I was meeting my friend Louise and another of her friends, Martha, to see the much-acclaimed play, Home, I’m Darling at the Duke of York’s Theatre in St Martin’s Lane. Louise got the tickets; Martha chose and booked the restaurant (just round the corner in Garrick Street); Travel Gourmet turned up!
It’s nice when other people make suggestions. I really enjoyed the play and may well not have got to it without Louise offering to get tickets; I’ve passed Com Viet maybe hundreds of times when wandering round Covent Garden, but had never eaten there – and now I’m glad I did.
It’s quite a simple looking cafe on the ground floor, and fairly small. Go inside and down to the basement and it opens out into a much larger eating space that while not ultra smart, is more restaurant than cafe and a pleasant place to sit.
We decided to choose a few plates to share. We checked how many spring rolls came with the starter of Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Salad, prawn & vermicelli wrapped in rice paper) and were told two large ones. We ordered just one plate to share (£6.50) and thought we’d cut them up. We fancied just a ‘little something’ to begin with our glasses of wine.
I have to say my photos don’t do the food justice. Those spring rolls below were fabulous with a wonderfully fresh and crunchy filling with the chopped lettuce and nice tender king prawns.
Our main choices were Stir Fried Duck Breast with Tamarind Sauce (£10.25); Stir Fried King Prawns with Cauliflower (£10.25) …
Slow Cooked Chicken (caramelised in fish sauce, ginger, chilli and lemongrass – £9.95). We also had a side of noodles (Stir-Fried Ramen Noodle with Mushrooms – £5.75) …
and steamed rice (£3.95).
The portions were generous so plenty to share between the three of us. It was all very good (though the starter was the highlight) and a perfect light meal before the theatre. We all agreed you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fairly rushed pre-theatre meal nor, I think, do you want something heavy or very rich.
Com Viet was a good find and I think it would be a great place to go for a bowl of Pho if in the area at lunchtime. Our bill came to £25 each, including wine and service.