Unlike ramen, finding a good bowl of pho in Jakarta is not as easy. Most Vietnamese restaurants serving pho have adjusted the taste to Indonesian palates and since Lang Viet closed for good, we have no idea where to go for a good bowl. So when I heard many rave reviews about a place called Mon Viet that is owned by a Vietnamese brother and sister, we decided to give it a try.
Located at the Avenue of The Stars – Lippo Mall Kemang Village, Mon Viet has quite an interesting concept. With an open kitchen perched at the entrance of the place, the dining area is designed in warm and cozy ambience. The inside wall is decorated with mural paintings of Vietnamese children at play. From our several visits, we noticed that some of the patrons are Vietnamese expats so we have high hopes for authentic food.
The first thing we look for in the menu is of course the pho menu. There are several pho variations to choose from, but our favorite is their pho tai chin (Vietnamese noodle soup served with freshly sliced beef and brisket) 56K. Next we ordered the appetizers goi cuon tom ga (Vietnamese summer rolls with shrimp and chicken) 41K and bo la lot (grilled beef wrapped in special “la lot” herb) 45K. As we’re sharing the noodle, we also ordered a portion of bahn mi bo nuong sa (Vietnamese baguette with lemongarass grilled beef) 54K. For drinks we ordered lemongrass ice tea 23K and ca phe sua da (Vietnamese ice coffee) 36K.
Overall, I’m happy with the pho. The clear beef broth was tasty and have a clean after taste, plus they used the Thai/Asian basil instead of sweet basil(commonly used in Italian dishes) /lemon basil (kemangi). The goi cuon tom ga was fresh although it was a bit bland without the peanut+hoisin dipping sauce. The bo la lot and bahn mi were delicious. The service tended to be on the slow side, as we have to ask for an extra bowl for several times. So, will I be back? Definitely! I hope they’ll open another branch in central/west Jakarta so it’ll be easier to reach.
Lippo Mall Kemang Village
Avenue of the Stars, 1st floor 06A
Jl. P. Antasari no. 36
Ph. +62 (813) 8062-8686