November 17, 2012 BYO, Closed, pho, soup, Vietnamese, West End 1 Comment

Aside from a little time munching pho from Eat, in Edinburgh airport, and a little dalliance with Vietnamese spring rolls at Stack, I’ve not been overly acquainted with Vietnamese food. We have a review of Pho Vietnam House, but I still haven’t visited.

Summer rolls

Of course this is all made doubly silly by the fact that the cuisine has soup at its core. Finally, I rectified the situation with a trip to Little Vietnam, a recently opened place on Dalry Road.

The place is in the canteen style. Indeed, for many years the premises were occupied by a popular greasy spoon, well regarded for its epic breakfasts.

Epic pho

And now a short digression about Korean food. When you go to Kim’s Mini Meals, which you should because it’s fun and tasty, Mr Kim is very proud to recount how the Korean people, faced with an American invasion, took up the hotdogs and spam of the GIs, and wove them in to their cuisine. Kim’s have a range of hotdog and spam elements to their dishes, to prove it.

Having been similarly blighted by a 20th century American invasion, how did Vietnamese cuisine respond? Well, if Little Vietnam is anything to go by, it responded by adopting their gargantuan portion sizes. Across the two dishes that I ordered, this evening, you could happily have fed three people, instead of just one very greedy quester.

My starter of summer rolls featured three enormous items, generously filled with zesty rice and chicken. Easily enough for three, I polished them off in short order, dipping each morsel in the good accompanying satay sauce.


And then the main course arrived: a trifle dish full of mixed meat pho. Again, full of wonderful freshness, and a well-treated mix of chicken, pork and beef, it was a massive undertaking. The broth was replenishing with each spoonful, with the noodles soft and silky. It began to become a case of “Man vs Pho”, and in this challenge the winner was…man.

Excellent Vietnamese coffee rounded things out on a high note. It had been a quite remarkable experience.

So overall, the tactic with Little Vietnam is to order half the food that I did, or order the same amount but for two people. The magnitude of things overshadowed whether the dishes were of real quality, somewhat. They were good, but the size was the completely overwhelming impression that lingered. I’ll need to come back for another visit, soon. I’ll make sure to bring someone to help out with my scoffing, next time, during which I hope to get a better impression of the quality on offer.

Blythe scores Little Vietnam
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20

Today’s quester was: Blythe

I ate: chicken summer rolls; mixed meat pho

I drank: sparkly water, Vietnamese coffee

I wore: Berghaus footwear

Total bill: c.£20

Little Vietnam on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR