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Restaurant review: Viet Lang at The Arts House in Singapore

Viet Lang
1 Old Parliament Lane
#01-03 The Arts House
(+65) 6337 3379

Built in 1827, the old Parliament House is the oldest government building in Singapore, and Viet Lang takes full advantage of its gorgeous neo-Palladian style.

The Vietnamese chef is a stickler for importing only the best ingredients from his homeland, and, although his dishes are traditional, there are some subtle plays on presentation.

The Chinese lettuce-wrap with prawns and chicken, for instance, was much like the traditional summer roll, except that it came wrapped in curly lettuce parcels, tied together with a type of green herb. Eating it wasn’t my most elegant of moments, but despite spillages it was very good, especially when dipped in thick soy sauce with peanuts and chilli padi paste.

The classic beef phõ was served in a deliciously dark, beefy broth, and the fresh young mango and papaya salad with prawns was great eaten on top of a prawn cracker. The Vietnamese-style grilled chicken with fried glutinous rice was new to me, but it made a favourable impression, and our dessert of baked tapioca was wonderful – especially when eaten with the vanilla ice cream that had accompanied the coffee jelly, which we weren’t so keen on.

The only irritation was the piped Viet-pop, the lowlight of which was an up-tempo massacre of “We Will Rock You”. However, the food here is very good – and cheap considering its fine-dining locale.