Given the scant Vietnamese options in London, this place is more than decent.
VR ticks the box on all the basics: soupbase, ingredients and flavors. And having Chinesey seafood items on menu in no way diminishes its authenticity: I refer you to the Malaysian menu just across the street.
That by not featuring sweet-and-sour this and stirfry-that on the menu (a big margin driver in the Chinatown food biz), I fear, tars VR as inaccessibly ethnic in most westerners' minds.
Also unhelpful is the slow embrace of Vietnamese cuisine in the UK which, surely, is only a matter of time.
This restaurant is as creative and fresh as its name.
The menu looks Vietnamese. The place looks like a restaurant.
But, somehow...it just doesn't add up.
Maybe: "Very bland (and boring, and sort of cold) food, extremely overpriced, touristy, lackluster service."
That would be a long name for a restaurant though so let's just keep this short and suffice it to say it was a huge disappointment and if you are reading the reviews BELIEVE them, and continue on your way. Pret or KFC would be a better meal. I'm not joking.
Hold up! What is with the poor reviews?!
My partner and I LOVE a good pork vermicelli bowl and this place has been our favorite to date. During one trip, we came here three times! It's perfect for late night grub after drinking, It's quick, SUPER FRESH, and delicious vietnamese food. The servers were so nice too.
FRESH FRESH FRESH being the key word with this place.
I have a problem with most of the negative reviews here.
You see, I was introduced to this place by a friend who has travelled extensively in South East Asia, who has tried several Vietnamese places in London, and who says this place is the best she's tried.
I was blown away by the spring rolls and pho here. Now, I don't know what it's supposed to taste like, but I can tell you the pho they do is a lot better than the one you get at pho. It's also a lot better than the one you get at Cafe VN.
I've read some reviews that say the stock is bland, but it's kind of supposed to be. You're meant to add the sauces to taste, and that's why the sauces are on the table. It's also served with a plate of garnishes that you're supposed to add to the bowl, also to taste.
Add to that, the place is always filled with people who look like they are oriental. I don't know if they are Viet as I don't understand the language, but the waiting staff are all speaking to them in some language that seems familiar to them.
Tables are often reserved too, and when people show up to occupy them, they are almost always of oriental origin.
Now, I did take some friends to this place once and some liked it while others hated it, and I think I've worked out why. It seems that if you order a Vietnamese dish you get something really tasty and well prepared, but if you order a Chinese dish you get something made of plasticine. So I guess this restaurant would get much better reviews if they took the Chinese dishes off the menu!
And I think it's hilarious that the name of the place is simply 'Vietnamese Restaurant' :)
I was in a bit of a hurry today and there weren't many places open for lunch at 11.30 in Chinatown. A waiter outside pointed me to the pho on the menu and it immediately brought back happy memories of a deep rich beef broth holding lashings of noodles and beef from my favourite Vietnamese restaurant, Saigon Cuisine, in San Francisco.
Yes, the name of the restaurant is basic and unfortunately, so it proved with the food as well.
My heart did drop a little when I sat down and heard all the staff speaking Cantonese. Even on the menu, there are only a limited number of Vietnamese dishes. Odd choice of name for the restaurant in that case.
The pho was only average, the main letdown being the rather thin broth. The thin slices of beef were agreeably rare but there was no depth of flavour. The noodles are more hor fun/koay teow thickness but that wasn't a problem.
Average Vietnamese-ish restaurant
Nope - don't do it. I don't expect much from a eat and run restaurants, but service here was pretty piss poor. I asked to sit by the window, at one of two tables, but the waiter said the seats were reserved. For the 45 minutes I was there, only one couple showed up and immediately the waiter sat them by the window (young yuppy yelpers) , and they did not have reservations! BTW the window seats give you a great view of Wardour street if you're in the mood for people watching.
The food is decent, but over priced for the amount you get. Go with the PHO XL and get the rare beef on the side. Otherwise the beef will come overcooked for sure. They wanted 4 pounds for extra noodles, really?? I would almost take back the 10% mandatory service charge (for 1) they stuck me with at the end. 2 stars for the food, and the finger for the service.
I was greeted at Vietnamese Restaurant by an angry Chinese man standing outside the place demanding that I come in and eat. Behind him was a broken glass door with a piece of cardboard taped behind it as some shanty-DIY fix up. It was one of those days I see....
Thank god I had negative expectations, cuz I'm not going to lie...the Vietnamese food here is pretty good.
WOW! I know, right? With a name like this you and I would think otherwise and then some.
The menu was filled with an extensive list of cliche Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, but since I came in craving my usual pho and spring rolls that's exactly what I ordered. The noodles were even wider than the other pho places I've tried (refer to my Cay Tre review for my issue with rice noodle thickness in Europe as compared to the US) but the broth and accompanying dish of raw bean sprouts, basil, chilli, and lemon were delish. Where's the lime though? Get me some LIME bia!
Also, Sriracha hot sauce, the STAPLE to any Vietnamese restaurant let alone this one, was readily available on the table - one thing I never got at all the other Vietnamese eateries I've tried (I've seen one on Kingsland road with Sriracha on the table, and I almost dove in but it looked like I would come out of there with some type of hepatitis).
My friend got some fried rice and a seafood stir-fry. Again, I mentally rolled my eyes at the possibility of this being good but both dishes turned out to be tasty and delicious.
This place fooled me, slapped me across the face and said "bitch please, we can pump out BOTH categories of ethnic food to an above-average standard THANKS"
My friend suggested this place after another friend and I mentioned we had killer cravings for vietnamese food. The staff were vietnamese chinese and mainly chat in cantonese, so if you know cantonese, they're a little bit more thoughtful, but I guess as they're on the edge of Chinatown, they don't get a lot of actual chinese clientele and rely on tourists (not to say the rest of chinatown doesn't- just the latter may have a higher percentage of actual chinese clientele) So with that in mind, I'd expect the food to be 'dumbed down.' E.g: like alot of chinese takeaways. (Come on, no one eats crispy chilli beef or sweet and sour at home...it's all about the steamed fish and plain rice!)
When we arrived, the service was rather lukewarm at best. Don't get me wrong, it was quick but not particularly friendly. The waiters seemed rather distracted and were quite short, even at 6pm on a Friday night. Also being too quick is probably a negative because as I will explain in my next paragraph.
We ordered 3 phos, 1 vietnamese mixed noodles, 1 fish congee and a side of summer rolls. The food was NOT hot when it arrived which is a shame because for pho especially needed to be hot. This is probably down to the minimal to no cook time that happened. No lie, we sat down, ordered drinks, ordered food, 2 minutes later on the table...
Pho wasn't fragrant and there was not enough depth in the beef stock that hits your senses. Beef slices were not soft either, but i didn't expect it to be so because it was a cheap bowl of noodles. (e.g: did not expect luxury meat) Cravings not killed for me sadly. I also sampled the summer rolls in prawn and they put FAR too much noodles in the roll making them rather tasteless. A travesty, when the chain store pho can make better summer rolls. Food was bland, bland, bland.
As we ended the meal, I still had a summer roll left and wanted to take away and they literally gave me a plastic doggy bag to take it home in, which was thoughtful of them to overhear but the bag just seemed a bit cheap. My bowl of noodles, lemon tea and summer rolls came to £13.20 which is quite good for a london evening meal but sad to say the food does not reflect the value of the price at all. I'm still craving that hot, fragrant, spicy bowl of raw premium grade beef pho I had in Hong Kong and still to this day dream about.
NB: they accept card for payments over £10 only.
...are you kidding me? Calling this place a Vietnamese restaurant is an insult to their food. I hope Londoners and tourists alike do not think this is what real Vietnamese food tastes like!
My husband ordered the pho and I the fish ball noodles. Bland, tasteless thin beef broth with ho fun noodles is what he got. 4 little fish and shrimp balls cut in half for me in a powdered soup base. The spring rolls came in 3 -- which is an odd number? They were the best thing we tasted, which really isn't saying much at all. Different from what I'm used to from the real Viets in NY, but not too bad. The fish sauce, on the other hand, was watered down and did not smell. What kind of fish sauce doesn't smell!
We ordered the SMALL, which was actually SUPER SMALL. Needless to say, we left hungry and pissed off.
I should've known something was awry when everyone spoke Cantonese and all the patrons were non-Asians. UGH.
DON'T COME HERE.
On a sunday evening we were hungry searching for some nice asian food in Chinatown. As the next day is a holiday, we expected to find lots of people in town going out and partying. Despite this most restaurants were closing early and we were told several times, that kitchen would close at 21 or 22o clock.
So we found this vietnamese Restaurant where they welcomed us and told us, that if we were fast ordering, we could be served well.
So it was. I had easy choosing by taking vietnamese spring rolls in rice paper as starters and a pho (noodle soup) with fish balls as main dish accompanied by a vegetable (ung choi) sauteed in garlic. My friend took a starter bbq marinated skewed pork. All meals were fresh and tasty. I liked the salad and herbs accompanied with the pho dish and the vegetable a lot.
It is a small restaurant with basic furniture style. Not like some chinese restaurants around the corner trying to be trendy stylish, but they are heartfull and welcoming and care about their customers.
They enjoyed our likings and were very happy that we took many photos and even turned the outer signs light on for our photos to look really good on Qype ;-)
We will come back again!
I was craving food from the motherland and decided to stop in here since it was right next to the theater where Les Miserables was showing. The people aren't vietnamese so it lacks authenticity, but I'm a person who likes to give chances so I ordered the pho that has a variety of different meats. They got my order wrong and brought out a more simple pho, but I didn't care enough to complain so I began to indulge. For being pho, the portion was really small. The broth was bland (I suppose they didn't cook the broth long enough), barely any beef, and the textures of noodles felt like they were soaking in water for too long. Basically it didn't taste like pho. The pho failed to fill me up so I decided to order fresh spring rolls and give them another chance to redeem themselves but again i was disappointed. The sauce to dip the roll was way off from how it's suppose to taste, and the roll was messily wrapped with more vegetables than shrimp. The restaurant really fails at delivering the "vietnamese taste" to their dishes.
I say go here if you're considering simple Chinese take out but want something besides orange chicken. It's definitely not somewhere you would go to fulfill a craving or to experience different tastes.
There are definitely better vietnamese restaurants nearby!
Stopped by yesterday to grab some pho for lunch on my own. Was invited in by a friendly young guy whose job it was to "tout" for customers outside the restaurant - a bit disappointed to see that this practice has started in Chinatown. Personally I don't like it and it is what makes Brick Lane no longer enjoyable for me.
All in all, the pho was pretty good with a strong, robust beef stock. Recommended.
The guy members of the staff were nice and friendly but one female floor supervisor was quite abrupt. She snapped at me when I picked up the bottle of fish sauce on the table "that's fish sauce" - er, as if I didn't know? Also, my bill arrived the moment I finished eating and without asking for it. Not very friendly, is it?
Not sure if I think it's worth another visit even if just for the food. Customers are not an abberation, particularly the paying variety.
There are already an overwhelming number of bad reviews for this place. I have nothing to add other than this restaurant is truly awful. It is bad value at any price.
I went in by accident with some friends who wanted hot soupy noodles and was wanting to wait out London rain.
This restaurant serves poor Vietnamese food or rather just lack luster food in general. There are many fantastic and reasonably priced restaurants in Chinatown, please avoid this restaurant!
Testing a little flavor of all cultures in London. I wanted to see what their pho taste like, yeah I know I can get better ones in the states but worth giving them a shot. First of all they are not Vietnamese. Second of all the sizes here is a big difference! A large was actually a small (in the states) and the large cost 6.80 pounds. Don't ask for water, they'll bring a bottle and charge you, also they charge a service fee on top of everything, so don't tip.The pho... Made different, at least the noodles. It was the thick noodles for Chinese dishes, the chow fun. It tasted fine. The broth had some flavors wasn't too bad as I thought it would be. I guess I was expecting bad so it wasn't too bad but compared to pho in Cali it's pretty bad...only good thing was the meat was tender, wasn't chewy...ehh, not really pho here...but the closet in a tourist area.
Suck. Weak pho, weak summer rolls. One of our friends arrived late, and we advised her to not bother ordering.
Don't let the location fool you, this is great Pho. We have been visiting this small restaurant for about 8 years now. Food is consistently good, prices are fair and the service is great. The Pho stock is excellent (takes 10 hours to prepare) and the vegetables are always fresh. On our last trip to London we are there 4 nights in a row!
Cheerful enough place on the edge of Chinatown and Shaftesbury avenue. Big menu choice of largely similar foods, but not very tasty. Probably designed to be "safe" for the bazillions of tourists passing by, and it was certainly full. The map is slightly wrong, by the way. This restaurant is on the other side of Shaftesbury Avenue.
The wife & i were on a day out in London & decided to have a meal in Chinatown, the trouble with Chinatown is you are spoilt for choice! upon looking at an outdoor menu we were ever so gently hustled by one of the staff, & we decided what the heck! we've never tryed Vietnamese before, we'll give it a go! we were glad we did! not feeling very adventurous we opted for the vietnamese sweet & sour with sticky rice which was very good! special mention must go to the prawn toast starter which has to be the best we have ever had! with friendly staff & reasonable prices we will definately eat here again
I found Vietnamese Restaurant inoffensive, although (obviously) poorly-named. The beef pho I ordered tasted fine and the portion really wasn't too small (contrary to what many yelpers have mentioned). Everyone else in my group got pho as well and only the most experienced pho eater complained that the noodles were cut too large. The service was cordial but if they drop by your table you've gotta be quick with your words as they seem to dart off if you take a breath before answering. Don't expect anything mind-blowing here, but I honestly wasn't disappointed after having picked it more or less at random (on the go and Yelp-less as we were). The 188-item menu seems to riff in every possible way on a few Vietnamese and Chinese standards. They have a small selection of beer but offer (strangely enough) a full selection of cordials and apertifs. A large bowl of pho--which has to be their most popular dish--costs around £6.
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