Neon, a new Asian Street Food restaurant, opened its door a few weeks ago and as soon as I saw the menu online and saw the phrase 'Vietnamese Pho Soup', I was hooked and knew I had to get myself down there as fast as I could. So last Friday with only a few hours to spare before heading off to a gig I decided that a visit to Neon on Camden Street had to be fitted in.
One of the first things I noticed was how inviting the restaurant looked from the outside with its green exterior and dark wooden panelling. Then all it took was one look through the window to fall head over heels in love with the place. The long wooden tables and the lovely graphics of street traders in Vietnam brought back wonderful memories of travelling with friends. I was looking forward to relieving the food experience.
So myself and the boyfriend grabbed a table and a menu and sat ourselves down to confer. Deciding what to get always takes us an age and it never helps when everything on the menu sounds delicious! There was a good variety of soups, salads, curries and noodle, rice and wok dishes on offer. Favourites such as Pad Thai and Massaman Curry also make an appearance. Finally we made our decision and so up I went to order. Ordering in Neon is the same as ordering in any fast food restaurant, you go up to the staff, they dont come to you, but that is where the similarity ends. The staff were very attentive the whole time we were there, asking us whether we were enjoying the food and if we needed anything. I also noticed that they were very efficent at keeping the place clean as the majority of the seating is communal and does tend to get messy quite fast.
Now on to the food! First off, and to my delight, we received some prawn crackers which we hadn't ordered but which come with the meal. They were the good kind, not the greasy, flimsy, white ones, but the crunchy, slighty spicy ones and teamed with a sweet chilli sauce they started the meal off on a good foot.
As we couldn't decide on a starter each we got a Starter Box to share so we could try a bit of everthing. There were prawn rolls, chicken satay skewers, vegetable spring rolls, duck spring rolls and a selection of sauces. The duck spring rolls were the standout for me. They were just really tasty and moreish but everything in the box tasted very fresh.
Then it was on to the main feast. Since the main reason I was there was for the Vietnamese Pho Soup I had to order that but we also ordered some Mekong Duck and stir fried egg noodles. All the food comes to the table in paper cartons but there are bowls available on the tables which you can put your food into yourself.
|Vietnamese Pho Soup|
|Mekong Duck and Noodles|
The soup was delicious but I think if I was to eat it just by myself I would be a bit overwhelmed as the portion size was huge. There was also quite a strong aniseed flavour off it which I liked but might not be to everyone's taste. The Mekong Duck was succulent and melted in the mouth and it was accompanied by crisp, crunchy vegetables. Then to top the whole meal off one of the staff gave us two cones and told us to help ourselves to icecream!! Icecream that we could pull ourselves, well it was like a childhood dream had just come true! One little girl nearly fell over herself when she saw what we were doing.
This is fast food at its best. You can't beat Asian street food for sheer quickness, taste and flavour and Neon delivers that by the cartonfull! I can see this place becoming a firm favourite on the Camden Street trail and that is just going by the fact that by the time we left at 7 the place was packed with lot of happy looking chopsticks clicking clients. Our whole bill came to 26 euro and at that we couldn't even finish it all!
For more info on Neon click here. They will be offering a home delivery service from the 12th March. This is also a family friendly restaurant with a special children's selection and an icecream machine so how could it not be!!