Posted: 26 July, 2011 in Food&Drink, Restaurants
Tags: , , , , ,

The other day when I was having a smoothie break at Coffee Karma I witnessed a wedding (witnessed in a none legally binding way). At first I didn’t know what was going on, there was loud music coming from upstairs which to my ears didn’t have much of a Polonaise ring to it. And a while later I was subject to (involuntary) karaoke… Well, it turned out to be a Vietnamese wedding party, which became obnious when the entourage started launching some fireworks outside.
This made me remember some stats I recently had read and some food I quite often have… Did you know that every hundredth person living in Warsaw is Vietnamese, making it the largest ethnic minority? It follows that there are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants and, believe it not: phở soup was voted one of five typical Warsaw dishes in a recent poll! Sadly enough many of these restaurants, or maybe joints are a better description, have deviated from their cuisine’s originality and Polished(!) their menu and flavouring to accommodate a more local palate. Some of them even disguising under the more generic Asian or even Chinese signs.
However I have a couple of favourites that do deliver an authentic level of homeland cooking. Family run Toan Pho (ul. Chmielna 5/7) has in but a couple of years gone from an instant hit to becoming a classic. This is in no way due to the cosy interior design. Quite the opposite, because Toan Pho is rather sloppy. But then you need not stay longer than it will take you to finish your meal, which you will do in no time because it’s so good! You order (and pay) at the counter. The short menu consists of a variety of Phởs, noodle soups with different meats and vegetables. Or Gỏi (Sałatki in Polish), one of the non-soupy similar salads. And of course the fried spring rolls (Saigonki). The dominant flavour, both in food and in the air, is the fish sauce, nước mắm. A scent that after eating-in you may get as a free take-away (in your clothes)… An additional value for your simply delicious hard to beat 15-20 zł meal.
More of a decorated Vietnamese restaurant alternative is only a short walk away: Nam Saigon (ul. Bracka 18). Neater, more comfortable, no house aroma, but less atmospheric.  However really good, light (and cheap) food. And three outdoor tables.

  1. Piotr K. says:

    Fantastic photos and smart copy – love it :0) Dzięki

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