I have to preface my review by saying I do know the people who own La Pagode! However, I will say that because I do know them, I am more critical of the food here. I always ask myself: Would I take out of town friends here? My answer is yes and here's why.
I have friends that I took here years ago and every time I see them they still remember the dining experience we had here. The food was and is still really good. Also, I was in town for an event and the caterer was SOOOO AWFUL that people just didn't want to eat...so I called La Pagode and they catered for 21+ people and everyone ate everything and was very pleased..in fact, we ordered late night food from here and everyone ate everything before I was even done working!
There was a time last year (2013) when there was a transition of chefs in the kitchen because the original chef retired. There might have been a change of service or change in the way the food tasted just because everyone was adjusting to the change. There were new personnel that was hired and also fired, which made some inconsistencies. However, I think they've hit their stride again and I'm very pleased with the new chef's take on traditional family dishes. Like any restaurant there are certain dishes that are done better than others so I'll list which ones are my favorites:
Chao Tom -- shrimp wrapped and steamed in sugar cane.
SUON NGOT- spare ribs grilled with honey and lime
TOM NUONG XA- Shrimps grilled with fresh lemon grass,served with vermicelli
VIT XOAI- Duck with fresh mango
The food is pricey compared to what you get at neighboring Vietnamese restaurants..but all the food we order is done multiple times a week in small batches to ensure freshest and best quality.
Tip: there IS a patio outside that everyone should enjoy when it's not raining in Bruxelles! (that 1% haha).
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