01206 616563

IN culinary terms, you know you’re living in a diverse, up-and-coming place whenaVietnamese restaurant opens up in your town.

Viet Kitchen isn’t a Chinese or Thai with a slight Vietnamese twist, it’s an actual proper Vietnamese eaterie, right down to the coffee!

Located in the upstairs dining area inhabited by the old China Blue restaurant, the decor hasn’t changed much, even the kitsch waterfall feature that leads you up the stairs.

Seated at a side table, service was immediately impressive as the owner came over and gave us a brief rundown of his native country’s culinary delights.

We began with Vietnamese spring rolls and soft shell crab, which my friend and I shared.

What we noticed straight away was the Vietnamese’s tendency to chuck a shedload of fresh chilli onto the plates.

For my friend and I this was perfect since I could wimpily shove them to one side while my friend happily munched away.

Both starters were utterly delicious with the soft shell crab narrowly beating the spring rolls for its complex salty flavours.

For mains I couldn’t help but be adventurous and go for the stewed fish, made with pangasius, a type of catfish native to Vietnam.

Coated in a flour batter and served with a delicious sweet sauce, as well as sticky coconut rice, it was unlike anything I had ever had before and lovely.

My friend’s sauteed cubes of beef were also very tasty, served with a fresh vinaigrette and a salad of t o m a t o , c u c u m b e r and water cress.

P r e t t y m u c h stuffed to the gills already, we decided to share the i n t r i g u i n g dessert of deep fried ice cream, which was not as Heston Blumenthal as we thought.

Essentially ice cream coated in a coconut crispy shell sat on top of meringue, that said it was a great ending to what was a fabulous meal.

We couldn’t leave without trying the Vietnamese coffee, served in its own little percolator with condensed milk.

Sounds terrible but was actually incredible.

We’ll definitely be back.