Posts Tagged ‘Vietnamese’

Pho at Coco Tang

March 29, 2022

Previous week, a cappuccino at Coco Tang. A week on I thought try the food. Compared with my previous visit, a grave disappointment.

Lunchtime, packed. I wandered off to Kigali, had a coffee, returned mid-afternoon, now empty.

Pho, Vietnamese soup, not to be confused with Pho a corporate chain serving fake Vietnamese street food coupled with poor service and high staff turnover.

A long wait from taking my order. A very large bowl of soup, slivers of beef, noodles, with a side dish of red hot chilli peppers and bean sprouts and a couple of leaves.

Only when my soup bowl was taken away, did the waitress tell me what I thought was a side dish, was meant to be added to the soup. Why would I add a cold side dish to hot soup, why was I not told this at the time it was delivered to my table?

The slices of red hot chile pepper on the side plate, were not deseeded, hence very hot, but I was not warned. Contrast with Paste, nearby Thai restaurant, where they do warn.

Pho ok, but at the end of the day a bowl of soup, albeit a large bowl of soup. £10-50 for a bowl of soup.

I followed with a cappuccino. A disappointment compared with what I had the previous week.

I looked at the cocktails, £10 for an espresso martini, using poor quality coffee liquor.

To add insult to injury, 10% service charge sneaked onto my bill. Discretionary. No, it is not discretionary if added to my bill without my consent. And for what, a bowl of soup and a coffee brought to my table.?

To put in context, a three course lunch at Paste, less than a tenner. Or excellent lunch at Ugly Bread Bakery for a fraction of the price.

A very disappointing visit.

Coco Tang Vietnamese coffee shop

March 22, 2022

I had passed by Coco Tang many weeks ago when I took a wrong street, noticed a Japanese syphon.

Some  weeks later, after a coffee at Cartwheel, I paid a visit.

My expectations not high, I expected a Vietnamese restaurant serving bad coffee. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

It is always a pleasant surprise to stumble across an excellent coffee shop. In many ways a surprise no one has ever mentioned Coco Tang to me.

I stayed and had a chat, but not a coffee, as I lacked the time, not yet had lunch.

Later after lunch at Ugly Bread Bakery and a flying visit to Kigal I returned.

From the outside, tiny, inside a veritable rabbit warren.

A beautiful roof top garden. But please,No Smoking.

Down in the basement, a bar. There was also a bar behind the coffee shop.

On walking in, V60, Vietnamese pour over, EK43 grinder, an impressive custom made 3-group head Slayer espresso machine from Seattle (of which are justifiably proud). At the rear, tucked in a corner past the bar, a Giessen W6 roaster, on the floor sacks of green beans.

After a good look around I was handed a coffee menu, a little booklet with pictures of the various coffees served.

I chose a cappuccino. It was excellent.

I left with a bag of their house blend. Happy Valley Espresso Blend – Burundi -Kayanza – Ethiopia -Yirgacheffe – D.R. Congo – North Kivu, rich body, fruity, chocolate notes.

Everyone I spoke to went out of their way to be helpful.

My only criticism, in an otherwise impressive establishment, was storage and sale of the coffee beans. Stored in glass jars, exposed to light and exposed to oxygen each time the jar opened. There needs to be information on the provenance of the beans. This could be a postcard.

I can see a return visit to try the food, as unlike Pho (a corporate chain serving fake Vietnamese street food) the food authentic.

Lunch at Pho

October 3, 2020

When Pho fake Vietnamese street food restaurant first opened I ate there several times, but on each visit, the quality had suffered and the service appalling. The last time with a friend the dish we were served was cold. I never returned.

Today with Bamboo Shoots no more La Casita too late I decided to eat at Pho, and convenient to cross the street for a coffee in Krema.

As I walked in Pho, it was empty apart from one diner in a corner. Nothing has changed, it was never busy.

As I walked in I was assaulted by loud unpleasant music. I asked the waiter to turn it down. He said it was a restaurant.

Now apart from why would anyone wish to have loud music in restaurant when go to relax enjoy a meal maybe converse with friends it is a breach of covid-19 regulations.

I made it very clear the music was going down.

With reluctance he turned it down.

My dish ordered it came amazingly quick which belies the lie freshly prepared, it was actually quire good, though served on a cold plate.

A female came over and asked was I ok. I said yes and explained why I had requested then demanded the music be tuned downs, it was a breech of covid-19 regulations and these regulations were in place for very good reason. To protect staff and customers, it is a failure to adhere to the regulations why covid-19 is out of control. A noisy environment, people are shouting, if shouting they are projecting thirty ties the covid-19 across the room, if talking quietly it is only in their immediate surroundings. She thanked me.

In the corner, the lone diner coughing, lacked the courtesy to go inside to cough contaminating the entire restaurant. I could not leave quick enough.

I asked when I left and the other diners left, they opened the doors and ventilated the restaurant.

Whilst I was awaiting my dish, a family came in and sat at a nearby table. They had the entire restaurant to choose from.

Covid-19 biosecurity reasonable, I was asked to give my contact details as soon as I walked in, staff were wearing masks, but the loud music must be addressed.

Vietnamese pop up kitchen Union St

September 3, 2019

From my experience to date no great fan of Vietnamese food, at least not that served in England and what I have tried in Berlin only marginally better.

Pho, a chain of fake Vietnamese street food restaurants, not only the food not good, bad service to match.

Mama’s Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin, the food to say the least not very good.

For September, no ShuJu Kitchen Taiwanese pop up kitchen at Union St, I decided to try the Vietnamese.

Union St was the reason for my visit to Sheffield, or at least Monday for the Vietnamese pop up kitchen.

Oh what a disappointment. I have never been impressed with Vietnamese food, but never this bad. Noodles and tofu, both were stone cold, not even lukewarm, stone cold as though served straight from a fridge.

Myself and a fellow customer complained. We were given our money back. There was then an offer to hot it up. Plate was hot, food not even lukewarm.

But even had it been hot, it would still have been a very poor offering.

What though was reasonable, was the potato and pork soup. Not listed, and I only had because I asked what it was. And then perversely they offered to pour it over the stone cold noodle and tofu. I stopped them, obtained a take away cup, a and drank it from the cup.

Union St need to replace these guys.

I like the idea of a pop up kitchen, to try different food, to give the chefs an opportunity, but Union St need to exercise quality control.

There is also a need on the board, to at the very least list a twitter account to enable their offerings to be checked out. And for those running the pop up, to list what they will have available, or if not there.

Mama’s Kitchen

May 12, 2019

Vietnamese restaurant

Food to say the least not very good.

Lunch at Pho

June 18, 2018

Lunch at Pho, Vietnamese street food restaurant. Last day half price.

What a difference a few days make, no queue, upstairs empty.

Different staff to last Friday, lack of consistency, I would not say rude, but curt and not very friendly.

As I walk in, I notice a couple of tables people querying their bill. I think no more of it, until I receive my bill. They have sneaked on the bill 10% service charge, 10% of full price. This is not acceptable. No mention of this when I walked in, it was not added Friday. The price on the menu should be the price. It leaves a nasty taste in the mouth and undermines any goodwill they have generated with 50% off opening offer.

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