Address: G/f, 88-90 Wellington St., Central.
When: Nov 2015
Vietnamese food has always been one of the top choices amongst Hong-Kongers. Fresh and full of flavour, Vietnamese cuisine is the perfect cure for the sauna-like weather here.
Formerly Nha Trang and rebranded as BÊP, the quality and standard of food is just as good. It is a Walk-in only kinda place, so be prepared for long queues at lunchtime and arrive early!
BÊP offers very affordable lunch sets at below HK$100, with a starter and noodle dish. More variety is found on the à-la-carte menu at a similar HK$70-150 range, where portions of rolls and sides are bigger.
Me and my friend shared a salad and summer rolls, and both had a bowl of cold vietnamese rice vermicelli (Bun) with grilled prawns.
Goi buoi: Pomelo salad with grilled prawns, apple, cucumber, shallots, cashew nuts and a citrus dressing
The prawns were lightly fried in coconut oil that gave a slight sweetness and brought out the prawn flavours. The pomelo shards were cut into small pieces. Just ripe with a slight sweetness, along with apple slices and a citrus dressing, makes a very bright and refreshing salad.
Cua Lot Cuon: softshell crab rolls with cucumber, fresh mint and napa slaw (Pic above)
The Softshell crab was not too greasy and fried in a light batter. The Mint and slaw added crunch and helped offset the grease. Rice roll wraps were a bit sticky and chewy, but otherwise a good roll.
Bun Tom: rice vermicelli with grilled lemongrass prawn, braised shrimp and pork.
Prawns were cooked the same way as the salad and adds a nice crunch to a otherwise boring vermicelli. The lemongrass flavour didn’t really come through, but the prawns had a nice char and were not overcooked (slightly translucent). The Asian Greens also add a much needed contrast in texture. The Dressing or sauce can be customised using a vietnamese fish sauce mix or with other condiments offered on the table.
Service was ok, but a bit rushed. BÊP is considered more as a cafe or casual dining space, where such level of service is exceptable. Preparation of orders was also very quick, making this café a convenient stop for a busy office crowd.
Food was good; at very affordable prices. An eatery for light meals or lunch and a perfect spot for Hong Kong’s summer heat.