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Silent H is open and its great!

Went to Silent H this weekend and I am amazed, its a great addition to Williamsburg. My GF and I had the Lemongrass Shrimp Cakes, Veggied Street Toast, Máh’s Imperial Spring Rolls from the apps menu and spilt the “Banh Xeo” Vietnamese Crepe from the main dish menu. Everything was amazing and service was great and the place was already packed on Saturday night at 7:30p! Check out the webpage: http://www.silenthbrooklyn.com/index2...

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  1. I'm always looking for good food close to home, and so i was really excited when i read this. but -- i just called to see if i could make a reservation for tonight, and i got a message that said that the joint is closed "until further notice." They offered to send you an email when it opened up again, if you gave them your address.

    does anyone know what the deal is? some sort of license issue? the menu looks quite good.

    1. I called yesterday and spoke to the owner who said there were permit problems that they hoped to have sorted out hopefully in ten days or so. I got the impression talking to him that they never opened at all. But maybe they were open Saturday (the day that had been publicized on Eater.com).

      Looks like they did a nice job with the old Oznot's space. Looking forward to trying it.

      1. Ooph I can't wait. . . the thought of a banh mi within spitting distance has me drooling. And from what I've seen (from peering in through the half-opened windows) it does look like a great reinvention of Oznot's space.

        1. I walked by this morning and yep, its closed for the time being. I guess i was lucky to try it out last Saturday. If anyone here's of it reopening, let us know! Sorry to get your hope up. But soon.....

          1. Any word on whether they've sorted out their permit problems?

            1 Reply
            1. re: bill_p

              Its open. Went again last night and had the pork chops this time. Nothing on the menu has been bad, its great having this place around the corner!

            2. I called last night and the message was that they are now open Tues-Sat., so we walked by and it was still closed. Maybe later this week....

              1. Went last week. Good decor and music. The shrimp toast was excellent. Mah's imperial spring rolls were very good. Lemongrass chicken with vermicelli was a bit bland (no flavor in the vermicelli, overcooked chicken that could've stood some marinating)... but Mah was ever-present at the resto so I'm guessing it's just a question of sorting out the early hiccups. Many new restaurants in the burg don't seem to make an attempt to fit into the vibe, aesthetic of the burg... this does and is a welcome addition.

                1. I've been twice now. The first time was with a large group of people so we ordered almost everything on the menu. Apart from the raw beef salad which was awesome, I found the appetizers somewhat underwhelming. Not band, but nothing special.

                  There are two killer mains, though. The black peppercorn pork loin is a giant, moist, tender piece of pig, with the sauce dripping into the rice. The other was pan-fried sole with a ginger sauce and okra. The rest were solid, but not as spectacular.

                  My second visit, there was a special main -- some tofu/pork thing that sounded interesting -- but I couldn't *not* get the pork loin again.

                  I haven't been for lunch yet, though I've tried. Not sure how busy it is during the week, but they've run out of banh-mi early on the last two Saturdays.

                  I'm very glad to have this place in the neighborhood.

                  1. I think it's great!
                    The best summer rolls I've ever had... and I always liked the other's that I can get in the neighborhood, but some how these are the best: shrimp was flavorful and packed in tight with lots of greens... Other places use too much of the vermicelli as a filler.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ida Red

                      i was very much looking forward to this place opening, but when i went on opening night, i was completely disappointed. i ordered the pork chop which was the thickest cut i've ever seen, at least an inch an half thick! not cooked well and served over a bed of overcooked broken rice, the summer roll was obviously sitting around a refrigerator for awhile and poorly rolled. my friend ordered a dish where the rice noodles were clumped together and overcooked. the crepe was mediocre at best. overall, it felt like a very amateur operation and i doubt i'll be back.

                    2. i feel haunted and disappointed today with this place after i just went...after having read reviews about how the owner was pushing for something authentic in my hood. overpriced and just totally misinterpreted vietnamese food. i feel like he's doing viet people and their food a great disservice by publicizing his aim to finally, truly, serve authentic vietnamese food in ny and CLEARLY misinterpret so much of it, when i think all viets in the city know that there is a ubiquitous misunderstanding of what viet food is really like - so why claim to be authentic when it's clearly 'nouveau'? he's just perpetuating this misunderstanding with all his PR about bringing true blue authentic viet food to the hood. lotsa things were just done blatantly wrong - like summer rolls coming out with only fish sauce, when really they should be served with peanut sauce - sometimes both peanut and fish sauce as an option, but really peanut sauce is the standard. papaya salad choppy and grilled flavor with fancy decorative asparagus on top - and no fish sauce? thit kho was NOT thit kho (this is it - http://www.cap-vietnam.com/images/sit... ), but more like a carmelized oversugary version of thit suong...and god the 'che' $5 for a TINY bowl of something that was not che and it was so insulting how they served it with 2 spoons..(anyone else who's had che - it's always come in a huge glass with crushed ice and coconut milk, no?)...but i imagine it might do well in the neighborhood of confused hipster palates..i just write this in hopes that the owner be more conscious of more discernible eaters...the food's like how i cooked viet food when i first went away to college and tried to freestyle momma's recipes myself...but hands down my viet home cooking is way better than this now, so i feel no need to come back here again. i might take a viet friend back b/c i feel like im taking crazy pills as i watch everyone ooh and ahh around me over this place. wtf!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mspamplemousse

                        I enjoy Silent H, but I find it hard to believe that what they are selling is authentic viet food also.
                        It is nouveau viet-american food (sort of a tex-mex of mexican food) But I do think everything I have had there is good, but I have not had the thit kho, tht suong and che and those are the more authentic viet dishes. Can you recommend a true vietnamese place to eat at so I can experience real good viet food in NYC? Thanks.

                        1. re: Huffy

                          Yes, sorry, I realize I was a bit harsh in my review, but I agree if Silent H just advertised itself as being nouveau viet as it is, I would not have nearly as many qualms with it. And part of the reason I'm so sensitive about this issue is that I've yet to find good vietnamese in New York. I hear there is some decent stuff in Queens/flushing. Chinatown seems to always be a bust for me..but I've definitely had stuff that was closer to authentic viet there than silent H. I found this blog by some vietnamese ladies today on a place called Nha Hang Xe Lua -it will be my next pursuit. I'll write once I try it out! Or you can try it out and let me know what u think :)
                          http://vietclub.blogspot.com/2007/03/...

                          also check out some yummy authentic food pics... http://gastronomy.wordpress.com/tag/v...

                          1. re: mspamplemousse

                            Very disappointing... my pork was so overcooked and the other dishes we ordered were mostly misses. Nothing was finessed, I'm not ready to go back

                      2. I posted this review on the other string on Silent H. I want to post it here too so I can prevent as many people as possible from wasting their time and money.

                        Problems with Silent H:

                        1. My food wasn't seasoned properly. I couldn't detect salt or pepper, and that is basically the most important thing to be able to do as a chef, right?

                        2. My food was insufferably bland. When I make a piece of toast with butter at home it is considerably more flavorful than anything I tried at Silent H.

                        3. Everything was soggy. Not a smidgen of crispiness or charred-ness anywhere.

                        4. Why do restaurants ever serve undressed greens? I don't get it.

                        5. No delicious vitnamese-ness. Vietnamese, to me, means lemongrass, chilies, citrus and vinegar tartness, charred barbecue flavors, the slightly offensive deliciousness of the fish sauces, kaffir lime leaves, the satisfying crunch of fresh sprouts and vegetables, fresh and distinctivce flavors, etc. You will find none of this here. I think someone used a "tex-mex" analogy to describe the food, and I think that's pretty accurate, except that tex-mex can be kind of good sometimes.

                        Sorry guys, no es bueno.

                        1. Being as i used to live in houston and traveled in vietnam. I know what real vietmanese food is suppose to be. Fresh huge mounds of greens and no skimping on the basil and resonably inexpensive. Silent H is more like a bistro (small portions and pricey)and i understand that. Becasue who in there right mind would spend $15 for a delicious pork chop over rice(its good) at a real vietmanese resturant. The bahn-mi is good too but man do they skimp on the ingredients.

                          But on a side note i have yet to find a real vietmanese restraunt in NY like they have in Houston.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: mingt

                            I don't know real vietnamese well, but I agree that the portions were too small for the prices based on my experience. I thought the vegetable rolls I had were decent and enjoyed the shrimp things (it was a few weeks ago and I've forgotten the proper names).

                            1. re: Neuromancer

                              this place is delicious, though i had a bad experience dining there one evening--poor service, not the friendliest staff but the food IS excellent. careful-dont go for a late night weekend meal-they seem to close early. plus do not offer delivery service! though, the fried spring rolls are DELICOUS as is the lemongrass tofu (great veggie options all around!)-perfect saturated and seasoned tofu on the perfect sized bed of greens and noodles! yum.