I must admit I was skeptical about the small number reviewers all giving an "Excellent" rating, specially when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine in a backwater town like Riom. My prejudices were reinforced when I saw the quaint but slightly run-down street where it is located and when I saw the tiny "hole-in-the-wall" place it appeared to be from the outside. Well, it is small, but every other preconceived idea I had of this place was wrong.
For a start, the decor is much more refined than the street and shopfront lead you to believe. The owner welcomes you graciously and from then on it's all good.
The food itself was unusual, or should I say atypical. When the nems arrived they looked slightly overcooked but they were excellent, probably the best I've ever had, and all hand rolled that afternoon by the owners. I watched as other diners had the same "over-cooked" nems. (They weren't over-cooked, just appeared that way, and not greasy at all). The mains were delightfully tasteful, not overly spicy, but full of flavour.
We knew we were onto something when all the other tables seemed to be locals coming in for their weekly fix.
I should have guessed there was something different about this restaurant as the prices are above what you'd expect to pay for Asian food in a small town. Still, it's worth every penny, and even if I was in Clermont-Ferrand, I'd make the trip out here for dinner.