With the welcoming feel of a brasserie, this large, bright, airy and cool dining room – the walls decorated with painted murals of Vietnamese scenes and the ceiling hung with paper lanterns – is a pleasure to visit. This holds true even when the place is crowded, as it often is with a largely western clientele that includes a high percentage of fashionable locals.
Service is generally prompt and efficient, and the menu fairly extensive, if a little predictable and short on vegetable dishes. The kitchen prides itself on using fresh ingredients and the food reflects this – but we found ourselves needing to make liberal use of the table sauces provided (something that rarely happens in a Vietnamese restaurant). For example, a stunningly handsome, piled-high platter of sizzling seafood failed to measure up to its looks as, although perfectly cooked and a textural treat, it seemed almost totally devoid of added flavourings.
On the plus side, there’s an attractive selection of oriental-themed cocktails – such as Vijito, a minted mix of rum, and lime and passionfruit juices – though a fairly limited choice of wines.