Cay Tre

44 Dean Street, London, England, W1D 4PZ, United Kingdom

Back to search results

A flashier sister to the original in Hoxton, Cay Tre (whose owners also run the Viet Grill) in Soho is a more ambitious version of the well-established premises in Old Street. The premises are still distinctly casual, though rather smarter than the original location. The room has a low ceiling, tightly packed tables, plain walls, tiled floor, no tablecloths and plastic bottles of hot sauce on each table.

The short wine list starts at £18 and includes wines such as Tinpot Hut Sauignon Blanc 2010 at a hefty £38 for a wine you can pick up for £10 in the shops, De Loach Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 at an excessive £31 for a wine that retails at £7, and Cave de Hunawihr Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Schoenenbourg 2007 at £49 for a wine that will set you back £16 in the shops.  Given these egregious mark-up levels I drank Tiger beer (£4.50).

Mackerel salad (£7) was pleasant, the pieces of mackerel bulked out with watercress and herbs with a light and not overly spicy citrus dressing (12/20). This was better than vegetarian spring rolls (£4.50), which were crisp but had pale and rather bulky batter encasing the shredded vegetables (11/20).

Red sea prawns with chayote (£9.50) were properly cooked (fried just a little too long), and resting amongst herbs and strips of chayote (a squash). This dish badly needed some spices to liven it up in my view, as chayote is a fairly bland taste (11/20 given the decent prawns).

Soft shell crab curry (£8.50) with curry leaves and tamarind was not a success. The crab had become completely soggy in the sauce, as had some okra; other than the shape you would be hard pressed to identify the main component as crab at all, and I found it inedible (10/20).

Chinese broccoli with garlic (£9) was decently cooked, still retaining some firmness of texture (12/20). Pho with mushrooms (£9) was also fine, the noodles adequate and the stock having plenty of fresh herbs to enliven it; amongst the oyster mushrooms were a few more exotic ones, including the odd girolle (12/20).

The bill at £40 a head, with just two beers between us, could hardly be regarded as a bargain. Service was quite efficient, under the leadership of a manager (Rory) who used to work at The Savoy Grill. Overall I was not particularly taken with Cay Tre.  Some dishes were pleasant, but there were some disappointments too, and slips that are forgivable in a cheap canteen become less so in a smarter setting at this price level.


Add a comment


User comments

  • Rob Purdy

    Andy, I like your style. Will you be visiting Birmingham in the near future to review such restaurants as Purnells, San Carlo, Lasans? Considering Birmingham is the UK's second city, i belive its restaurants should be represented on your site.....