Monday, 8 July 2013

Columbia Road Flower Market

Flowers and Food
When: May 2012
Where: Song Que Café

This was my second visit to Columbia Road, the first was on a miserable November night to eat at Brawn, home of the slightly too cool for school service but absolutely delicious French food.  That night didn't make me want to go back in a hurry.  One sunny Sunday in May Columbia Road changed my mind, as on a sunny Sunday with the flower market in full swing Columbia Road takes on a new life.  Colours, smells and shouting traders cut through the crowded street as people precariously balance their purchases with the hope of getting out alive (them and their flowers!)
After all that action we needed somewhere to eat.  We had planned to go for some Vietnamese food after the great experience we'd had in San Francisco at the Bodega Bistro a year earlier.  We knew the area was famous for Vietnamese food and had noted down some choices...  Well, that was the plan.  Unfortunately I had noted down the names and addresses for restaurants in a totally different part of London.  After a quick search on Chowhound we ended up at the Song Que Café not far from the Overground station.

Sometimes you have to get over first impressions.  Looking in through the windows the restaurant looks like the décor has been untouched for twenty years, however the place was pretty full.  I took another look at the reviews and we bravely entered the green dining room and were shown to our seats.

Service was fast and efficient and we placed our orders not long after sitting down.  We started with spring rolls and chicken satay.  The décor and brisk service was soon forgiven when the giant and delicious portions turned up.

For mains we took the rice with pork chop and shredded pork and the prawns with ginger and spring onions.  The meat was tasty but the vegetable garnish tasted like it had seen better days.  My partners battered prawns went down well.  Again the portions were huge.
 After our plates were cleared we then tried to pay the bill but nobody was interested.  Instead we queued up to pay at the counter.  All in all a real bargain of a meal and somewhere I'd love to return to and sample some of the other menu items.

Song Que Café 134 Kingsland Rd, London, London E2 8DY - 020 7613 3222

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