24 August 2012

Me Me on Broadway!

"They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway,
they say there's always magic in the air..."
The Drifters 1963 and George Benson 1978

Goi Duck (Duck Salad) and Bun Xa (Noodle soup) 
For years we had a house at the end of the King's Road in London where our nearest tube  stop and village "hub" was Fulham Broadway. To call it a "hub" is probably a misnomer as although only a stone's throw from the world famous Chelsea football Stadium it could only be described as a cultural and culinary desert. There was absolutely nothing there except the underground and the extortionately expensive Blue Elephant Thai restaurant (now defunct) accompanied by a motley collection of run down, cheap and nasty pizza and kebab joints and charity shops. Pretty dismal to say the least!

Well wouldn't you know it the moment we moved away all that changed. After years of neglect Hammersmith and Fulham Council finally got their act together and thanks to a panoply of urban improvement policies a number of key sites were redeveloped, streets repaved, buildings cleaned up and given new uses, smart apartments built and there is now even an uber trendy Conran restaurant. To cap it all off continental style pavement cafes suddenly appeared to complete the transformation. The station entrance was reconfigured and a brand spanking new shopping centre and multiplex cinema was built accommodating a food court (all chains admittedly) on the first floor. The old station building became a wonderful organic food emporium, sadly since closed down, but in short it's fair to say the Broadway has blossomed and is now achingly trendy!








Sea Bass and Mango 
We're very pleased to see too that this new life has spilt out to the surrounding area and also spawned several interesting new independent ethnic eateries. Our favourite is "Me Me" a Vietnamese restaurant directly opposite the old station entrance. Roughly translated as Mama's, Me Me is presided over by  the charming and friendly Marie (she told us her real name but prefers her adopted one!) the cooking is wonderful and we find ourselves returning again and again for inspiration and to try something we haven't ordered before. This time round it was Goi Duck and Bun Xa for starters followed by Bun Thit Nuong (Sizzling pork and noodles) and whole sea bass with mango.

We stayed there chatting to Marie as she sat at the next table de-husking an enormous bag of bean sprouts and we have to say it is not without a deep sense of irony that we find ourselves enjoying the atmosphere and the food and remembering how the Broadway used to be so different when we actually lived nearby.

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