monViet Lippo Mall Kemang Jakarta

I was so excited when I received an email from Hai, whom is the owner of the restaurant. He is a Vietnamese who has a huge appreciation to his mom's creations, along with his younger sister.

monViet, a Vietnamese restaurant located at the Avenue of The Stars, Lippo Mall Kemang is actually more than just a restaurant (if you were me listening to his story). Hai's mom is a noodle soup seller back in Vietnam. What she was doing was very common in Vietnam and probably nothing special, but you guys need to know that his mom raised nine kids just by doing so, there must be nothing "so simple" to keep costumers going back to purchase his mom's famous noodle soup.

I got the chance to try out monViet for myself and thanks to Hai for the kind heart-warming invitation. I could tell that I was talking to someone who has a huge passion for culinary, positive expectations for monViet to bring up Vietnamese culinary scene in Jakarta. Let me put you on a test? If I mention "Vietnamese food", what comes to your mind? It's "Pho", right? Well, in fact, Vietnamese food is a lot richer and various than that.

The executive chef of this restaurant is no other than Hai's sister: Loan. Back in Vietnam, ever since she was a kid, she used to follow her mom to work, paying attention to what her mom's doing: cooking, preparing and eventually, selling. Bowl per bowl to extend the living. I personally think it's awesome, and that's nice of Loan to learn it all. She owns magic hands!

I asked Hai the philosophy of the name "monViet", it's simply "happy and appreciation to Vietnamese cuisine".

The first thing you see here is probably the open kitchen for public, there's something about open kitchen that I like, in a way, I feel more certain of the process. My brain is infected by those that I read from the holy internet, I am so insecure lately about certain food. Good to you monViet for the live kitchen :).

Hand painted ceramics. Awesome!


Sneek peek of the interior.

Loan explained to me about the ingredients used in the cooking process. Everything is imported from Vietnam. Loan once tried using the Indonesian ingredients on the process but the final result wasn't what she had pictured before, so in order to bring up her mom's authentic flavor, she used the ingredients imported from Vietnam.


Vietnamese Coffee (Ca Phe Da - Black Coffee with Ice)
IDR 22k
Just so you know, this is how Vietnamese serves their coffee, if you happen to order this, it will come in a coffee pot or "Phin Ca Phe". The pot has tiny holes to prevent the coffee from pouring fast. The technique was almost like dripped coffee. I had the intense one since I'm okay with it (yes you can customize the intensity). For me, this was the second time ever having Vietnamese coffee and this one is more impressive. When you mix it, it's like having a "Misto", only stronger and bolder. Me fond of this one.

Iced Lychee Tea
I bet no further explanation about this drink, always have this on most of my visits in any restaurant and this one is also refreshing.

Iced Lemongrass Tea
IDR 23k
You'll notice a strong hint of lemongrass in this tea, maybe they can turn down the sweetness a few level so that the flavor is more well-balanced :).
For some reasons, the beverages are still on the tolerable pricing :). The glass itself is pretty big if you care.

APPETIZER
The Platter of monViet
IDR 65k
This platter includes each two of these following menu: Cha Gio Re (Vietnamese crispy springrolls with shrimps), Banh Cuon Ga (Vietnamese Steamed Rice roll with minced chicken) and Goi Cuon Tom Ga (Vietnamese Summer Roll with shrimp and chicken meat), the transparent one. If you notice the dipping sauces, they're majorly using soy sauce and yes Vietnam is one of the major producer and consumer of soy sauce in Asia, they're just into soy sauce and include the soy sauce in most of their meals, but still, the underlined thing is that Soy Sauce and Vietnamese Dipping Sauce is different. Dipping sauce is used for (mostly) light bites like this appetizer below while soy sauce is used as an additional ingredients. The secret of a good dipping sauce is centered around the combination of fish sauce with different amounts of garlic, onion, sugar, chili, lime, vinegar and pepper. 

The Chia Gio Re or the fried one goes with the sauce with nuts on it (Tuong Goi Cuon), while Banh Cuon Ga and Goi Cuon Tom Ga go with the transparent one (Nuoc Mam Chia Go or fish sauce for the rolls), let me just tell you upfront that I have that "Oh My Gosh" moment on the first bite of all these three! They were really awesome! My favorite was the Chia Gio Re, everything about it was really great, just beautiful crisp perfection for me! You can tell that they're very fresh in the materials and flavor. This is my top recommendation.

Left: Chia Gio Re, Right: Banh Guon Ca

Goi Cuon Tom Ga

Banh Bot Loc
IDR 26k
Vietnamese version of dumpling was such a match to my Indonesian tongue, this one is also really good. It might look like a simple rice cake but the seasoning and the shrimp extract (for those who love shrimp) was in a way strong, but not overwhelming. Let me tell you that I have learned a lesson from eating Vietnamese food, it's true that without the soy sauce, it won't be the same.

Pho Dac Biet
IDR 59k
Let's check out Hai and Loan's mom legendary noodle soups! This Pho includes the combination of fresh sliced beef, briskets and meatballs. The soup was very fragrant, and if you have eaten Pho before, you probably knew that Vietnamese Pho always comes with side vegetables and fragrant leaves, the reason behind the separated serving is simply because not everyone likes to have the vegetables mixed, so it depends on their preference for having or not having it. The soup is really tasty, it's made of beef bone that's been slow cooked for 14 freaking hours. If you haven't seen what Pho noodles look like, it is linguine like, only it comes in white color and softer.

Bun Bo Hue
IDR 51k
This one is the spicier version of the noodle soup and it's served with generous amount of sliced beef. Awesome. Originally, the soup wasn't really spicy and still tolerable but they also have separate chili sauce and seasoning for you (including the dangerously hot chili oil) for you who love to add up the spice in your noodle soup. The noodle itself is actually rice vermicelli.


That's the dangerous chili oil I talked about. Hai already warned me to only use only a very little amount, but I decided to be a freaking daredevil and add just a little more, result? I sweat like a crazy baboon.



Banh Canh Tom Ga
IDR 48k
Vietnamese udon in savoury soup with shrimp and chicken. This one's also lovely. I am really fond of this soup, it's tasty, a little spicy but just a little and the unique thing about this was that it's actually using "Udon". The Udon is home made, it's chewy and has a good texture.


Dessert of the Day
Che Khoai Mon (Taro)
IDR 20k
In monViet, each day will be different dessert to present to the costumers, which is a good thing so people won't get bored and in a way, be surprised. It was Monday and I got served by Loan's signature Che Khoai Mon or Taro with sticky rice inside. I initially thought the dessert will be served cold but it actually served hot. The white cream on top is the coconut sauce. The dessert was decent, I'm still curious on the colder version of this! Must be nice :).
In a nutshell, my visit to monViet was splendid. I don't have much to say, even negative, but I know I have a good impression left. Everything is good and has its own unique points. I would say that the courses they're serving here are worthy enough to be called "authentic" from the pre-production preparation (ingredients), production and to the presentation. For me, Hai and Loan's passion for Vietnamese food is easily seen, it's clearly shown in the food, they have spoken for themselves :).

If you really want to experience authentic Vietnamese food without having to go to Vietnam, then this one is great for you. I would happily recommend this one for you guys to try. I hope you guys have wonderful experience having your meal here, especially their noodle soups, will come back to try out more menu. OMG I'm craving!!! Shoo for now. Bye!

monViet Vietnamese Restaurant || WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER
Avenue of the Stars 1st Fl. #06A
Lippo Mall Kemang Village
Jalan Pangeran Antasari No. 36
Jakarta Selatan 12150
021 - 2952 8439