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Mar 25, 2008 10:14 AM

Ordering Vietnamese dinner for 14

We are treating our friends to dinner in local Vietnamese restaurant. I made reservation already for Apr. 26 and as it is just a small place, would like to order dishes ahead. We are familiar with Vietnamese food (travelled in Vietnam), but I am at loss what to order for table of 14 people. Menu of the restaurant is on website I would appreciate suggestions of dishes for variety.

As to number of dishes, I assume that for 14 people it will be 14 dishes as to amount of food. However it will not be different dishes, as one kind of dish cannot be shared by 14 people. Perhaps 3 dishes of same kind? Please give advice.

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  1. I think you're on the right track -- for 14 people I'd probably order three orders of five dishes. With the exception being if you're ordering finger foods/appetizers that come in units, try to make sure there's one piece per person (so if an order is three, get five, an order is four, get four, etc.).

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Good advice. The only thing I would take account of is that spring rolls (not fried) tend to be pretty large and can be divided into two. And if you want to order a soup, one or two orders would probably be sufficient.

      1. re: Miss Needle

        Yeah, I was counting a spring roll that is cut into pieces as multiple pieces, since they're usually served that way (or you can ask the kitchen to cut them). If you're ordering stuff on skewers you can also ask the kitchen to cut or break them in half before serving.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Got it. Funny -- I don't think I've had spring rolls served halved. Maybe it's more of a West coast thing?

          And to the OP -- I would probably get a variety of dishes -- seafood, chicken, pork, cold/hot. In my experience, I find that most people tends to like spring rolls (fried), grilled pork chops, lemongrass chicken/shrimp, vermicelli and curry. And I don't think that pho is the easiest dish to share.

    2. I think this is a great opportunity to ask the chef or owner to put together a meal for the table that ranges far and wide. Calculate about what you'd pay for 14 people a la carte and discuss it with the restaurant. I've eaten this way with large groups in Vietnam and in the US and generally found the restauranteurs pretty generous and imaginative.