Anmee: North London’s newest Vietnamese street food eatery
Certainly one of the attractions of London lies not only in the number of street food eateries but their sheer number and variety. As a native North Londoner, Camden market, a bohemian part of London is an area I know well. Apart from talking incessantly about the weather, sharing tips on the finest street eats in Camden has now become trendy. Imagine my joy, therefore, when a new street food restaurant called cutely named Anmee sprung up in Camden. I had walked past the location and noticed building work going on but did not think much of it until like a sudden lightning bolt, a few days later, I saw the eatery with the inscription “Soft Opening – 50% off”. It had a closed sign, but I figured its occupants were staff probabily tweeting to tell folks about this new eatery.
This was only two days away. On the day of the opening I walked past from work at 17:30 only to see a message that still read “closed”. I had raved about this opening and had invited a friend to check it out. As I waited for the friend to come out of the Camden Town tube station, I spent the time debating where else we could go and having to explain that Anmee was still not open! 15 minutes later I decided to walk past one more time with my friend to make sure that it was indeed closed. To our surprise it had just literally opened and we happened to be third in the queue to walk in.
A quick look at the menu revealed the main offerings, from bánh mì and pho to curries, beef stew and noodle dishes. The décor was minimal, impeccably smart with earthly wooden floors and efficient black-clad staff who looked more like employees of a silicone valley tech outfit. They sounded just as savvy as they looked. In conversation with one of them, he revealed rather proudly, beaming with a smile that Anmee was actually the name of the chef and that this was her first restaurant. “Ah it is a woman chef”, my friend, female herself, exclaimed with more than a hint of pride. I could hear another equally proud staff explain to a customer about how the food is cooked fresh. Within half an hour the restaurant, was full. I relayed to my friend that this is perhaps meant more as a fine takeaway eatery than a place where you come in to sit. After all it was street food.
We proceeded to commandeer a table close to the exit and ordered 4 dishes which we shared. The staff welcomed folks who came in warmly and they delivered a friendly service. The food was first class and highly authentic as well as good value, even without the 50% discount! The flavours were full and true, and the textures perfect, bringing the best out of each dish. The customer seated behind me, must have been so impressed I watched as she made her way, wearing a satisfied smile, to the staff at the till to say “good luck!”
I guess for me, the fact that I popped round a couple of days later for a takeaway means Anmee does certainly have my vote!
3A Camden Road, London NW1 9LG, Camden Town