Vietnamese Foodies in Cluster D, JLT is a superstar in the making. It’s one of those restaurants which has simply hit the ground running. Everything about this little South-East Asian gem, from its simple, pleasant interior to its friendly staff, welcomes you like an old friend, a returning regular. Yet the restaurant is only two weeks old. Vietnamese owner, Lily Hoa Nguyen, flutters and fusses from table to kitchen, then back to another table like a busy butterfly. Herself a seasoned chef, she is the life of this eager establishment. But she has left the kitchen to Chef Duy, who joins her from Hoi An at the Shangri La, so she can attend to her guests, and ensure her restaurant is run the way she expects.
And then, of course, there is the food, which is simply brilliant. Their appetiser platter is an excellent way to sample some of their superb starters. It comprises of Rice Paper Shrimp Rolls, to die for Grilled Duck Sausages, Crispy Prawn Ravioli, and Chicken Satay on small wooden skewers. I thoroughly enjoyed them all, but my favourite was the grilled duck sausage.
For me, pièce de résistance was the Pho (pronounced by the Vietnamese themselves, anything from “fa” to “fuh”) hands down the best in Dubai. My food buddy and I tried both Chicken, and the Beef Tenderloin Pho, and we’re still trying to decide which was better – both were equally brilliant. The good news is that there’s still so much on the menu to go back for.
Service is top notch. In addition to the warm reception one receives when being welcomed in, the staff have a commanding knowledge of the menu and are not shy to recommend various dishes and/or food combinations. Speaking of the menu, hats off to Lily and Chef Duy, who have come up with an amazing representation of predominantly Vietnamese classics. Whether you are a seasoned connoisseur of Vietnamese cuisine or a first-timer, I assure you that this restaurant will tickle you in all the right places. Me? I’m totally smitten. And going back at the first opportunity I get. Vietnamese Foodies, worth a detour.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.