Cafe Coco Tang – Vietnamese – Nottingham

I’m always somewhat sceptical when a cocktail bar turns it hand at food. Maybe even more so when it’s a difficult cuisine to master. Why not stick to bacon and eggs with a twist? The other way to look at it is to admire the ambition and celebrate food hard to come by in Nottingham; Vietnamese. You enter via Byard Lane which you might remember from such restaurants as Baresca and fashion outlets as Reiss. The space starts with a hot drinks counter that extends into a irregularly shaped room and more tables than you might expect. I like the look and feel of the place, it’s something different from the rinse and repeat stylings of a lot of new cafes and bars.

On the beverage front there are an impressive array of options. I counted double figures for their hot chocolate selection, lots of bean choice for your coffee and teas for days (sadly I can’t be more specific as a website is yet to appear and a trawl of their Facebook page only procures the food menu). They also have a fairly extensive bar and I was tempted by a BeerLao but opted for a more warming jasmine tea. Couldn’t fault it, well brewed and prettily presented too.


Pho - Cafe Coco Tang - Nottingham

Pho – Cafe Coco Tang – Nottingham


The food was the real reason for coming and the menu was attractive on the face of it. Three interesting fish options including softshell crab and seabass but I really felt I should try Vietnam’s most iconic dish, pho. Essentially a noodle soup with sliced beef, the key to a good pho is the broth. Unfortunately I thought the depth of flavour was a bit lacking. Yes you get given some fresh chilli, siracha, fish sauce and lime but it needed too much of it to breathe life into it. I was more convinced by this having recently visited a Vietnamese restaurant (Monsieur Vuong) whilst in Berlin, which was far superior and cheaper. The pho at Coco Tang comes in at £9.50 and you will certainly be full if you manage to slurp it all down but a little above the price point you would expect.

I can see myself popping back of a cold afternoon to try one of their many interesting drinks but with all dishes around £10 it might take a while before I consider parting with my money for their food again.


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