I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker. And I believe what I read on the internet. After a gushing post about Little Viet Kitchen over on The Londoner, I put this new bijou Vietnamese on my list. My plan was to enjoy a leisurely lunch there yesterday but well — I actually went to the gym yesterday — so I was running at bit behind. By the time I got to Little Viet Kitchen, it was 1 pm and I had a conference call at 2 pm. It would have to be takeaway.
I eat a lot of Vietnamese food in London. I like Vietnamese food. I like trying new restaurants. These things should all be clear to the most loyal of my readers. I also make a good living, so I don’t mind spending money.
But I do mind getting ripped off. No matter how cute the restaurant is or how sweet the staff are.
Because Little Viet Kitchen is VERY cute. It’s all shabby chic inside and cozy and sweet. And the staff were hospitable and welcome and brought me a lovely jar of tap water with cucumber and lemon while I waited for me food. I LIKED IT. I was very happy with everything at Little Viet Kitchen for a while there.
And then I asked for my bill. And my beef bun (Vietnamese rice noodles with salad, beef wrapped in betel leaf, and two spring rolls) was £16.50. I was embarrassed. I was stunned into silence. I should have said something, but at that point, I had already placed my order, sat at their table, and drank their delicious cucumber water. How had I missed the price on the menu? Why had I not paid closer attention? The number was right there in front of me. I’m an idiot. And now I’m a poor idiot.
£16.50!!! For the love of God. In CHAPEL MARKET.
Granted, my food was tasty enough. But it was not £16.50 worth of tasty.
If you want some bun, you can get some at Song Que on Kingsland Road for £9.50, although they may not have beef. Ngon Ngon in Clerkenwell does beef bun for £8.50. Both places are definitely not as cute — and in fact, you may get yelled at by the staff at Song Que — but they deliver good, tasty value for money.
The Verdict: Little Viet Kitchen is cute and tasty, but not THAT cute and tasty. Head to Kingsland Road instead.