Address: Shop G04&G06, G/F, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road, Central
Opened by founder of chôm chôm, Peter Cuong Franklin, Viet Kitchen serves more classic and familiar Vietnamese dishes to the masses. A popular lunch spot equipped with a takeaway Baguette or Bahn Mì section, it is truly a lunch destination for nearby office folk. Viet kitchen’s cooking is similar to Nhà Trang and BÊP, while keeping a few elements from its more chic sister restaurant chôm chôm. Its menu focuses on classics such as rice paper rolls and Phò that is a favourite among many.
Lunch at Viet Kitchen revolves around a set menu at HK$98, with an addition of HK$22 for a drink or HK$88 for an additional rice paper roll. A bit pricey in my mind for extras. The price of the set menu, including a starter and main, is however similar to other eateries at the HK$100 mark.
Caramel Chicken Wings – Crispy and encrusted with garlic bits, tender wings, a good but standard addition to the menu. Somewhat confused as to what had happened to the ‘caramel’ part of the dish. Maybe they forgot the sauce?
Sole Fillet Rice Paper Rolls – Very similar to the rolls from chôm chôm. Thin, non-sticky, rice wrapper with a crunchy sole crouton in the middle. The vermicelli had a creamy sauce that went well with the fish. A successful roll. The sauce was slightly sweet with a dill flavour that added freshness and complemented the fish. Portions, though only served as a starter portion, was rather anaemic.
Saigon Beef Pho – A classic favourite found in most vietnamese restaurants around Hong Kong. This was a good yet average bowl of noodles. The stock had a mild flavour and the beef tender, but didn’t really stand out from the crowd of pho dishes I’ve experienced.
Hue Spicy Pork Pho – An unusual take on Pho that reminded me of Sichuan cooking. The Spicy chilli oil added a slow numbing-like chilli effect to the broth, while not being too spicy that masks taste. Pork slices were generous, though too fatty for my liking. There was also a lot of fragrant herbs and bean sprouts to add crunch and freshness. Overall, the better of the 2 Phos and worth trying.
Viet Kitchen serves set lunches catered for the masses, focusing on more classic and safe choices that appeal to most. HK$98 for the set is a fair price, though the drink and roll additions were definitely on the pricier side. Most set lunches include drinks, if not ask HK$10-15 for an additional beverage. The food leans toward average, with one or two stand out dishes. Service was at times slow, lacking attention to customers when the restaurant gets busy. There was also a short wait at the front when tables were clearly empty and could be seated.
This eatery is great for speedy lunches and those who prefer classic, no fuss Vietnamese. Worth visiting again to sample the dinner menu and has potential to become a great casual dining destination.