LDNER #134 THUY PHAM-KELLY

LDNER LOTI

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may or may not of noticed that there seems to be a HUGE amount of Vietnamese restaurants opening across the city. We’re jumping on the band wagon with this week’s Londoner Thuy Pham-Kelly, owner of Little Viet Kitchen in Islington.

Where do you live in London and what do you like best about that area?

I live in Battersea but spend all of my time at the restaurant in Angel. I live in Nine Elms which is a bit of a building site at the moment but it will be an awesome place to live soon when the redevelopment is finished. I’m a North Londoner at heart though having lived there most of my life and consider Angel my second home as I’ve had a base there for the past few years. Angel, and Islington in general has a great atmosphere and character about it. It’s already a well established foodie area but recently the scene seems to have exploded with lots of great restaurants popping up. It really feels like the perfect place to be right now.

You recently opened your first restaurant in Islington, how did that come about?

It all started as a hobby. I’ve always loved cooking and food in general, so I started a blog to share some of my dishes. As that began to gather followers I would often be asked where people could try my food, so I thought it would be great to host a weekly supperclub at my house. It was so much fun and I met so many lovely people that after running this for about a year I decided it was time to quit my day job and open the restaurant!

LVK_MD LOTI

What advice would you give someone trying to open their own place?

Be prepared to work your bottom off! The amount of work involved is immense, far more than I ever imagined it would be. Most importantly though you have to fully believe in your vision and absolutely love what you do. Without that, I think I would have found it impossible get through the difficult days.

Where else do you eat Vietnamese in London when you’re not in the Little Viet Kitchen?

My mum is the most amazing cook, so growing up I would always have such delicious Vietnamese food at home, that when I ate out I would go for different cuisines. Some of my favourites are Roka, Hakkasan, Hawksmoor, Ledbury and anything by Gordon Ramsay.

Finally, what would you perfect day be in London?

Well as you can imagine it would involve a lot of food! I would start with breakfast at Duck & Waffle with my hubby. Dan Doherty’s creations are truly mouth-watering and would make an ideal start to my day. I’d then drop by my sister’s for a quick cuddle with my nieces and nephew before going to Peggy Porschen for tea & cake with my girlfriends for a catch up. Quickly pop to Harvey Nicks to get something cute and perhaps Jimmy Choo shaped (it is my perfect day after all), then head over to Borough Market for a couple of late lunches at the food stands and to pick up some amazing fresh ingredients for dinner. Then waddle home with a full belly ready to cook up something yummy for my friends. Dinner with good food and great company is always my favourite way to spend an evening and would be the perfect end to my perfect London day.

In the mood for Viet food? Then be sure to check out Thuy’s restaurant Little Viet Kitchen in Islington.