I've been pass this restaurant for so many years whilst on my way to Peckham, Catford or elsewhere, and this is the first time I have dined in this place. It's just one of those places that gets missed out because of again bad reputation or just not in plane sight from the public (well it's pretty much on the main road, so you can't miss it really!).
At the point I went in, I think they had just opened, there were no customers at all. Is Vietnamese food dying out in the South East of London? I don't think it is. I looked at people on the bus, and hardly anyone was looking in... Too bad, they're missing out! I was the only customer guys until I left!
Van Hing 文興 in Cantonese is called Man Hing. There is no actual meaning to it, so I guess it's probably a person's name. It literally means "culture interest".
|Outside Van Hing|
|Inside an empty restaurant at lunch time :(|
From the Internet, I had already viewed the menu, and I already knew what I wanted to eat...
I asked for a Cold Vietnamese Coffee, it is one of my favourite types of coffees in the world because it's sweet from the condensed milk they use and the coffee is blended and filtered nicely. I really enjoyed this one.
|Cold Vietnamese coffee|
The next thing I ordered was this Vegetarian pancake. I was thinking it was going to be small, but no it was quite massive! It was broken at the back though, which I was being polite and not taking a picture of that part. Apart from the pancake, I was also given a lot of salad! Woah. I did not expect that.
|Banh Xeo Chay (Vegetarian Crispy Pancakes)|
Next I had a beef pho. Thankfully I had no breakfast otherwise I don't think I would've finished the whole lot...
|Spices, beansprouts and coriander to add to the pho|
The soup was nice and light but there wasn't enough beefiness in it. I'm actually quite happy with this as well as the chef (the owner plus waiter) didn't add too much coriander into it. Phew. I really don't like coriander.
I think I had two different cuts of beef. One lot was soft and chewy, and the other lot was soft and tough. Not sure which parts I had...
|Pho Bo Tai Chin|
Total cost came to £13.50. Not bad!
It wasn't a bad experience. The owner who is Vietnamese got to chat with me for a little in Cantonese asking about my background, and I just said I was born in London and I have passed your restaurant for many years and wanted to try it out... He looks a bit rough, but I think he's a nice person... Kept sneezing a lot whilst making my food (he had the back door open!), heheh, just like my dad when he's cooking!! It was definitely cold that day!
My geeky rating: 4.5/5
- Cheap Vietnamese food, quite a big portion too
- Quiet place to eat lunch!
- Nice Vietnamese coffee... ^_^
- A bit of a slow business since there were no customers around until after I left
Address: 42 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8QZ
Telephone: 020 7703 9707