Last year, we stumbled into Restaurant Viet Food quite unexpectedly.
We had been on our feet since early in the morning.
Walking around in London.
Just strolling around, from one street to another.
No plans really.
Except for one maybe.
We fancy stopping for a quick lunch in Chinatown before catching our plane back to Antwerp.
Dim sum perhaps?
We had a good breakfast in our hotel this morning so we are looking for something light.
It is a Sunday though, so the best dim sum places might be packed with families.
And yes, that is exactly the case when we walk from one dim sum place to another. Other Chinese restaurants don’t seem to really impress us either.
The weather is kind of changing, thick dark clouds moving in.
We need to find a lunch place like asap by the looks of it.
Starting with the very restaurant we see.
Luc checks Tripadvisor to read what people think of Viet Food.
And it looks alright, 4 stars.
We go inside.
The waiter shows us to a table and hands out the menu.
Vietnamese lunch at Viet Food, sounds great!
The menu looks good too. Pho, bun, soups, small plates and ‘Vietnamese modern tapas’.
Let’s see what that means.
Fresh Lemongrass Tea
The waiter comes back to see if he can already get us something to drink.
We both go for a pot of fresh lemongrass tea. Perfect company for a light Asian lunch. (£2.20) As he puts our tea on the table, we tell him that we are ready to order.
Orders in, looking forward to see what we will get.
Vietnamese herbs five spice soft shell crab (Cua muối chiên giòn)
Soft shell crab, on of our many weaknesses.
We are very intrigued to see what we will get for £8.50. And we are not disappointed. The plate on our table looks more like a salad. However underneath the garnish of red onion, spring onion, peanuts and fried onion are deep fried chunks of juicy crab. Crunchy, crisp and great flavor.
Nice presentation as well.
Very good start of our lunch. (£8.50)
Crispy home made Vietnamese spring rolls (Chả nem Việt Nam)
June makes a mean fresh Vietnamese spring roll at home.
So that is why we go for the deep fried spring rolls here. Again very crunchy and freshly deep fried. The filling we think is a mixture of pork and vegetables. The sweet dipping sauce on the side is a nice extra touch.
Nice bite. (£4.50)
Grilled betel leaf wrapped beef and prawns (Chả lả lốt)
Luc’s most favorite Vietnamese dish is bo la lot, beef mince in betel leaves.
So this one immediately makes it on our to order list without hesitation. It is a very delicate dish, curious how it will be here at Viet Food. And it looks great the second the waiter puts in on our table. Four thick betel leaf rolls, stuffed with a flavorful and juicy beef and prawn mixture. Yummy.
The peanuts on top are a simple but nice garnish. (£5.00)
Tender pork belly (Thịt kho tàu)
Just like soft shell crab, tender pork belly is another trigger for us.
This bowl contains 2 fatty slabs of pork belly. It sits in a gravy type of sauce and we can taste spices like star anise, coriander, nutmeg and such. It reminds us of the flavor base of a pho soup actually. The pork belly is melt in your mouth soft and smooth, a real treat.
What a portion as well. (£7.80)
We are stuffed after 4 small plates and 2 pots of fresh lemongrass tea.
Would we come back to Viet Food?
Yes, this was a great quick lunch.
Viet Food serves tasty little plates of food, made with fresh ingredients. We like the decent portions and very reasonable prices for a tourist hotspot like this. The people next to us both ordered a bowl of pho soup which also looked like a good lunch option.
Staff was quick and attentive.
The food arrived fast on our table. We were in and out in a little over an hour and stuffed, just what we were looking for.
34-36 Wardour Street
London W1D 6QT