Hidden gem: Viet Kitchen in Central
Vietnamese restaurants are common in Hong Kong, but a "luxe" street-style eatery is rare. Three cheers, then, to Viet Kitchen on Connaught Street. It is difficult to find, tucked away in an office building that shutters down after sunset.
Seating up to 88 people, the décor - corrugated roofing, playful straw masks, street-style chairs and tables, and a metal gate - evokes busy Hanoi. There is also an open kitchen and a small, chic bar.
The menu is basic, with a selection of pho (HK$68) representing the best of Vietnam. These include Saigon beef pho, Hue spicy beef and pork pho, and roast duck pho.
Devoid of the oiliness that so often mars many broths, the pho here is light, flavourful and fresh. The other small dishes did not disappoint, either.
The lemongrass crispy silken tofu (HK$68) strikes the right balance between crispy and tender, while the pork belly and mango skewers (HK$88) are tasty. For mains, the grilled lemongrass Korubuta pork chop (HK$218) is well-executed, while the wok-fried clams with lime butter sauce (HK$148) are fresh.
The dessert menu consists of Vietnamese coffee or the in-house Saigon-inspired gelati - Vietnamese coffee or basil mint (HK$58 each) - which is surprisingly refreshing. For those who want simple, smart fare, Viet Kitchen is a hidden gem - for now.
G04 & G06, Nexxus Building, 4 Connaught Road Central tel: 2806 2068