Viet Kitchen fills a gap for Vietnamese food on the busy Dominion Road Asian food strip. I love the freshness of Vietnamese cuisine, and was keen to sample their food.
We arrived on a Friday evening, were warmly greeted by staff and led to an available table. The decor is simple and modern and the lighting is bright. No problem reading the menu here!
The menu reads like a Vietnamese food “Top Hits” list, so you will be sure to find a favourite. We love fresh Summer Rolls (2/$7.50), so ordered these to start. I ordered Lemongrass Chicken ($14.90) while my husband tried the Beef Stew ($15.90), the Chicken Curry having already sold out. Viet Kitchen is licensed but we opted for a pot of Lotus tea to sip while we waited for our dinner.
Our Summer Rolls featured shrimp, vermicelli noodles, lettuce and a few fresh herbs. Good enough but not the rolls that I enjoyed in Vietnam. Fresh mint and coriander is not expensive here, so it frustrates me that most Vietnamese restaurants in Auckland skimp on these flavourful herbs.
My Lemongrass Chicken on the other hand was redolent with the flavour of lemongrass. My plate featured three thin chicken cutlets that were coated in lemongrass and then fried, plus a generous serving of rice, a garnish of salad and nuoc cham sauce.
My husband’s beef stew turned out to be more soup than stew, but still very enjoyable. He had chosen noodles to be included in the stew and the large bowl provided a very generous serving. The beef was tender and the stew had a strong flavour of star anise.
Throughout our meal the friendly staff stopped to check that we were enjoying the food, and that our tea pot was full. This is very much a family run restaurant, and there is a casual and friendly atmosphere.
While we paid our very reasonable bill, we chatted with one of the staff who said that the menu is being revised in the next few weeks. Look for the flavours of tamarind joining the menu.
Viet Kitchen is a friendly, modern restaurant serving up good Vietnamese food, to enjoy whether on your own or with a group. A welcome addition to the Dominion Road food scene.