Don’t you love it when you find something that you never realised existed, and even your friends don’t know about it too. Well that is exactly what happened to me.
I never heard of The Little Viet Kitchen before until one day when Thuy (the brains behind The Little Viet Kitchen) liked one of my Instagram photo of Vietnamese food that I posted. I guess like most noisy people you then check out their Instagram page and my jaw dropped when I saw Thuy’s Instagram, the food pictures she posted looked so good. I then found her on twitter (I promise you, I was not stalking Thuy at all!) and I saw she mentioned about these Vietnamese Supper Club she has been doing and I went over to her website and did some more research and I dropped Thuy an email, explaining how I found her after she liked my photo, and asked about these supper clubs she host and wanted to find out more information. Also secretly hoping she will be hosting more of these supper clubs.
Thuy responded and thankfully it was good news that she was indeed hosting more Vietnamese Supper Club, before the launch of her new restaurant and there happened to be one on Friday 27th March 2015, (yes been there and ate all the food!)
Now, lets rewind back to few weeks before the actual event, I made a reservation for both me and my bestie Eva over at lilfatte. Thuy explained that it will be a six course meal (no drinks included) for £35 per person and she guaranteed that the food will fill us up, if it doesn’t I can ask for refills.
Now coming from a Vietnamese family, I’ve had my fair share of Vietnamese food. No way am I claiming to be an expert, but I can tell you when a restaurant is serving decent homely nice Vietnamese food. It is very hard to find decent Vietnamese places in London. My favourite one is Viet Pho, which is in Chinatown, London. They serve great quality Vietnamese food, though if I bring my mum along, she might say something else. But then you never should bring your parents who can cook Vietnamese food to a Vietnamese restaurant!
So I was eager to see if The Little Viet Kitchen can outdo all the other Vietnamese restaurants in London. Without tasting the food, I already knew it would out do Pho. Please whoever tells me Pho is amazing, really should just talk to my hand.
Thuy emailed me a few days before the actual event, giving me detailed instructions of what to expect from the evening and instructions to the restaurant. Prior to all this, I already told Thuy that I do not eat beef, and sadly it meant I couldn’t taste Thuy’s signature pho dish, as Thuy uses beef to make the soup broth. You do not know how sad it was for me to hear this. As you know for pho to be good, its all about the soup. Despite the sadness, when Friday 27th March arrived, I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to try Thuy’s cooking.
I arrived at the restaurant about 7:45pm, when I stepped inside, I immediately felt the buzz and the warm atmosphere of people chatting in groups. Me and my friend was placed by the window in the corner, which was a nice view in the sense you could see half of the restaurant and the other diners. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the decor of the restaurant. It was a grey and white colour theme, with wooden vintage tables and chairs. There were also three beautiful chandelier lighting hung from the ceiling. It was so nice and pretty. Definitely Pinterest worthy and definitely something i want in my house!
Everyone was given a glass of bubbles to enjoy, whilst waiting for the course to start. The table setting was simple and minimalistic, but I felt it went well with the whole look and feel of the restaurant.
Whilst me and my friend was patiently waiting for the dinner to start, we ordered some non-alocholic cocktails from the menu. My friend ordered the Passionfruit Lemongrass Lemonade and I ordered the Mango Ginger Punch (mango, ginger, lime and guava juice). I originally ordered the Lychee Coconut Mojito, but was then informed they didn’t have all the ingredients to make this drink. I have to admit I was disappointed with my Mango Ginger Punch, as I didn’t think there was much punch to it. I couldn’t really taste the mango and ginger. All I could really taste was lime and guava juice. Though, I didn’t let this affect me as I was sure the food will make up for it.
Shortly after, there was an announcement that the Supper Club will start and we was given a description of the first course. Now I didn’t note down the exact name of each dishes, so Thuy if you do read this, please forgive me! First up was Glazed Pork Belly with Crispy Ginger served with a side salad garnish. I am a massive fan of pork belly. Yes it is a bit fatty, but when its cooked right, omg who cares about FAT. I took one bite of this and I was like “I can eat this all day!” It was so soft and tender and the flavours were amazing. The side salad went well with the pork belly, nothing fancy as I think anything too fancy would of taken the attention away from the pork belly.
Second course was Prawn Cake with Breadcrumbs on a Lemongrass Stem served with nuoc mam dipping sauce. This was another finger licking good dish. The prawn cake was so nice and soft and when you bite into it you can taste the flavours. For me, I didn’t need the dipping sauce, but if you wanted an extra bit of kick then the sauce is for you.
Dish number three was the Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls with Glass Noodles. I was thoroughly impressed with these spring rolls, not only were they packed full of the filing but they were also cut to the same length. I never usually order spring rolls when I go to a Vietnamese restaurant, as you never know if they are freshly made or shop brought and they will probably never beat my mum’s version. With Thuy’s version, I think these are a close contender. My mum uses different fillings compared to Thuy’s but both oozes with freshness and just the right crispiness.
Vietnamese Pork Rice Rolls (Banh Cuon) with Shredded Egg, was the fourth course. I am a massive fan of banh cuon’s or steamed rice rolls, these are placed jointly in second place with pho when it comes to my favourite vietnamese dishes. Summer rolls being number 1! Thuy banh cuon’s was not let down either, filled with generous amount of meat garnished with shredded egg, fried shallots and fresh herbs, these were great. If I was to nit pick it would be that these were served cold. I prefer to eat these warm, but other than that, it stills gets a thumbs up from me!
The penultimate dish for most of the diners was Thuy’s signature dish Spicy Bun Bo Hu (Vietnamese Spicy Beef Pho), as mentioned before I don’t eat beef so I was already aware I wouldn’t be able to taste this amazing dish. But I had a look round and every single person was eating away and genuinely looked impressed with this dish. My friend who did eat this dish, her first comment was “this soup is so good – I’m going to finish it all off!” And she did do just that. So for those who do eat beef, if you do ever go to The Little Viet Kitchen, it is safe to say you will not be disappointed with Thuy’s Pho!
So what did I actually have for my penultimate dish, well Thuy cooked me two generous portions of salmon. I can’t remember what the exact name was or what it was cooked in, but it was so good. The salmon was nice and soft and it was covered in a sweet sauce (not the best description – I’m sorry!). I totally wasn’t expecting to get two pieces of salmon, you can tell Thuy is very generous with her portions.
To finish off the amazing courses, it had to end with dessert. When it was announced that it was Pistachio and Banana Cake with Coconut Ice Cream and Pandan and Chocolate Macaron, I was so happy as It ticked all the right boxes with me when it comes to desserts. I love cake, I love pandan and I love macarons! Lets start of with the cake, it was a bit hard to break into as it was still quite cold and frozen (not frozen to the point you couldn’t eat it), but it did have nice flavours and texture to it. I liked the crushed pistachio’s for the topping. I think it would of been perfect for me if it got served with a bit more of the coconut ice cream.
As for the Pandan and Chocolate Macaron, the macaron itself was really nice. The macaron was soft with the crispy outer shell, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t taste the pandan flavour, I think the chocolate overpowered the pandan slightly. But none the less I still finished it all off.
Overall, this has got to be one of the best Vietnamese dinner I have ever had. This beats the chained restaurant Pho hands down. Not only was the food amazingly good, but each and every single staff were really friendly, nice and attentive. As this was a private event, so the restaurant was not open to the public, during the 3 hours I was there, at least three groups came in to ask if there were any tables available. No doubt this will be a popular spot for people around the area. If you are a fan of Vietnamese food and want to eat something that is authentic, this is the place to be!
You can find The Little Viet Kitchen at 2 Chapel Market, Angel, Islington, N1 9EZ. It is a 5 minute walk from Angel Tube Station on the Northern Line.
Have you been to The Little Viet Kitchen Supper Club before? Are you a fan of Vietnamese food?