Welcome back to EAT MY WORDS, this episode we are coming with the fresh and spicy flavours of Vietnam! We have been speaking with Hieu Bui, owner of the fantastic Cay Tre, Viet Grill, and Keu – www.vietnamesekitchen.co.uk/ where you can get some of the most authentic Vietnamese food in the UK.
You can also follow him on twitter @caytrevietgrill and @keulondon.
What is the secret to a great Banh Mi?
Good bread of course! Not too doughy, not too light. The original version in Vietnam is very crispy, sometimes too much for the inside of your mouth. We have worked with Sally Clarke’s Bakery to make it a little less crispy but balanced with better flour, which improves the taste. Also, it’s about the balance of the flavours of the filling. The richness from the mayo, the herbs, the quality of the different pork products, and the pickled daikon makes the Vietnamese Banh Mi different to any other sandwich.
Have you altered any of your recipes/flavours to appeal to the British palate?
I don’t think so. Some of the dishes we make here are even better than in Vietnam, not because of changing flavours, but because we use good British producers. But the key flavours come from spices and herbs which we fly in from Vietnam every week.
What Vietnamese dish do you feel is the most important for non-Vietnamese to eat in order to understand traditional flavours?
A very well made crispy pork spring roll. It requires fresh ingredients, is fried like the Chinese make them, has a French use of herbs, and uses fish sauce which is distinctly Vietnamese. Our cuisine absorbs all of this after years of being colonised by those countries, but instead of just mixing, we have created our own cuisine with some new cooking methods and ingredients.
Which was the last restaurant you ate at, and what were your thoughts?
The last restaurant I went to was Zuma, with my wife to celebrate Vietnamese Independence Day. The food there is like a bit of Bincho, a bit of western cuisine. It was very busy.
What is your favourite local restaurant?
The Tramshed. They always have nice new salads every week, and the quality of the beef gets better every single day.
What is the most important attribute a chef can have that works for you?
Always look for new ingredients, always try to make traditional dishes perfect, and always learn from other cuisines.
Which chefs do you most admire?
Mark Hix. He knows everything!
Thanks so much Hieu!Share
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