Ãn Viet @ The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley

May 11, 2016

Mid Valley's sole Vietnamese restaurant has a meaningful motivation - 'Ãn Viet' translates into 'Eat Viet,' & its aim is to encourage people to truly eat their food & to curb wastage. Serving portions of noodles & rice can be customised so that patrons order only what they can finish; plus, for everyone who finishes his or her entire meal, the restaurant channels RM0.10 to KOTO, a social enterprise that helps disadvantaged Vietnamese youths gain access to skill development opportunities.

Have a bowl of Pho Bo to take in Ãn Viet's concept: You can order an amount of noodles based on weight - 80gm, 120gm, 160gm or 200gm - all for the same total price of RM18.90 per bowl. We found even the lighter servings sufficient for a single patron, so there's no need to choose the maximum weight unless you're extremely hungry. This Pho Bo is the less elaborate northern version, with a clear broth to showcase clean, natural beef flavours, extracted from 12 hours of simmering marrow bones, bolstered with Australian tenderloin & brisket meat, fresh basil, bean sprouts, lime juice & Sriracha hot sauce. 

Flavours hew loyally to Vietnamese traditions, with a kitchen helmed by chef Nguyen Kim Tuyen, a native of northern Vinh Phuc province who has honed his craft in his home nation, as well as Australia, China & Malaysia. His recommendations include Bun Cha (RM17.90), comprising marinated grilled pork belly slices & minced pork patties with pickled green papaya & carrots, served in fish sauce, meant to be dunked with vermicelli, mint leaves, basil & green coral, with everything enjoyed together for the quintessential Vietnamese experience filled with zesty nuances. There are numerous behind-the-scenes touches to uphold high standards here: Many of Ãn Viet's ingredients are meticulously sourced from Vietnam, including rice paper, rice noodles, vermicelli & fragrant lotus tea, as well as flavoursome fish sauce made with prized anchovies from the plankton-rich waters off Phu Quoc island.

Ãn Viet's capabilities extend across the greatest hits of Vietnamese gastronomy, from perennial favourites like Goi Cuon (RM8.90; the ultimate zero-guilt Vietnamese snack of rice paper rolls packed with tiger prawns, wholesome herbs & vermicelli) & Bo La Lot (RM10.90; betel leaves wrapped around juicy minced beef made robustly aromatic with lemongrass) ...

 ... to the grilled goodness of Banh Trang Nuong (RM8.90; crispy rice paper pancakes cooked over a slow fire with a punchy stuffing of minced pork, quail's egg & dried shrimp) & Lemongrass Chicken (RM15.90; golden-brown boneless marinated pieces of thigh meat served with a fried egg). Prices are kept moderate, making this a reasonable decision for lunch or dinner.

Our favourite offering is the Canh Chua Ngao (RM13.90), a beautiful broth flooded with the uplifting sweetness of clams & coconut water, potently balanced with cherry tomatoes, lemongrass, dill & chillies - soul food that warms & restores the spirit.

Meals can be complemented & concluded with interesting drinks & desserts - Vietnamese drip coffee layered with egg yolk makes for a richly textured, invigorating hot beverage (RM8.90), while cool comfort can be uncovered in the jackfruit & coconut ice-blended creations (RM10.90). For a blend of the classic & contemporary, check out the Viet-ffogato (RM9.90), a unique twist on the affogato - drip coffee poured over condensed milk ice cream & coconut milk. Thanks to Ãn Viet for having us here.

Ãn Viet
LG-203B, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City (near Cold Storage), Kuala Lumpur. 
Mon-sat, 1130am-10pm; Sun & Public Holidays, 11am-10pm. Tel: 03-2201-1191

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