Ladudu, West Hampstead

Ladudu is a small Vietnamese cafe and restaurant on West End Lane, owned by executive chef Teresa Le. It seems to be busy at most times of day, presumably due to the relaxed atmosphere and different types of seating, making it as suitable for coffee and cake as for a three course meal. We popped in for a late lunch on a rainy Sunday afternoon and I enjoyed the green papaya salad which was fresh and refreshing with just a hint of spice (I can’t take more than a little hint!). I just loved the shredded green papaya; I might try to make something similar at home (though without the pork I think – it did not really add anything to the dish and was bland if eaten on its own).

Green papaya salad with prawns and pork

Green papaya salad with prawns and pork

Plantain fritters with shredded coconut and lychee ice cream

Plantain fritters with shredded coconut and lychee ice cream

It’s probably evident from my other posts by now that I am definite dessert lover, and of course visiting Ladudu was no exception. The plantain fritters were exceptionally good with an optimal texture (crispy on the outside, moist inside) and worked well with the coconut. There was a choice of about 5 different ice creams and I chose lychee as I couldn’t recall having had it in an ice cream before. I feared it might be too sweet (as lychee juice often is) but it was fabulous, by far the best ice cream I’ve tried in a while! Extremely smooth and creamy… and I liked the use of a coconut shell for presentation.

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