Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Aug 19, 2012 03:54 AM

Where to get Bun Cha in London these days? Also, pho broth question

I always thought bun cha was grilled pork over rice vermicelli with pickled and fresh veggies and fish sauce, but I just googled it to see that it's also the name for a Hanoi dish, "BBQ minced pork balls in fish sauce with veg and cold noodles." Does Bun Cha refer to both? Where can I get it with meatballs in London now? I don't see it on Cay Tre/Viet Grill's menus. I was inspired to google it because of the newish place called Bun Cha on Exmouth Market, which I wasn't crazy about.

Cay Tre is still my fav place above Mien Tay and Little Hanoi (although it's decent with the tastecard discount). I had the seafood pho at Cay Tre and asked them what broth they use - they told me chicken. Is this authentic or a copout? Does anywhere do a better seafood pho? I go to Song Que sometimes for pho but they probably use chicken broth too. Thanks, Chowhounders!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As far as I know there is pho ga which is chicken and made with chicken broth and also pho bo which is made with beef broth. (Apologies for being to lazy to get the correct symbols in my spelling). My knowledge of Vietnamese food is very specific to a small area (the area where my mother lived) and it may just have been that it was something she never ate much of. And since I spend my time evangalising about Vietnamese food it would be remiss for me not to know about seafood pho. So I've been off googling this as its bothering me. It looks like I'm not the only one to be unfamiliar with it. The link below gives you a discussion.

    Which appears to say seafood pho is a type of hu tieu of which more about it can be found here.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Just a quick request that this thread focus on where to get Bun Cha and Pho in London. General questions and comments about authenticity are better served on our General Topics board, which has a wider audience, and is the focal point for authenticity and 'what is this, exactly?' discussions on Chowhound. Thanks!

      2 Replies
      1. re: The Chowhound Team

        Since I will be in London late next month, any thoughts/comments/recommendations as to locations of HIGHLY recommended places for Vietnamese food?

        Thanks much in advance.

        1. re: adm1

          Along the Pho Mile as its called there lies a few of my favourites. Song Que does a good Pho Bo and has a great atmosphere,
          For better pho but less of an atmosphere try Vietnam Grill, the cooking is excellent. Try and go on a Friday or Saturday night when it's more livelier.

      2. I recently tried Bun Cha at Exmouth Market and found it to be quite authentic - the pork has the charred lines and you can taste bbq'd smokey aroma. This is probably my favourite Vietnamese dish and always have this when I go to Kingsland road. However, I think the Bun Cha cafe may just top them with this dish!

        1. Yes!! New place on kingsland road surprising called 'buncha'! 134b kingsland road! Go there! They're the only place who do it and they do it well.. they've been open for only about a month.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lucy_n85

            Every plac along the Pho Mile do Bun Cha

            1. re: mzungu

              No they don't! I'm vietnamese and I've eaten at most vietnamese restaurants in London and no one does "Bun Cha Hanoi" (which this whole thread is about!)
              If you've ever been to VN and tried bun cha Hanoi then you'd know what I'm talking about.. BunCha 134B kingsland road, are the only place who do "Bun Cha Hanoi" the actual Hanoi style.

              1. re: lucy_n85

                Thanks, lucy_n85. Is it related to Bun Cha in Exmouth Market, though, which I don't like?

                1. re: Foodie94

                  No problem foodie94.. And no not related to the Exmouth Market one!