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“Spring Roll Vermicelli - That's it -- Get it now!”
Review of Vietnam Restaurant

Vietnam Restaurant
Ranked #419 of 4,356 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Asian, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: City Center East
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Spring Roll Vermicelli - That's it -- Get it now!”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

The first time I went to Vietnam Restaurant I had a chicken curry. Nothing special. A friend heard my sentiment and insisted we go again together where I was introduced to the wonderful spring roll vermicelli. Really amazing. Life changing. If I ever move away from Philly, this is the dish I will miss the most.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“flavor missing”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Although there was a wonderful selection of foods, we found the flavors to be bland in all three dishes we ordered. The "side" dish was also much larger than it needed to be. The waiter did suggest that we were ordering a lot of food for the two of us, so we appreciated his candor. The restaurant is beautiful and quaint and the service could not be any better.
We were disappointed that the food was not what we had hoped for.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Carla S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
56 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Nice to try”
Reviewed October 19, 2012 via mobile

Wanted to try something different on trip. Tables are close together but not too close. Service was good- our waiter stopped by several times and refilled our drinks appropriately. The servings were large. I was glad we hadn't ordered an appetizer as I wasn't even able to finish my noodle bowl. We were served very quickly. The food was good.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JenBenG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Great Vietnamese food in Chinatown”
Reviewed October 16, 2012 via mobile

Wonderful selection of Vietnamese food in a nice setting. Very attentive service and incredibly affordable, big portions. Three of us ate with appetizers, main dishes, drinks, tax and tip for about $75.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mo_richmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
96 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“What is true Vietnamese?”
Reviewed October 13, 2012

The introduction of the Southeast Asian cuisine to the United States has opened doors to wonderful new experiences. Of all, one of the cuisines I find most appealing is Vietnamese. In Philadelphia there are several neighborhoods that are portals to the new Vietnamese world. Two neighborhoods come immediately to mind, Chinatown, the original center around 9th and Race Streets and the Washington Avenue area of South Philadelphia, now home to many new arrivals. What I find curious is that the Vietnamese cuisine of the one seems very different from that of the other. Many of the dishes that one might find on Washington Avenue seem to resemble the corn starch, msg, shiny offerings that you might find in a Chinese –American restaurant. The Vietnamese food in Chinatown, however, is quite different. I find the restaurant Viet Nam on 11th Street to be indicative of the latter. I’ve eaten at Viet Nam on many occasions. I have eaten on Washington Avenue even more often. Today, I wanted to go back to Viet Nam in the hope of clarifying my perspective.
The restaurant occupies what must have been a 19th century row house. In the evening the second floor is available. Its French door windows add a certain charm to the ambiance. Today, a Saturday afternoon, we sat on the ground floor, pleasant and comfortable, but not exceptional. The servers attended us immediately but while certainly pleasant, they did not seem particularly interested. We asked our waiter his advice on our selections. He was helpful but not particularly invested. We wanted to try what he thought would be the most typical Pho. He made his suggestion and we followed.
The pho arrived and we asked that he serve us. Distributing the noodles with chopsticks and ladling the broth is not easy for a Westerner. When done by one who knows, it is actually quite wonderful to watch.
The pho, the traditional beef base that our server suggested, was certainly pleasant but it seemed to lack the richer flavors that I have found on Washington Avenue. The side ingredients, the Thai basil, the mint and other touches were somewhat lacking. The bean sprouts tended to be more brown than white. We also had to ask for something on the spicy side. On Washington Avenue there are small dishes of hot peppers. He brought us a bottle of Thai hot sauce: not something one might expect.
We then moved to the main courses he had selected. In these courses we see the major distinction between the Vietnamese food of Washington Avenue and Chinatown. Our server suggested the Vit Chien – Marinated Duck Legs and the Suon Nuong – Lemon Grass Pork Chops. Without question, both dishes offered new and satisfying experiences. Neither dish was coated in the shiny corn starch finish that might be found on Washington Avenue. These were clean, fresh direct exchanges between ingredient and tongue. You knew that you were eating pork. You knew that you were eating duck. The portions were fully satisfying, especially the pork. Viet Nam offers a truly refined menu but, if you want the more big platter, shiny sauce menu, you might prefer Washington Avenue. My question goes unanswered, “What is true Vietnamese?”

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TonyDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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