the menu is very long and slightly confusing, so itâ€™s critical to know what to order to avoid disappointment. Here some of my recommendations:
For starters: the fresh spring roles with prawns are an absolute must – they are full of fresh flavour with buckets of fresh herbs accompanied by a lovely dipping sauce. Heavenly. I absolutely adore their papaya salad (Gá»i Ä‘u Ä‘á»§)â€“ the green papaya is crunchy and fresh, with a lovely tangy sauce and crushed peanuts complemented with fresh chilli and prawns (although I could do without the pale pieces of pork that come with it, I usually hide them under the prawn crackers). Lovely and fresh is also the lotus shoot salad (Gá»i ngÃ³ sen). The minced beef wrapped in betel leaves is one of the hot starters I truly recommend: the juicy beef is served with fish sauce, rice vermicelli and fresh mint. I am not particularly keen on their BÃ¡nh xÃ¨o (pancakes filled with chicken and beansprouts, served with fresh herbs, salad and dipping sauce) which is not bad as such but too greasy for my taste and it doesnâ€™t reach the level of the aforementioned dishes.
For mains I personally tend to stick with the noodle dishes which are consistently delightful: I could eat their BÃºn cháº£ every day. It is basically a very simple dish – rice vermicelli with lemongrass, fish sauce, fresh Vietnamese mint , prawn or chicken, fresh chilli, bean sprouts and peanuts all mixed together providing a flavour explosion. Also very good is their Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) which comes in different flavours and with different meats. It tastes just like in Saigon and is not much more expensive either.
I recommend to avoid their stir frys, they just donâ€™t match up to their other dishes.
And also.. donâ€™t let the service annoy you; just prepare yourself for loads of rude little men, at least they tend to be efficient.
I have to mention also that some major improvement has occurred beginning of this year – they now have a new shiny toilet! (meaning that you don’t have to walk through their store room anymore).
Song Que is by no means without fault, but in my opinion Song Que consistently offersÂ exceptionally deliciousÂ foodÂ for incredible value for money.
- Food: 9/10
- Atmosphere: 6.5/10
- Service: 6/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Chances of returning: 100%
- Verdict: Undoubtedly the queen of Kingsland Road – delicious, cheap and authentic Vietnamese, love it!