Vietsea Joo Chiat Review : More than just Viet Food

 


We had a craving for Vietnamese Food.

Back to Joo Chiat Road to discover new places to eat. 

Since we had been to Long Phung further up Joo Chiat Road from East Coast Road, we decided to venture to another part of Joo Chiat for things to eat. If you had noticed, our food ventures had been mostly around Katong. Since it is our hood, it is unsurprising that we would try the multitude of restaurants lining up the street.

Back to Vietnamese Food. We spotted Vietsea along the street and decided to give it a go. Actually, we were quite intrigued by the place. It looked like an open bar rather than a restaurant. The place was clad in black with large posters advertising different food options.

Cocktail-Tea Or Me?

The next surprise we had was by the variety of food choices. Apparently, Vietsea is more than just a bar or a restaurant, it is also a centralised kitchen serving a wide variety of food from Vietnamese to Western Fare to even Dim Sum. You could opt to order anything from the menu provided. 

After seeing so many Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmare, a red flag was raised. For a place to have so many dishes on the menu, it would often mean subpar food.  Nonetheless, despite the signs, we decided to give it a shot.

Since our initial goal was to have Vietnamese food, we ordered exclusively from the Vietsea menu. 

Spring Rolls Combination ($9.90)

First out from the kitchen is the Spring Roll combination. This is a mix of fried spring rolls ( Cha Gio) and Fresh Spring Rolls ( Goi Cuon)


The meal started great with the spring rolls combination. The fried spring roll was crispy and best enjoyed warm. In contrast, the fresh spring roll is not bad especially with the sauce provided. 

Crispy Pork Belly - Ba Roi Chien Gion

This dish was on the drinking snack section rather than on the main course. From the photo, it looks pretty appetizing. However, looks can be deceiving. Other than the favourable chilli sauce that came with it, there is nothing much to rave about. The pork belly was too tough to be even crispy. It was not as tender as one would be associated with Vietnamese food. While we are not experts, its texture reminds us of frozen pork belly rather than the fresh variety.

Lemongrass Spicy Fish ($10.90)

The Lemongrass spicy fish was slightly better. At least it is much more crispy than the pork roast belly.

Verdict

 Maybe we ordered the wrong dishes, but our first impression was that Vietsea has room for improvements. At least one of the dishes was sub-par to even a home cook meal.

Source: Google Reviews

As for identity, we had seen Vietsea better decorated with Vietnamese Lanterns when it first started. These days, it just looks too dark and dingy. It does not help when there is a wall of dried flowers that looked like they were for sale. 

In the end, we were left confused as to how to categorise Vietsea. In terms of Vietnamese food and decor, it seems to have lost focus. According to their website, given the Covid19 situation, the focus had turned to the centralised kitchen where delivery and take out take precedence over dine in. With more than half a dozen of Vietnamese Restaurants on this stretch of Joo Chiat Road, this route may be a precarious one.










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