Fulham Road is not the best place for a quick lunch unless you like pizza or burgers. There are a few “proper” restaurants and pubs, no Asian places since Tampopo shut down, and not all suitable for a quickie. (Quick aside : if you are a noodle fan and like foodie movies, you have to watch the Tampopo movie. It is hilarious and you will never forget the peach scene.)
I found the Orchid Restaurant one day after a meeting in the area and stopped for a late lunch. On this weekday afternoon, there were about 3 other occupied tables served by 2 waiting staff. The decor is non descript for a Vietnamese restaurant, save for the little altar by the front door, signifying it’s South East Asian origins. There is a long banquette along one side of the long room and is a bit more upmarket than those you would find on Kingsland Road.
I opted for the lunch deal which was Bun Bo Hue with beef. The special is £7, just a bit less than the menu price of £9, which for this are is a deal. Bun Bo Hue is a Vietnamese rice noodle dish from Hue City in Central Vietnam. It is a noodle soup in a slightly spicy stock made using the thicker rice noodles instead of vermicelli.
The soup was meant to be made of beef shank and a lot of lemongrass and finished off with fish sauce, sugar and chilli oil. This stock lacked depth, very little lemongrass flavour and came with a few slices of chewy beef and a plate of sliced lettuce. Was much improved with the addition of the Sriracha sauce that is on every table.
Not that authentic and not the best noodle dish I’ve had but it served it’s purpose. The ala carte menu had a lot of the usual Vietnamese offering. Those might fare better.
Orchid Vietnamese Restaurant
351 Fulham Road
0207 351 7715