Thanh Binh Vietnamese Restaurant
14 Chalk Farm Rd, London, London, NW1 8AG
- Tel: 020 7267 9820
30/01/2012 by Estafeta
We had eaten here before, enjoyed the food and thought it was a good value. The frantic, rude behaviour of the woman who runs it and her Draconian treatment of her staff was a bit disturbing but we tried to see it as amusing and part of the charm. Last Saturday night, however, my wife and I had a downright unpleasant experience. We were told by the waitress we had had four beers when in fact we had only had one (a second bottle we had ordered had never arrived). When we challenged this, we were spoken to rudely by the waitress (the owner's daughter, i think) then the owner began berating us from behind the counter. When my wife (who is Oriental) spoke back to her, the owner shouted out that she was jealous of her daughter. When I asked her to apologise, she refused. Obviously, an embarrasing exchange in a crowded restaurant and one that completely ruined our evening. Other customers who were waiitng at the entrance fled the scene, one woman telling us sympathetically. "We know what it's like here." There's lots of good Vietnamese restaurants in London where diners don't have to suffer abuse. We won't visit this one again.Report this
Such a disappointment after 10 years of heaven
03/05/2011 by Buzzcut
I've lived in Camden for the past 10 years and this has been my favourite Vietnamese restaurant in all that time, the food was authentic, service fantastic, the owner helpful and chatty and I recommended the place to a lot of my friends who also had a similar experience. However I'm horrified at how my favourite restaurant has changed beyond all recognition and now it's sadly lost one of its most loyal customers. I haven't been there for around 6 months but decided to take my in-laws last Friday for a special treat. Straight away we noticed that the menu had changed and that all of our favourite dishes had gone, only to be replaced by generic choices such as "chicken curry with onions", I asked the waiter if the old dishes were still available but he was totally clueless so I tried to get the owner's attention. In stark contrast to every other time I've been there (probably about 120 times over the past 10 years) she refused to come over to the table and eventually blanked me with a wave of her hand as she returned to her counter. A bit shocked and disappointed at this we ordered anyway and waited for the food to arrive. All I can say is that the disappointment didn't end there; the curry looked like it came out of a jar with texture like tomato soup and a few chopped onions, peppers and bits of chicken floating about in it. The spicy Singapore noodles were burnt and the spring rolls were almost empty with thick soggy pastry, my wife’s soup was over salty and was pretty tasteless but spicy. Compared to all the previous times when we've left, congratulating ourselves once again with eating in the best Vietnamese restaurant around, it was very, very sad but nevertheless we decided to finish what we could and have a word with the owner as we left. That's when they really lost my custom and we encountered the worst Customer Service on record. We waited for the waiter to clear the table for 25 mins but nothing happened so we left the dirty plates and ventured up to the counter to pay there instead. The owner was clearly flustered but worked out our bill, pushing it towards us together, for some unknown reason, with a calculator. We duly paid and this is EXACTLY how the conversation afterwards went: - "We were wondering, have you changed chef and the menu in the last 6 months? We've been coming here for about 10 years and we noticed that it's really changed" "no, same chef, same menu...always been same menu[sic]" "You used to have a mixed starter, with crab salad, spring rolls, squid cakes, £5 per person, minimum of 2 people?" "no, nothing changed, you get all that separate, same menu" As she was saying this she was turning round, wiping surfaces, sticking her head into the fridge under the bar and frantically looking round at other tables and the dumb waiter so my wife asked:- "Excuse me, would you mind at least looking at me and giving me some attention whilst I'm trying to give you some feedback?" She carried on wiping, fussing and cleaning her hands but said with a pained expression "You tell me what's wrong and I'll pass it onto the chef?". We listed our issues but before we finished she suddenly stepped back with a pitiful look, pointed to her forehead, shook her head and shouted "very bad headache, very bad, please, please just go away!" before gesturing to the door. This was the final nail in the coffin; we walked out and informed her that we wouldn't be coming back and also that we were very disappointed because of the fantastic times we'd had previously. Our words fell on deaf ears by the looks of things as she was already pulling more dishes of chicken curry from the dumb waiter. So all-in-all we're incredibly disappointed, we're definitely not going back and will also be telling all our friends to stay away. We'll now be making another trip back to Viet-Anh on Parkway ASAP (which we haven't been to for such a long time) and will be hoping for a much better experience.Report this
02/02/2009 by SwiSSly
I've eaten here a few times and they only think that really disapoints me is the staff. I'm always left kinda thinking i wasn't wanted. Its a nice room but there is no greeting at the door or when you leave. Ordering has been difficult too. The food is decent though. Good flavours etc. Infact I would recommend it! I would probably get a take away from here in the future.Report this
Very authentic vietnamese
24/07/2007 by lenalouise
Being part vietnamese, I have struggled long and hard to find food that is remotely as good as the stuff I get when I go home. Finally, I've found it!! I've only been once so far and had beef pho noodle soup with some vietnamese spring rolls. The best thing about the noodle soup was the soup base. It's clear, fragrant and tastes like my mum's! The noodles were cooked well and there was a decent amount of beef. It was served with beansprouts, vietnamese mint, coriander and lemon as it should be. The spring rolls were made using the right type of pastry which is not as smooth as the chinese version and has little crunchy bits. The accompanying fish sauce was pretty nice, just the right balance of fish, lemon and sugar. I'm looking forward to trying out the other dishes. Too bad I don't live around the corner!Report this
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