Viet80s – Vietnamese – Nottingham

Having popped into Viet80s new street food venue last week I went to my older posts to build on my review of their original restaurant. Only to discover I’ve never done a review, surprising given I’ve eaten there a few times. I’ll do a short reprise before my recent experience. It’s among the many Indian restaurants of Maid Marian way but stands out on the corner of a busy junction toward the castle. The aesthetic could be described as cliched, brash colours both inside and out with rickshaws and carved lions dominating a space with simple dark wooden tables. The menu is pretty extensive and seemingly with some more authentic dishes including frog, tripe and eel options.

I must admit on my visits I haven’t ventured that far outside my comfort zone. The best food I have had has been grilled meat starters, beef with green pepper and grilled chicken with honey both being memorable. I think on both occasions they were served with a lime/pepper dipping sauce with really adds some zing. Mains have been too often disappointing, particularly their pho which just lacked much flavour from its broth. I am usually loathe to compare and promote chain restaurants but Pho in Hockley has impressed me much more. The best of the mains I’ve enjoyed has been grilled pork with spring rolls which again utilises their marinades and meat cooking to good effect alongside some variety with crispy mushroom and pork spring rolls.

Pork and spring rolls

The biggest qualm though is the price, starters are £12.50 on average with the aforementioned chicken coming in a whopping £17.50. Beef shin pho is £17.50 which is better value for money than the starters but the equivalent being better at Pho and only £12.25 means I am much more likely to go there for my fix of Vietnamese.

Banh Mi (N.B. plated at home!)

Their new street food cafe means they command a real expanse of real estate of Friar Lane before you get to the castle. This large unit comprises a few dining tables and a more casual area for coffee. Price unfortunately is my immediate thought as I browsed the menu, £4.60 for a medium cappuccino is at least £1.50 more than 200 degrees for example. Full disclosure, I didn’t try it so I have no idea if its worth it but I had really popped in for a takeaway lunch. Banh mi is a favourite of mine so I had to go for that. Their menu details were a little vague, worryingly containing ‘meat slices’ which I am pretty sure was pork. It was possibly the best thing I’d eaten from Viet80s, a nice char on the meat some warmth from a hot sauce and fresh herbs and quality crusty bread. It’s still a bit pricey to have it too often as a lunchtime treat but I’m more likely to pop back here than their main restaurant.

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