Mostly unbeatable in my experience - I've been going here roughly once every 4 months for many years and confess to regularly fantasising about their vietnamese pancake and steamed seabass. I did hear that they train chefs at this place, which perhaps explains some of the odd mix of reviews. The service can be almost amusingly brusque, but just order lots of starters and a couple of mains, don't expect it to all come when you expect, and share each others' dishes, remembering that the notion of eating with others yet having one dish all to yourself is quite a western one is any case. If it's rubbish next time I go though I'll have to eat my hat!
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Sep 25 2013
Part of a Vietnamese community centre, in charming De Beauvoir Town, Huong-Viet is located some considerable distance from any other restaurants or shops. Its slightly off-putting institutional exterior belies a reasonably warm, simply decorated interior. Nevertheless, tables and chairs are poorly arranged, making for cramped seating.
At a nearby table set in the corner of an alcove, two or three people had to move to let others get to the toilets. It can also get very noisy when full. Youthful New East Enders predominated over local Vietnamese among the customers, possibly because the food can be lacklustre. Spicy soft-shell crab consisted of tiny nuggets in a thick soggy coating of batter that had fused together into one big amorphous lump. Beef pho contained numerous slices of meat but little flavour and few, if any, added herbs.
In contrast, hot and spicy lamb was pretty good, as were the summer rolls. So, the menu seems to be something of a lottery, with a handful of winning combinations amid many duds. Service was slow, disinterested and lacking in warmth.
Huong-Viet An Viet House, 12-14 Englefield Road
- Venue phone:
020 7249 0877
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 5.30-11pm daily
Tube: Dalston Junction or Haggerston rail or bus 67, 149, 236, 242, 243
Main courses £6.90-£11.30
- An Viet House, 12-14 Englefield Road
- 020 7249 0877
- An Viet House, 12-14 Englefield Road
Average User Rating
2.4 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:4
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:8
We had not been here for ages and although we read lots of poor reviews, we went back remembering the good meals we have had. This was truly 1 of the worst meals i have had in years. We asked several times for drinks and some took ages and were forgotten, the food was slow coming out, the quality was mixed; some starters were great, some mains were awful and gloopy. The accoustics has never been a strength but was poor as the place filled up. Some food we cancelled as we waited for over an 1.5 hours and just wanted to get out. We were told 3 staff were told not to come in as they didnt expect to be busy-not sure if this is the truth but even if there were more staff, there was so much wrong and the food was poor compared to our previous experiences. It also was not as cheap as other places in shoreditch we ahve tried. We have been to better & cheaper with a quicker service. What a shame to have soemthing good and to let it go, the other bad reviews makes me think our experience was not a 1 off.
I'm a relatively regular customer (been several times this year) and rate the place to others… I've never been acknowledged so glad to find others do have that experience. I've know it as good food, fair prices and less than warm service (for whatever reason… interesting to read other comments.) Last night I was the only customer at c 6.30… took a while to see to me, food took longer than you'd expect. All good tho' as food was good - until I tried the prawns… dry and shrivelled - tasted a bit stale - not your fresh juicy prawn. I ate a couple and left the rest. My mistake as I write from the sofa/bed/bathroom as food poisoning kicked in, in the usual fashion. I'll spare you the details. Just to say my head is still throbbing and I feel v ropey. NO work done today. They have no email address when I went just now to let them know. Here is my feedback… better out than in. Hoping to feel human again very soon.
I am not surprised when there are so many bad comments about the service, I know for the matter of fact, the owner not allow waiters or waitresses to share the tips, on top of this, they are only called up to work when they are real needed, when asked the owner about the tip, she mentioned that, she pays them a good wages, this is not true at all. may be, someone can do the investigation about this, not only this but also the tax! not all the receipt being recorded! no need to believe me, just do a bit of investigation and you will know the fact
Just had a pretty awful dinner here. There was a bit of plastic in my girlfriend's food, which the waiter just said had "come off the pan cleaner", before charging us full price. Writing this with a dodgy stomach and an MSG-induced stiff neck. There are lots of good Vietnamese places round here. Huong-Viet isn't one of them.
It’s fair to say that everyone had their go-to Vietnamese in Dalston. The area has almost as many Vietnamese restaurants as it does hipsters with pink rinses, and that’s saying something. Mine is, and always has been, the Huong Viet. Run out of a slightly degenerate community centre, if the place looked as good as the food tastes, I think the queue to get in most nights would stretch to our doorstep. You know a restaurant is doing something right when you will happily eat things that served any other way, at any other place, would be unappealing at best, like squid. And yes, I know it’s cool to like seafood, but sometimes it gives me the heebie jeebies. Here, deep fried but still light, soft and crisp, with hot chilli and smoky garlic, it is a revelation. In fact, so are most things on the menu. Rice vermicelli with spring rolls, BBQ pork and a crunchy Vietnamese salad is incredibly moorish, so much so I am in fact guilty of ordering it twice in one week on more than one occasion. But as well as slightly more unusual combinations, the chefs from this noisy, smoky backstreet kitchen are doing the classics some serious justice. Chicken Satay is beautiful – the chicken soft, moist, and wonderfully seasoned. The sauce is insanely good; deliciously salty, savoury sauce made creamy with peanut and sesame oil, I’d happily eat it on toast or perhaps just with a spoon. It would be fair to say that if the food weren’t so damn delicious this place would have called it a day years ago as at times the service can almost be comically bad. Imagine that moment when you see someone you used to know coming towards you down the street, and it’s all a bit awkward for one reason or another. And so, in an effort to spare yourself the do we/don’t we say hello moment you become ‘fascinated’ with some kind of weird plant growing out of someone’s garden and avoid eye contact. This appears to be the staff’s mentality at Huong Viet, except they haven’t seen you before, you didn’t forget their birthday/birth of their first child/book deal, and it is actually their job to serve you, but at times it appears they would really rather not. Wine glasses are forgotten, plates are not cleared, and even on cold nights the doors to the restaurant can sometimes be thrown open without warning to stop the room filling with smoke (don’t go if you’ve just been to the hairdressers). You can surmise from the above that a trip to the Huong Viet is certainly not fine dining, but the food more than makes up for it, which for an ex-waitress for whom good service is very important says a lot. Their B.Y.O policy is also great – buy yourself a bottle of Oyster Bay from the corner shop down the road, and spend the difference on more food. I can assure you this is an excellent plan as it is one I have executed to great effect on many occasions. There is, in my mind, only one problem with Huong Viet and this is surprisingly not the service. The more we visit, the more attentive they are, and I kind of like this ‘best service to most regular customer’ policy as it makes me feel special, plus watching the bemusement of first timers adds great comedic element to the meal. No, the only problem with this lovely little restaurant is being brave enough to try new things. Not because they sound off-putting, but because the things you try first time will be so tasty you will worry other dishes on the menu won’t live up to them. Trust me, they will.
I have mixed reviews about this place, i arrived and was greeted by very young man. Some of the staff are very friendly but some are extremely rude, the food is amazing along with the portion size ( overflowing plates and bowles) along with very cheap price. The layout is very old and authentic on the otherhand it is very cramped.
Amazing place,me and my mother were in dalston,starving and couldn't find anywhere to eat so I looked on my urban spoon app(what a life saver)and this little treasure came up.when we got to the road it was supposedly on all we could see we're houses but if you walk a little further (so glad we did) you find a place which I have to admit doesn't look like too much on the outside.we went in and was greater by a lively grinning Chinese women(who I suspect own the restaurant with her husband/family).we were the only customers(but from reading other reviews about this place this was a rare occasion)we decided to go for the char-grill squid with lemon grass to start.for mains I had the sizzling beef in black bean(which was definitely sizzling when it arrived at the table)and my mother enjoyed the hot &spicy lamb.it was all amazing but what really stood out was the home made peanut sauce that came with the squid and the hot&spicy lamb which was perfectly spicey(not too over powering).all in all we had a lovely lunch and experience at Huong Viet.the food was exceptional and the waiting staff attentive.even at the end they surprised us with free oranges!i will be coming back time and time again!
The worst service. The owners should be aware. I've been going to this place for the last 8 years or so, definitely less last 4 or 5 years because of the service. It's been a while now that i would only order takeaways there. But now, will never go again. Didn't see any fault for puttiing me on hold for 5 mins when i phoned for a takeaway order. When requested to speak to a manager, the person( not sure if he is the manager) said that he didn't see any problem with it but also adding that i was not welcome anyway. Real shocking service!
Do yourself a favour and stay away from this place. I have been to Vietnam and I fully appreciate that it might not have a 'service culture', but the service at this restaurant is just beyond bad. As soon as you enter you are just treated like a walking money jar that the staff are quite happy to pick from. For example, be aware of ordering a medium priced fish dish, and then receive the pricier version. You will almost certainly receive food that you didn't order at all as this is one way to increase the final bill. Instead of focusing on service (such as bringing the right food to the right table), the staff behave like second hand car salesmen flocking their stock. At the till, being told to pay for prawn crackers that you didn't even order is just the icing on the cake. Sadly, in such an aggressive and money-grabbing environment, the food gets totally lost.
What a strange mix of reviews?? My experience..... I could not fault this restaurant. I celebrated my birthday here 2 weeks ago with a small group of girlfriends. The atmosphere was lively and uplifting, the food was fresh and delicious, staff were warm and friendly. We had brought some homemade cupcakes with us for pudding which they took away for us and returned beautifully presented on a plate with decorative flowers and a candle, and some of their own sweet pastries as a compliment. They even wrote me a birthday card. I would return in a flash. I can only think thank there is mysterious second 'Huong Viet' that has encouraged the dreadful reviews below! By a super satisfied customer who had an excellent birthday party.
I have found the food to be quite nice but the service is truly dreadful and the staff are extremely rude.
I went there for lunch today with a friend on her recommendation although she hasn't been for a while. The food was dreadful. One star is way too good for this restaurant. We ordered steamed prawn rolls which contained the tiniest morsel of an old prawn and were pretty tasteless. We also had crispy duck which was dry. The Singapore noodles dish was an unappetising dark colour and looked burnt although we were assured it wasn't. In fact it tasted as if was made three days ago and reheated. We ordered the dish with chicken but it was impossible to decide what the dark, dry slices of meat were. It tasted disgusting and we sent it back and I refused to pay for it. The chicken in coconut curry had no coconut flavour and tasted as if the sauce had been too runny and thickened with flour. A not to be repeated experience. I cannot believe anyone could award this place 5 stars a couple of weeks ago!!
Used to love this place but turns out they have become arrogant and lazy. Young waiting staff this evening (open shirt and big gold medallion) was very rude and after a long wait for food said it would still be a while as 'seabass takes a while to cook' we had finished our other main dish 30mins earlier! Kicked up a massive fuss when said I wasn't paying the service charge...joker! And turned 3 sets of people away at the door without a reservation even though half the restaurant was empty!! I pity the owner! Food was ok but service very poor and pricing definitely not cheap any more. Won't be going back as loads of great alternatives down the kingsland road like Song Que (another old fav).
We used to eat at this restaurant fairly regularly but after a shockingly bad experience this evening, tonight's visit will definitely be our last. We both agreed the standard of the food had gone down, it just didn't taste as fresh. The service left a lot to be desired but this is something we had grown used to. All of this we could have lived with if it wasn't for the following... After we had been kept waiting at the till for 15 mins and after another customer was allowed to jump in front of us in the que to pay, we were told the card machine wasn't working. We didn't have any cash so I explained I would go and get some, we were then followed out of the restaurant and asked if one of us could sit behind and wait. I refused to leave my fiance sat by herself and pointed out that we were regular customers and had no intention of running off without paying! When I also refused to use a cashpoint that charged for withdrawals it became apparent that the waiter was under strict instructions to follow us for as long as necessary until he had the money. In fact he stayed with us, (or a few paces behind) for a very uncomfortable 20min walk to the free cashpoint next to our home! This restaurant used to have a slight edge over the large number of other Vietnamese places on the Kingsland Rd but I don't think this case anymore. Also one or two also have much nicer interiors now which result in less ambient noise so you don't have to shout over the table at your company.
I'm not surprised by the mixed reviews, but this must be mainly down to the pot luck service. The food has always been great, the most authentic and tasty locally. I've had rubbish meals and equal service in the other Dalston Vietnamese restaurants. Basically, don't go here if you want charming service and everyone's food to come together. If you want cheap, tasty, authentic Vietnamese food with authentic Vietnamese 'service', there aren't many better.