I love Vietnamese food, it is always so fresh and light – and we do eat at Nha Trang quite regularly, but I am always curious to give other places a go to. I had heard about Viet Kitchen before but had not been, so when we were due to travel to the airport one evening, we decided to meet there with Patrick for dinner.
Viet Kitchen & Bar serves an all-day menu (and it is a popular lunch option – but when we went for dinner on a Monday night only two other tables were occupied) and it says on the menu that Viet Kitchen is reinterpreting of classic dishes such as pho, noodle salads and banh mi sandwiches. But if I am honest, the food on the menu and the one we tried was your normal standard Vietnamese cuisine.
It seems that Viet Kitchen offers different partnerships and menus, when Supertaster Mel went and ate there, she tasted dishes that were developed together with Shiki Zen and included Hanoi Style Chicken Udon and Saigon Style Beef Udon, but we just had the normal pho.
While the flavour and portion size was good, I was surprised that the chilis, lemons and herbs were not served as a side to the soup and I had to ask for them. The waitress only brought chilis and lemons, but no extra herbs, so I felt a bit let-down. The noodles were tasty, the broth of the Saigon Beef Pho (98HKD) was rich, but it lacked some meat.
Next up, the Minh Banh Mi with chicken, which I felt was the highlight of the evening. But that’s because I love baguette and this one was executed nicely for 58 HKD, two thick and crispy pieces of bread, lots of chicken and good seasoning.
I wish I cold say the same for the Soft Shell Crab Rice Paper roll (98HKD), which was soggy, small and lacked some seasoning. Nothing compared to the ones you an get a Nha Trang and also nothing to the little Vietnamese place in Happy Valley, that serves slightly more expensive Vietnamese fare but bigger portions (and their rice paper rolls rock!).
Finally we tried Wok-Fried Chicken Pho Noodle (98HKD, yes it seems this is the price for most dishes) and this dish was just oily and boring. At this stage I didn’t take a picture.
Would I go there again? No – at least not to try the standard menu.The dishes are average and over-priced (yes I know, this is Central Hong Kong) and I felt the dishes lacked some spices and love. While Viet Kitchen claims it reinvented some classic dishes I feel it has a long way to go.
G/F Nexxus Building,
41 Connaught Road, Central