When people ask me, "Hey where can I go for some real authentic Vietnamese cuisine in Jakarta?" Easy. There aren't many. And amongst all, MonViet wins the competition. Let me tell you why, in 8 simple way.
1. It started as a street-food noodle stall back in Vietnam since the 70s, so I just know that their food is simply... "honest food".
2. Their super-extensive menu is so organized and has great explanation.
You think Vietnamese food is all about Pho? Think again. MonViet has over 26 types of noodle dishes priced between IDR 43.000 - 60.000, and if you just can't live without rice they have 18 selection of rice-based dishes. Ever heard of Vietnamese Broken Rice? I'll explain later. Other than that: dozens of appetizers excluding Chef's Favorite menu which mostly consists of Banh Mi, Vietnamese sandwich and other exotic names that I am also still struggling to get to know with.
3. Their APPETIZERS, never fail!
4. Bun Bo Hue, one of the sole reason to come.
. The other 25 noodle dishes? All the more reason to come.
6. Try Vietnam's famous "Com Tam" a.k.a Broken Rice.
7. MonViet LOVES their vegetables and herbs very, very, very much.
I have this huge respect to restaurants that know their produces very well, and maintain a high standard on what's being served to the customers table. On my several visits to MonViet I have never been disappointed with the quality and freshness of its ingredients. You will literally be spoiled eating the freshest vegetables coming from their secret garden in West Java, which according to my friend, Hai, treated with the utmost respect that it even took them 2 months alone to train the employees to wash and clean the vegetables. And with every bowl of noodles ordered, you will get raw veggies as side dish - well yeay, hello healthy lifestyle! :)
Another thing worth mentioning as part of Vietnamese Cuisine 101: They love their herbs & spices. I talked to Loan, Hai's sister who is also MonViet's Executive Chef, they had to bring their own spices directly from their motherland because it is simply not the same here as what the locals used to have. For example this huuuuge cinnamon stick here:
8. It's the flavor of memory that counts.
The experience you get when dining in a restaurant, after all it all comes down to the flavor. For me MonViet ticks almost every checklist that made me want to go back every time I'm craving for decent Vietnamese food. Great and honest food, yes. Friendly staff, tick. Authenticity, can't thank them enough to introduce us to a more extensive Vietnamese cuisine. And I would go back there again for more dishes coverage!
Do give it a try, I am sure you won't be let down. :)