“Eat not, waste not.”
Ăn Viet (Eat Viet) takes this saying to heart, by encouraging people to reduce food wastage. This casual dining restaurant in Sunway Pyramid and The Gardens Mall is encouraging its customers to only order what they can finish and do their part to minimise food wastage globally.
The Sunway Pyramid outlet is relatively new, having been open since January 2017 – pots of basil plants adorn each table in the restaurant with many more lining the sides of Ăn Viet’s al-fresco section, for customers to pluck and add into their food. Vietnamese cooking uses only the freshest ingredients to allow the natural flavours to stand out.
Jien and I were taken on a journey beyond the quintessential Vietnamese dishes one would order, like the Banh Trang Nuong (RM9.90) – a tasty starter of savoury minced pork, egg and dried shrimp in rice paper wrap. This was grilled over slow fire till the exterior turns crisp and aromatic.
The Xoi Chien Phong (RM14.90) comprises deep fried sticky rice puff shaped as a ball, served with a side of green mango salad and grilled lemongrass chicken. The rice puff reminded me of the Indian-style appam, but stickier. The mango salad gave it a tangy-spicy kick, which I enjoyed.
If you’re into clams or la la in broth, the Canh Chua Ngao Nuoc Dua (RM14.90) is worth checking out. This is basically clams in light coconut broth, but each sip is flavour-packed from the sweetness of the clams, garlic and herbs.
Khai Vi Tong Hop (RM13.90) offers two types of spring rolls – fresh and fried, along with grilled sugarcane prawns. Not my favourite among the appetisers at Ăn Viet, but Jien liked this. In general, I tend to order just the fresh spring rolls when I eat Vietnamese food.
We also tried a variety of Vietnamese main dishes and many of them were new to me. The Cha Ca La Vong (RM23.90 – ala carte, RM27.90 – set meal) was quite addictive. This dish originated from one of the most popular restaurants in Vietnam, and is best eaten with lettuce and fresh basil.
Jien really enjoyed the Ga Nuong Xa Ot (RM13.90 – ala carte, RM15.90 – with rice, RM19.90 – set meal) which was tender and crisp around the edges. Not my personal favourite though, as I liked the Banh Mi – Thit Nuong (RM14.90) better. This was rich, deliciously hearty and rustic. You get a baguette that is super crispy exterior and airy centre, and a sumptuous filling of grilled pork, pate, pickles and vegetables.
Bun Cha (RM18.90 – ala carte, RM22.90 – set meal) features Hanoi style grilled pork with vermicelli and this is eaten with lettuce, basil and mint. You get a burst of tangy, spicy and sweet notes in each bite, along with the smoky aftertaste of the pork.
The Pho Bo Dac Biet (RM23.90 – ala carte, RM27.90 – set meal) wasn’t to my liking, as I found the broth too light. I was told this is the version available in Northern Vietnam, hence the lighter flavour. The broth takes 12 hours to prepare, is best enjoyed with beansprouts, basil and sriracha sauce. There’s beef slices, beef brisket, shank, tripe, tendon and beef ball in each serving – I particularly enjoyed the beef ball.
Ca Phe Trung (RM9.90) combined Vietnamese drip coffee with egg, which gave it more body and a creamy mouthfeel. I also tried the iced Vietnamese coffee, which was just alright for me. It was lacking that thick, smooth finish I was seeking. The Viet-ffogato (RM9.90) is An Viet’s version of affogato, where you get condensed milk ice cream with a shot of Vietnamese coffee. Pretty good stuff.
All in, I found the food at Ăn Viet pretty good. While the pho wasn’t to my liking, I will return for the banh mi and also the cha ca la vong. And clams soup. :)
Food: 6.5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Pretty decent Vietnamese food. Try the banh mi, cha ca la vong, bun cha, and canh chua ngao nuoc dua.