MonViet: The BEST Vietnamese Food in Jakarta

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".

monviet-kemang.jpg
The story of monViet started in the 1970’s when a Vietnamese mother left her village to open a noodle stall at a street corner in Saigon. She cooked the traditional noodle soup called Bun Bo Hue. Hue is a town in central Vietnam. Her noodle soup was so tasty, that people waited in front of her stall every day for it to open.

The little noodle stall grew bigger, and after a few years the mother ran a noodle house that specialized in different kinds of home made noodle soup recipes. The family also grew bigger and in the end the little noodle house not only nurtured 9 sons and daughters, but also saw the birth of the family’s ‘secret recipes of life’.
— http://www.monvietindonesia.com/story

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!

Platter of MonViet (IDR 65k) - a combination of MonViet's best appetizers. My favorite? Absolutely the summer rolls with shrimp and chicken meat. Okay, so here's Vietnamese Cuisine 101: VIETNAMESE LOVES THEIR DIPPING SAUCES (also known as Nuoccham). You just can't enjoy appetizers without dipping it to the sauce. MonViet provides two kinds of dipping sauces as seen above, and both really work up my appetite!

Platter of MonViet (IDR 65k) - a combination of MonViet's best appetizers. My favorite? Absolutely the summer rolls with shrimp and chicken meat. Okay, so here's Vietnamese Cuisine 101: VIETNAMESE LOVES THEIR DIPPING SAUCES (also known as Nuoccham). You just can't enjoy appetizers without dipping it to the sauce. MonViet provides two kinds of dipping sauces as seen above, and both really work up my appetite!

Banh Bot Loc (IDR 26K) has texture that is comfortably familiar with "cilok", our very own Indonesian street food, thus I have no problem eating this. Please also note that the dipping sauce, is A MUST.

Banh Bot Loc (IDR 26K) has texture that is comfortably familiar with "cilok", our very own Indonesian street food, thus I have no problem eating this. Please also note that the dipping sauce, is A MUST.

Pho Rolls are among the newest menu coming up in MonViet. You miss sushi when eating Vietnamese food? Try a healthier option of substituting rice with pho sheets.... IT'S AWESOME. I'd opt for their grilled beef version because it's really good!

Pho Rolls are among the newest menu coming up in MonViet. You miss sushi when eating Vietnamese food? Try a healthier option of substituting rice with pho sheets.... IT'S AWESOME. I'd opt for their grilled beef version because it's really good!

4. Bun Bo Hue, one of the sole reason to come.

Your first visit to MonViet would not be complete if you don't try what started as the soul that started their business in the first place. Bun Bo Hue (IDR 51K) is the first noodle soup that was developed by the mother in the 70s. I enjoyed every sip of its broth ever since I know about its 14 hours boiling process and the story of spices and herbs that the mother has been using for the last 40 years. I almost cried in happiness. :)

Your first visit to MonViet would not be complete if you don't try what started as the soul that started their business in the first place. Bun Bo Hue (IDR 51K) is the first noodle soup that was developed by the mother in the 70s. I enjoyed every sip of its broth ever since I know about its 14 hours boiling process and the story of spices and herbs that the mother has been using for the last 40 years. I almost cried in happiness. :)

. The other 25 noodle dishes? All the more reason to come.

6. Try Vietnam's famous "Com Tam" a.k.a Broken Rice.

Com Tam, probably the second most popular dish after Vietnamese Pho, is basically fragrant steamed rice made with just "gao-tam". Gao Tam a special kind of small rice grain that comes from unique three-step selection process, that eventually leaves the most nutrient part of a rice grain called "embryo". This plate I tried, consists of three accompaniments such as grilled beef slices and chicken meatloaf, and the most important element of the dish: LIGHT FISH SAUCE. One recommended way to eat it is to pour the sauces over the broken rice first and then mix everything like you're eating Korean Bibimbap. What you'll get is a unique texture and a harmony of balanced flavors as combination of sweet - sour - meaty - and the fragrant rice itself.  Very nice to try.

Com Tam, probably the second most popular dish after Vietnamese Pho, is basically fragrant steamed rice made with just "gao-tam". Gao Tam a special kind of small rice grain that comes from unique three-step selection process, that eventually leaves the most nutrient part of a rice grain called "embryo".
This plate I tried, consists of three accompaniments such as grilled beef slices and chicken meatloaf, and the most important element of the dish: LIGHT FISH SAUCE. One recommended way to eat it is to pour the sauces over the broken rice first and then mix everything like you're eating Korean Bibimbap. What you'll get is a unique texture and a harmony of balanced flavors as combination of sweet - sour - meaty - and the fragrant rice itself.  Very nice to try.

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. :)

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MonViet Vietnamese Restaurant 
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Avenue of the Stars 1st Fl. #06A
Lippo Mall Kemang Village
Jalan Pangeran Antasari No. 36
Jakarta Selatan 12150
Phone: 021 - 2952 8439