We first came across Tuk Cho by chance after passing by on the way to another restaurant a while back. What tempted us was the variety of South East Asian dishes, ranging from Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian and lastly Japanese. We were interested in the Vietnamese dishes specifically as we have a real love of this cusine.
On arrival we were quickly greeted and given a choice of where we would like to be seated, to be honest we wouldn’t have expected anything less since there were only 4 other tables at peak time. The Restaurant itself was well decorated, taking aspects of what you would typically associate with South East Asian street food stalls, the cutlery holder and layout of the tables and chairs takes us back to fond memories of our travels around Hong Kong and Thailand.
They have a small but good selection of drinks, especially liking the flowering drinks, what a pretty sight. Flowering green tea buds with subtly notes of jasmine and hibiscus. One of the other diners had a go at their limeade, which he found super sweet.
The food was typically served Asian style, served to our tables as and when they were ready so there wasn’t a separation from starters and main course, which worked in our favour on this occasion, as we were famished.
We ordered starters from their street snacks section of their menu and decided to go for the crispy calamari with freshly chopped chilli, spring onion and lime as well as pork ribs marinated in lemongrass with kampot pepper. The calamari was fried in a very light crisp batter, seasoned well and very morish. The ribs on the other hand were very dry and tasted like they had been fried for a few minutes too long. This was bought out along side our chosen mains: peanut based chicken curry with asian aubergine, lime leaf and bamboo shoots, a Hainese chicken rice which consisted of steamed chicken (served cold) with a cucumber salad with a rice with a hot chicken and finally a Vietnamese chilli soup and beef pho.
It all sounded lovely when we ordered however, upon its arrival to the table we couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, the portion sizes were minuscule and meat looked like it was rationed, the curry might as well be named bamboo shoot curry and the pho be more a bean sprout soup and don’t get us started on the hainese chicken! Only four pieces of chicken counted! The flavours were fresh but not typically authentic; if they had used different cuts of meat we feel it would have worked much better with respect to the flavour and the texture of the dish.
For Desserts we had a selection of ice cream – these were not the typical flavours you’d get in a neapoliton ice cream tube but instead we went for asian basil, star anise and the safe option of chocolate.
As well as that we also had the caramelised banana cake with caramel sauce and roasted coconut. The banana cake was very odd indeed, piping hot banana cake covered in what they call a caramel sauce and to be perfectly honest it tasted like cold watery porridge poured over a cake. The cake itself was lovely and moist however the ‘caramel sauce’ just seemed a little strange in consistency and texture.
Whilst we like the concept of Tuk Cho we strongly feel they have far to go to represent what real South East Asian food is. The flowering tea and the calamari were definatley the stars of the show but this wouldn’t be enough to tempt us back for another visit.
Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls awards Tuk Cho:
Food Atmosphere Service