I know there are many Vietnamese restaurants over in East London but it’s not often that I’m in that area. Where I do frequent is Soho, in central London, due to the variety of shops on offer there. One place that we do like to have a budget dinner is Viet, one of the few Vietnamese restaurants not in East London!
I recommend sticking with the Vietnamese dishes on the menu. We did eat a pad Thai here once which was truly awful, all overcooked noodles and tomatoey sauce. On a recent visit, we started with an order of cha gio, those little and lovely fried meaty spring rolls, along with their accompanying fresh herbs and chili dipping sauce,
grilled lemongrass pork on cold rice noodles for me,
and a combination rice, with shredded pork and pork skin and a crab meat ‘cake’ for Blai.
Blai’s dish was quite plain though not too bad but the winner was my grilled pork. There was so much flavour in the pork, probably marinated for a long time, and I love eating the cold noodles alongside. A small bowlful of nuon cham (a light dipping sauce of fish sauce, lime juice, chili, garlic and sugar) is served on the side to pour overtop, dressing the mixture that can be dry without it. The whole bowlful is light and fresh and perfect for summertime (or anytime) eating.
One of my favourite things to eat there is their bun cha gio or hot fried cha gio served with cold rice noodles and lots of fresh raw herbs and vegetables. You can see that I really do love Vietnamese bun!
I’ve also had their pho and bun bo hue (pictured below), both noodle soups, the former being thin flat rice noodles in a beefy (or chickeny if it’s pho ga) stock while the latter is thicker round rice noodles in a spicier broth. Both are served with plenty of the fresh herbs and raw beansprouts, to be put into your soup at your will.
I do suspect that there’s a hefty amount of MSG in the soup but hey, when most of the one dish meals hover at around the £5-6 mark, it’s hard to complain. And they do fill you up! Mmm…I’m craving some noodle soup now!
34 Greek Street
London W1D 5DJ