Monday, 8 December 2008
Viet, 34 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 5DJ
Mainly because the first time we were there, we had a waitress who hated plates, bowls, and customers.
She also hated taking customers orders, and I don't mean in the 'Hey, gimme some water' kind of way. I mean in the 'Could I please have number 24 please' kind of way. She scowled, she took the order (while we were quaking in our boots) and when the food was ready, she threw the bowls and plates (cowboy-bartender style) at us.
This time around, that waitress wasn't at the restaurant when we were there. The exhiliration of having the freedom to order was overwhelming. I felt like thumping the table with excitement when the menu was handed over, and beamed at the waitress (very lovely) who came to take our orders.
I won't say more about the service, except for the fact that this time we were there, the waitress was fabulous, always attentive and very quick in bringing whatever we requested.
This restaurant is quite small, located at the edge of Chinatown and Soho, and fits about 7 tables. This means that if you get there about dinner time, you'll most probably have to queue for a table. You'll also most probably be queueing outside in the cold due to the lack of space in the restaurant.
The menu is about 5 A4 pages long, and this restaurant serves both Vietnames and Thai food. Portions are generous, prices are lower than most restaurants in Chinatown.
We started off with the fish crackers (£1.50) and it came in a big basket, full of fishy, crunchy crackers. These little crackly things are lovely when dipped in sauce, when they get slightly chewy.
I ordered the number 26, which is the spicy pho with beef and Vietnamese sausage. The garnishing for this dish arrived with the fish crackers, and I asked the same question I ask each time this garnish is served.
What is that green leaf, and is it meant to be eaten with the pho?
On the whole, the bun bo hue in Viet is better than the one in Cafe East, and very enjoyable. The bun cha, however, was slightly less impressive than the one at Viet Grill but better than the one at Cafe East.