Café Yum / Chao Kitchen

Takeaway: Café Yum / Chao Kitchen, Old Street, London

Menu in window

There’s a new kid on the block in Old Street. And they’re serving up noodle soups jam-packed with fresh ingredients.

The guys who own Chao Kitchen in Whitecross Street have opened a new restaurant on Old Street. Serving up just 3 soups, 2 rice dishes and 2 noodle dishes, the small menu shouldn’t put you off. There’s a lot to be said for doing a few things really well.

Ingredients for soup Get making soup

You can place your order through the open shop front and watch the guys prepare your food in front of you. I ordered the Char Sui Pork Won Ton soup, though I declined the chilli and also the boiled egg which comes in it as standard. I know it’s popular in ramen, but I’m not much of a fan of hard-boiled eggs, especially not in soup.

On opening up the soup the first thing that hits you is a lovely aroma of fresh vegetables and rich broth. The piping hot soup is topped with pak choi. Dipping your chopsticks in brings both succulent won tons and sweet honey pork to the top. Yum. All of these are sitting on a very generous bed of egg noodles, perfectly al-dente and swimming in rich broth.

Noodles Pork dumpling noodle soup

The soup is lovely, very well filled and with lots to keep you interested and filled up at lunchtime. I have no complaints with this, and it’s very different to the Pho’s served in the restaurant’s sister Whitecross branch so it’s a good addition to the lunchtime soup options. The liquid does get slightly greaser as you get through the soup, but that’s just from the ingredients being in the broth for a while and all adds to the flavour.

The shop only opened this week so I hope they do well. I think as word gets out the queues will start to grow. I’d definitely have this again, and it definitely didn’t need the egg!

Words and pictures @ladylavish

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Bún bò Huế

Takeaway, Pho, Farringdon

It seems that since they’ve started naming the storms, we get one every week. This week it was the turn of Storm Imogen, which made for a very wet and windy London on Monday. Not so good for getting out and about, but perfect soup weather. While I went for the Cauliflower and Coconut, Ed and Paul plumped for a hearty Bún bò Huế each from Pho.

This is Paul and Ed
Ed and Paul – look at those happy faces

Bún bò Huế  is a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bún) and beef (). The soup originates from Hue, a former capital of Vietnam and the dish is made by simmering beef bones with lemongrass and adding fermented shrimp sauce, sugar and kick-ass chilli oil.


Pho (the restaurant) serve the takeaway soup in a deconstructed way, giving you a bowl, the main ingredients, herbs and the broth separately, so that you can put it all together yourself. The spoon could be a bit bigger, as it slips into the soup if you don’t watch out, but it’s a minor point. There’s no shortage of brisket beef and or noodles.


It’s nutritious and delicious and according to the boys it’s a pretty good soup, with lots of flavour and perfect for a winters day. It’s definitely one for those who don’t mind their food spicy, as it warms you up in more ways than one! A fiery 7 spoons.

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Content with thanks to @edeverett and @paul_huston