Sunday, 21 October 2012
Thai Curry Noodles @ Vanduke
Thai curry noodles: three magical words that lured me to London's South Bank to check out Vanduke. I know it's very easy to be blasé about yet another street food van, but it's not as if these guys are serving up burgers or hot dogs. In fact, Vanduke offers a type of noodle I've not knowingly eaten before: kanom jin, a northern Thai noodle made from fermented rice.
The kanom jin noodles are available with a choice of three different toppings, and I went for the naam yaa neua, a beef red curry (the alternatives are chicken in wild ginger sauce and prawn coconut curry). This was one of the best bowls of noodles I've eaten in London in a long, long time. The beef curry had a decent kick from the galangal and lemongrass, and was liberally laced with pea aubergines. The garnish of fresh Thai basil and beansprouts offered a contrast in texture and tempered the fire of the curry a little. It also came with a soft-boiled egg whose runny yolk further enhanced this glorious dish (although on a second visit, the egg was sadly hard). And to cap it off, the rice noodles soaked all of this tasty goodness up. Delicious.
Being a street food van, I'm not sure whether Vanduke's pitch on the South Bank (by the Royal Festival Hall, next to Giraffe) is permanent, but it can be found there every day except Friday nights when it decamps to Hackney Downs Studios for Street Feast London. It's probably best to check their website or various social media feeds for their location. Anyway, regardless of where they pitch-up, just go, you won't regret it.