The service is an upsetting disappointment. As a customer, you want to feel welcome and they have failed to do this for the fourth time (I do not have absolute judgement of a place from one visit and it is also local to me). I walked in and sat myself down at the window for a quick bite this afternoon- a quiet service. I waited too long to be acknowledged with a menu; I waited far too long and finally had to wave for someone's attention to take my order. When finished, I decided to go straight to the counter to pay to avoid waiting again, only to be left waiting, with not a moment of eye contact, whilst a conversation continued with a customer about local services. I had to go around this customer to get the attention of the waitress behind to ask to pay- of course I did not tip. Unfortunately, this is how every visit has felt- uncomfortable, and this time the spring roll was not enough compensation. If service ignores you repeatedly then they do not care that you are there and I, therefore, do not care to continue giving them my custom. Glad for those who have not had my experience and obviously some do not (certainly the customer mentioned above does not), but if you like your food to come with a certain level of care without need to be part of the clique then I cannot honestly recommend Ladudu for you because it is not certain that you will be treated well.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Jul 26 2011
This well-situated corner site, flooded with daylight and close to West Hampstead tube and rail stations, has been attractively fitted out with shared wooden tables and a dark oriental look.
Owner Teresa Le hails from the Mekong Delta, and worked in IT before turning to catering; we know this because she's chatty and engaging, keen to speak to her customers. Potted herbs adorn every table, a poignant reminder that in Vietnam more than 50 herbs are used in cooking; yet in our dishes, the zing of herbs was noticeably low-key.
A green papaya salad was perhaps the high point of our meal, for its sharp, refreshing flavours; but other dishes, such as the bahn cuon, were flabby in a way that suggested the rice casing was not freshly cooked to order. Fillings were also a bit meagre, betel leaf rolls small and a poor version of the ones we’ve encountered in Vietnam.
After a very long wait, our main courses arrived but the special pork chop rice (com tam) was no better than the sort of fare you’d expect from a mediocre Chinese caff in Chinatown. Although the food was disappointing, Ladudu attracts plenty of custom, and the staff were charm itself.
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:1
Been to Ladudu 3 or 4 times now and enjoyed all my visits. Staff are very friendly and service prompt despite being usually quite busy. Most recent visit was for Banh Mi on Sunday - very tasty Banhi Mi, not the best I have had but very tasty all the same, (I think partly down to the bread which was not as fresh and crusty as others. As they are not a specialist Banh Mi place I will forgive them this somewhat) The summer rolls taste incredible, I've also had a very decent Bún Bò Huế on a previous visit, and also the beef lemongrass stir fry - all good. To top it off they serve a great tasting, strong, chocolaty iced coffee - a must for any Vietnamese restaurant. Only complaint is that they do not serve banh xeo!
We came here on a groupon voucher and will surely return as the food here are simply prepared but with a lot of flavour. We had the green papaya salad and stuffed squid for starters and a salmon hotpot and fresh sea bream steamed in banana leaf. Needless to say it was all very delicious. Great place with excellent food and a vibrant atmosphere.
Completely disagree with Time Out's review. La Du Du is a great reminder of Vietnam for those who love it, it's ambience is fantastic and the food is far more authentic than other local Asian restaurants. Perhaps you went on a bad day or they were having growing pains, as it's a relatively new place. Viva La Du Du!
LOVE this place, have been several times and the Papaya salad and summer rolls are devine (so much so i popped in the other week and picked them up to take away!), service always excellent. I have eaten their Pho on one occasion and it was VERY greasy and not so tasty, disappointing, maybe I ordered on a bad day? Didnt put me off though. Albeit it not quite such good value as other Vietnamese restaurants it's a great location and great little restaurant.
Last Tuesday evening I went to this restaurant after mentioning it to my work colleague and friend and she replied that she had been there quite a number of times and that I would love it. I must confess my last experience with Vietnamese food was a long time ago and it was not a particularly enjoyable one. There is no justification for someone like me that loves good food no matter where it comes from to wait such a long time to give it another shot. We got there at around 6.30 and the first impression of the restaurant was the very pleasant décor, easy on the eye. They have got a few tables for 2 and some of them are large communal tables. My colleague trusted me in choosing the majority of the dishes. I ordered 4 starters and 2 mains. When the starters arrived just the look of them were shouting freshness. We started to tuck into the 2 cold ones first and what a start that was! As soon the Summer Roll (I need to apologise in using the translation because I am not very good at finding all the dots and bits on my Pc) hit the taste buds I was entranced and felt I was being transported to Vietnam. Just to think about it now brings tears to my eyes. It is amazing how a tiny dish can evoke such a sublimanization of the senses. Anyway the Green Papaya Salad followed suit and that was good too. I loved the Hot Vietnamese Spring Roll but was not too crazy on Stuffed Calamari. I found them a touch too reach on the palate. Then I went for the quintessential Pho, as I thought you can’t go to a Vietnamese restaurant and not have such dish. I must say I am not a great fun of broth based dish and Infact it didn’t do much for me. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that it wasn’t good it is just that it isn’t for me. My friend had Stir fry beef noodles and I tried a mouthful and that was delicious. We then went on the Ladudu Pandan and coconut fresh ice cream which although nice and fresh I was not too excited about it. As the evening went on the place started to fill up quickly and by 9 o clock when we left it was packed. Do I want to come back? YES!!!!!! If not only for the Summer roll, it would be worth the trip and also I am planning to try other starters. Thank you for such an ASTONISHING MEAL !!!!!!
We come here regularly, the food and service are fantastic. Any early teething problems have been overcome.
Papaya salad was OK but on the stingy side of things, the main dishes were very midiocre and rather small, with the ingredients tasting non fresh and low quality Dessert was fatty and unimaginative as it gets. However, when it comes to price this place is not shy at all. We paid almost £40 for 2 salads, two mains, one drink and one dessert. You would really get much better value for your money in any other Asian.
Papaya salad was was lacklustre and not very fresh-tasting - it was also stingy on the prawns. The pho was ok, could be definitely be improved with a deeper-tasting stock. Not the best, but certainly not the worst. Better can be found elsewhere though. The place also seemed to be suffering from an inordinate number of flies, perhaps they were attracted to the plants in the room at the time.
Its rare that I so utterly disagree with a Time Out review. Having been 3 times - one taking a client - Ladudu has been extremely consistent in the freshness of its food and quality of its service. Occasionally service has been a little slow, but that's only to be expected given its been open for a couple of months. However the charm of the waiting staff, the quality of the food and last but not least the extremely good value of the dishes make this a stand out restaurant for North London.
The bun cuon here is stellar. I'd have to say this reviewer doesn't know what they're talking about if they think its pre-made. Being vietnamese myself, good bun cuon in london is very hard to find and this is the best I've tried. If you live in west london and want excellent Vietnamese food that doesn't have to be eaten in a rush like the places out on kingsland rd, give ladudu a go and you wont be disappointed.
We'd gone past Ladudu a few times and finally popped in for a lazy Sat lunch today. Pleasantly surprised, the summer rolls were beautifully wrapped with a mix of delicious herbs, deep fried spring rolls were crunchy, peppery and hot off the stove. But the big question was the pho - would it be as good as Melbourne (where the huge vietnamese community makes some of the best pho)? It was a pretty good rendition - the broth was tasty but it was the beef that won us over, both the rare beef and braised beef were thinly sliced and "melt in your mouth" tender - something so many pho places in London get wrong. Not quite the same as Melbourne but very happy to have this pho anytime. Also loved the drip coffee which comes served with a cute contraption - the condensed milk at the bottom tastes delicious with the freshly ground coffee.