Cây Tre, Old St, EC1

Serves me right. I should never have ventured into the bleak wastelands of Shoreditch on a Saturday night. 10 years ago you could have called it exciting round here, now it’s all lads-on-tour, shouting, breaking glass. Come back hipsters, all is forgiven. Plus there’s STILL no cash machines that don’t charge £1.75 for the privilege of access to your own money. 

Anyway, a good friend’s birthday necessitated a vist here and we’d booked in at Cây Tre to meet some friends for a meal and a chat before the party. I’d heard lots of good reports, some not-so-good, certainly enough to warrant checking it out. 

Unfortunately I can’t tell you about the food as Cây Tre had no record of the reservation I made over the phone. We arrived, our friends arrived, they kept us hanging round awkwardly for 5 minutes whist they talked amongst themselves then told us no, we can’t have a table. A half-apology was mumbled and we left. I got the impression they didn’t believe me when I said I phoned up the day before. Well, Cây Tre, here’s a record of the phone call:

cay tre - wankers

I can handle below-par food. I can handle aloof service. I can even handle strip lighting, blood-stained menus and toilets out of Trainspotting. I can’t handle planning an evening in a busy part of town around a meal with friends and not being able to guarantee that the restaurant will actually honour the reservation you’ve made. 

So, if you definitely want a nice meal with friends on a Saturday night in Shoreditch then don’t bother with Cây Tre. The one thing you have to get right as a restaurant is to honour someone’s booking, and they didn’t. Not only that, they didn’t give a fig about making it right. As a punter it’s embarrassing, annoying and just downright inconvenient. 

Anyway, we went next door to Busaba instead where we had a decent meal with professional and courteous service. Shame on you Cây Tre.


Cây Tre
301 Old St

020 7729 8662 (though they won’t actually write your reservation down in the book)


Google Map

Cay Tre on Urbanspoon