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Nam Viet Disappointment

Steve | | Jul 19, 2008 05:36 AM

It's been two and a half years now since the death of Mr. Thoi, the grandfather and patriarch who started Nam Viet, and who, until his passing, personally made the three major sauces that are featured in his restaurants.

And last week marked only about the third time I've been to Nam Viet in Clarendon since his death.

I was certainly surprised by what I was served. A lovely dish of yellow noodles I hadn't tried in a while had it's subtle smokiness overcome by too much sugar. In addition, it was dominated by an abundance of cauliflower, which I had not seen used before at Nam Viet.

Another dish I had was lemongrass chicken, which used to be cooked and served in a clay pot (as the menu still states). Instead, it is cooked I don't know how then dumped into a porcelain dish resembling a pot. This too has evolved into a very sweet dish.

The beauty of these two dishes were completely gone for me. No subtlety, just sweetness plus the blandness of the cauliflower. This was just plain bad.