Viet Food

 
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Vietnamese oasis in very central London
Very fine Vietnamese street food establishment started by acclaimed former Hakkasan Mayfair chef Jeff Tan. This is relatively affordable fine-quality ethnic cooking, with dishes such as crispy coconut calamari, pomelo prawn salad, grilled fresh water prawns and lamb chop Hanoi style. They do a very good pho (signature Vietnamese noodle soup), improved since their September 2015 opening. The bowl lacks the diameter of other establishments, and the broth is not quite as deeply flavourful as Cafe East in Surrey Quays (but where is?), but it qualifies as excellent (and is arguably the tastiest in central London). Apart from the decent prices, another bonus is the decor (intimate urban rustic), spread across two floors. Plus an atypical (and not intrusive) electronic soundtrack. Sadly (and naughtily) the service charge does not go to the servers. You have the right to withhold payment of the service charge, and, if desired, leave a cash tip instead. There's often a queue, but solo diners might have luck slipping into one of the few spots (with stools) in the front window. Located at the gateway to Chinatown, immediately south of Wardour St, seconds from Old Compton St. A second branch, Go Viet, in South Kensington (53 Old Brompton Rd), opened December 2016.

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