Sister to Huong-Viet, Namo is a bright, clean little café. Dark wood, bamboo, and paper lanterns make for modern simple surroundings. In summer, you can dine in the quiet back patio under the peaceful gaze of a large Buddha. Goi cuon was deliciously fresh and packed a pungent punch of zesty herbs and sweet prawns. Next, we slurped from a bowl teeming with rice noodles and beef (bun hue) stewed in a spicy broth that lacked depth of flavour. Bun xa (noodle stir-fry with chicken, beansprouts and herbs) hit the spot with its piquant tang and bright crisp textures. We poked suspiciously at a pot of ca kho, with its mackerel morsels stewed in dark ginger sauce, but found it full of delicious nutty caramelised flavours. Another surprise was our solo waiter, who at one point either left the premises or perhaps decided to hide. After much beckoning and a poke around, we had to help ourselves from the server’s station for more napkins; other diners followed suit to get cutlery and water. We ended on a sweet note, relaxing with a tall glass of Vietnamese iced tea. A smiling finish topped by a friendly bill.
178 Victoria Park Road
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3.30pm Fri-Sun. Dinner served 5.30-11pm Tue-Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Mile End tube then 277 bus|
|Price:||Main courses £6.90-£8.90.|
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Average User Rating
3.2 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:4
I've been here a number of times now, and cant fault the food at all. Granted the menu isn't as varied as others, but the setting and decor is wonderful; A really relaxing place to eat. I agree with some of the reviewers below, that the staff can sometimes seem very hard to find - And getting their attention can prove difficult. This is not to say they aren't usually very attentive. Highly recommend!
I have been coming regularly to this restaurant for four years and it has been excellent until the last couple of years when it seems to have been taken over by new management and the food and service has gone to pot. Avoid it. I will be from now on.
Loved our meal at Namos last night. From the start the welcome was warm and friendly and the service was excellent. Everything arrived quickly despite the fact the the restaurant was completely full but the best thing was the meal which was quite delicious. We had three starters ( chargrilled squid, a whole shelled crab and tempura vegetables) and four main dishes with wine to drink for £20 each. I can't wait to go again!
It's a real shame, after enjoying an excellent meal at Namo last year we were crushingly disappointed by our recent experience. I'm not sure if it's a case of two few waiting staff or chronic restaurant mismanagement but the service was definitely poor. After being seated it was a long wait to order and we were still waiting for starters an hour later despite other restaurant goers shuttling through there meals. We were missing half of our necessary cutlery/plates/bowls which we had to go and get from the service station ourselves after non action by waiting staff. I don't think I've every been to a restaurant where if you want anything you have to physically get up to find the staff rather than the standard raised eyebrow or small wave. The staff were pleasant and apologetic about the lateness of our starters yet this gesture seemed empty as our mains took just as long. The food was fine but certainly no better than many other local and significantly cheaper alternatives.
I agree with the poster that said Namo is style over substance. They've marketed themselves well, and the restaurant looks nice, but I would not consider this proper vietnamese food. If you're new to the cuisine, you may not notice a difference in which case you'll have an alright meal. I'm confused why some people were saying this was a good Thai/Vietnamese place (it's only vietnamese as far as i'm aware, not a fusion). I had the chicken pho which was downright appalling. The noodles were clumped together in the luke warm soup, and they didn't separate. The stock was salty and quite frankly just tasted weird. The pork ribs and the spring rolls were also sub par, the latter being fat oversized and not really tasting as they should. If you know of and like Vietnamese cuisine, I would completely give this a miss and try the other local alternatives around Hackney, Dalston and Shoreditch.
Just had an amazing dinner here, highly recommended (and there was no service change added to the bill, it was left for us to decided how much to leave).
Really good Vietnamese for East London standards. The menu is less varied than others in Shoreditch but definitely more refined. The setting is relaxed and romantic in tone. Food was super late though, about an hour for mains to come out and we had to chase it up with our waitress. Otherwise an enjoyable evening. The monkfish was divine!
Really surprised by some of the reviews below as I have been back to Namo time and time again and am never disappointed. The food is always bursting with freshness, the menu is varied and there are lots of sustainable choices like mackerel. It's by far the best Vietnamese food I've had anywhere in London. Yes the service can be a bit slow sometimes but it's a peaceful neighbourhood place and the people are lovely, so it's just part of the laid back atmosphere. Highly recommended
Namo is allot of style over substance. The food is overpriced and it not as tasty as other Vietnamese restaurants such as Tre Viet, Mien Tay or Song que. I also dont appreciate a 12.5% service added to the bill, when all they did was bring the meal out to me. I would have picked up my meal at the pass to save on that expense. They have also ruined a nice Banksy on the outside wall.