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Salvation in Noodles will launch in February on Balls Pond Road, N1. The Dalston newcomer is dreamt-up by Colin Tu, who was previously one half of street-food operation Big Dirty Burger.
Kingsland Road in Shoreditch may have made Vietnamese cooking familiar to Londoners but Tu hopes that Salvation in Noodles will offer something
new. ‘I rarely frequent Vietnamese restaurants in London’, he told Square Meal. ‘I find they do not cater to the Vietnamese palate and steer towards the European clientele.’ Tu should know;
although he’s lived most of his life in London, is himself Vietnamese.
Menu sections will include ‘hot noodles’, ‘cold noodles’ and ‘social’ street food-style small plates for sharing. In terms of noodles, expect bun bo hue (beef brisket in a hot and spicy lemongrass soup) and bun rieu (crab noodle soup garnished with prawns and pork belly). To share, think phu quoc wings (crispy chicken wings tossed in fish sauce and crispy garlic) and goi du du (crunchy papaya with crispy anchovies and lotus root chips). Prices will be between £4-7 for the small plates and £7-10 for the noodle dishes.
‘I am hoping to change people’s perceptions of Vietnamese restaurants,’ Tu says. ‘Although the food will be very traditional in taste and style, there will be a big focus on presentation, service and ambience. I think London is now very ready for a new style of Vietnamese restaurant, one with personality and a face behind the business.’
If he does gain attention, Tu will already be the second ‘face’ to come out of Vietnamese food in London this year in London after Bobby Chinn opened The House of Ho in Soho.
On the drink front, the restaurant’s wine list is being taken care of by Borough Wines, while beers from Hackney-based brewery Crate will be available, as well as locally-made Dalston Cola.
Salvation in Noodles is currently scheduled to open in the third week of February.