Archive for the ‘Vietnamese’ category

A Happy Vietnamese New Year at Viet Noodle Bar!

February 11, 2008

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Viet Noodle Bar
34 Greek Street
London W1D 5DJ
Tel: 020 7494 9888 

Why?  Tito’s Vietnamese friend, Thai, was eager to have us try Vietnamese food on the occasion of Tết, which usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year, according to the Lunar calendar.  Chinatown restaurants were crammed from early on with lengthy queues forming, but we strolled straight in to Viet and nabbed the last table – luckily, a table for three. 

When?  Sunday 10th February, 12.30pm.  A beautiful, sunny Chinese New Year! 

Impression:  Small and noodle bar-ish.  You can see the cooking area in the back which tends to be reassuring. 

Prices:  The main meals, such as rice dishes and noodle dishes are practically all under £5!  They are not large, but they are good value.  The appetisers are somewhat more expensive at £3.80 – £5 for small portions – however, they are original and totally worth it. 

Service:  Young, British accented Vietnamese staff are polite and quick.  My chopsticks were instantly replaced when I dropped one, even though the restaurant was very busy. 

Description of food and drink:  The Cha Gio and Chao Tom appetisers were delicious.  You need to wrap the fried Cha Gio spring rolls in the lettuce provided, adding a sprig of fresh mint, add then slosh around liberally in the tasty Vietnamese fish sauce.  Yummy  Chao Tom involved a prawn ‘mousse’ wrapped around a piece of sugar cane – you mustn’t forget to give the sugar cane a good old chomp to release the trickle of juicy sweetness. 

The soup based noodle dish we tried (Pho Special) involved wonderfully light Vietnamese flat noodles.  These noodles combined with the beanspouts, bunches of herbs, and shiny fresh chilli lent the meal a fresh taste and healthful look.  The creamy Thai-style Red Chicken Curry was less good, with little flavour or zing.  But hey, it did cost only £5, and we were in a Vietnamese restaurant after all!  

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Toilets:  Totally fine. 

Come again?   Viet has no booze licence, and so charge £1.50 for you to bring your own wine in.  It’s a deal.  I’ll be bringing friends for an inexpensive evening soon then – bearing a sharpish rosé, I expect.