HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >

Vietnam Bistro in Howell, NJ

wench31 May 26, 2012 07:20 AM

We were driving to White Castle for breakfast and saw that a new Vietnamese restaurant is coming soon. It's in the same strip mall as Ritas Ice Cream and White Castle . The possibilities !

2221 Route 9 N
Howell , NJ

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Tapas52 RE: wench31 May 28, 2012 05:08 AM

    thanx for the info are you saying its in the old Howell flea market space on rt 9?..or?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Tapas52
      wench31 RE: Tapas52 May 28, 2012 09:52 AM

      It's in the same strip mall as White Castle . Don't know of any flea market .

      1. re: Tapas52
        doggiedoc RE: Tapas52 May 28, 2012 05:38 PM

        It's on the northbound side, just before Home Depot. I think there's a Christian coffee house there also...?

        1. re: doggiedoc
          MarlboroMan RE: doggiedoc May 28, 2012 09:08 PM

          I believe the Christian coffee house went out of business, but I'm familiar with that strip mall. Will be nice to have another place for pho!

          1. re: MarlboroMan
            Tapas52 RE: MarlboroMan Jul 3, 2012 06:58 AM

            Big sign is up now anyone been there or online menu?

            1. re: Tapas52
              wench31 RE: Tapas52 Jul 3, 2012 03:40 PM

              Is it open already ? I drove by a couple of days ago. But it was still covered in paper.

      2. wench31 RE: wench31 Aug 1, 2012 02:30 PM

        Just stopped by there today because I saw that the papers covering the store was down. Spoke with the owner. A very friendly guy. They are aiming to open next week. I picked up a menu. It's my first time using the scanner. Hoping it comes through:

        1 Reply
        1. re: wench31
          smith19999 RE: wench31 Aug 9, 2012 08:38 PM

          I stop by today pick up a menu. Spoke to owner is open on 8/11 can't wait to try some pho and pork chop with broken rice:

        2. CatLadyJan RE: wench31 Aug 11, 2012 09:23 AM

          NOW OPEN - so I went for lunch today and just finished a grilled pork banh mi sandwich, all I can say is very DELICIOUS. I'll be going back again soon to try dinner at this new restaurant. Met the owner Phil who is very friendly and accommodating. Go and check them out ...

          1 Reply
          1. re: CatLadyJan
            taste test RE: CatLadyJan Aug 11, 2012 02:33 PM

            Just came back...From the dinner entrees part of the menu, I had grilled pork with vermicelli. It was very good- an assemble your own type plate with grilled pork with fried shallots sprinkled on top, picked carrots and daikon, herbs (cilantro, asian basil, and a long thin leafed herb I couldn't identify), romaine, cucumber slices, some of those super fine rice noodles pressed into flat little sheets, and dipping sauce. I really enjoyed it.

            My husband had a lunch Bun bowl with grilled pork and "egg roll". He said it was good but not too exciting. I thought my meal looked and tasted more interesting even though they were similar ingredients.

            My only gripe was the "peanut sauce" served with the summer rolls. It was more like a tamarind sauce with a few peanuts sprinkled on top.

            I will go back and try more items. The food was good, the place clean and people friendly. It's not knock your socks off but I like it better than Pho Le in Red Bank. Too bad it's a much farther drive for me.

          2. d
            doggiedoc RE: wench31 Aug 12, 2012 12:17 PM

            Just stopped in to grab a menu. Not only were some pretty wonderful smells eminating (which auto-correct kept trying to turn into "emu bathing"!) from the kitchen, but there were at least half a dozen Asian families dining there...at 3 pm on a Sunday. Can't wait to try it!

            2 Replies
            1. re: doggiedoc
              drongo RE: doggiedoc Aug 12, 2012 03:01 PM

              Emanating is what it was looking for... but emu bathing sounds even better.

              There's an emu farm (ranch?) down the street from me... I keep wondering where I can get some.

              1. re: drongo
                doggiedoc RE: drongo Aug 12, 2012 03:59 PM

                Much to mom's dismay, I was always out in the first round of the spelling bee. Although I also suspect Steve Jobs had a penchant for emus as whenever I type "enucleation", my iPhone turns it into "emu elation". Things that make you go hmmmm...

            2. wench31 RE: wench31 Aug 13, 2012 02:45 PM

              We went here for lunch today and ordered the Broken Rice with shredded pork, steamed pork cake and BBQ pork chop and fried egg (C6) and Rice Vermicelli with Vietnamese Egg Rolls (B1). My daughter loved her Broken Rice dish. The steamed pork cake was her favorite. The rice vermicelli was delicious! Service was friendly. Looking forward to trying more from the menu!

              1. n
                Np2012 RE: wench31 Aug 26, 2012 06:01 PM

                First time at Vietnam Bistro for lunch. Did not disapppoint! Seafood curry wa excellent. Short ribs with excellent balance of flavors. Generous servings. Clean, friendly, uncluterred atmosphere. So much more to try. Will definitely be back for more and more and more.!

                1. equal_Mark RE: wench31 Sep 9, 2012 07:33 PM

                  Went here this afternoon with Tapas52. Have to say that everything said about the service and the folks running the establishment is on the money. There were several tables occupied when I arrived that were Asian who commented on how much they enjoyed the place and acknowledged our requesting the house made hotsauce.

                  I have to admit that the only other Vietnamese place I can compare VB to is Pho Le (The former Saigon II) in Red Bank. For the appetizer course I still prefer Pho Le.

                  The first comparison is the Vietnamese Egg Rolls that are the first appetizer selection at both places. VB offers 2 crispy eggrolls with some pickled daikon and other veggies and a single lettuce leaf. PL offers 6 eggrolls with a whole plate of romaine lettuce leaves as well as a tray of condiments and sprigs of mint and cilantro to add to the wraps. The PL dish costs twice as much but seems to offer way more even when shared. The other app we shared was a summer roll with shredded pork and noodles. Could have used more seasoning but a squirt of the house hotsauce helped.

                  The Entrees and other offerings are another matter. It will take a few more visits to compare but I have to say that that VB has a lot to offer. I had the Short Rib special which was the flanken cut often used in Asian restaurants served with rice and a small side salad of iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Could have used a steak knife on the short ribs, but they were tasty. Tapas had the spicy chicken sauteed with onions, lemongrass and curry. Mmm... tasty!

                  All in all is a promising place. The owners have an obvious interest in good service and in showcasing what they have to offer. A little tweaking on the seasoning (OK I admit to liking it spicy) and Vietnamese Bistro shows real promise.

                  Menu: http://www.exit109.com/~mstevens/Take...

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: equal_Mark
                    Tapas52 RE: equal_Mark Sep 10, 2012 07:23 AM

                    There is not much I can add to what Mark said...I would return to VB to try more entrees...good food..good friends..good time!

                    Let's Eat!!

                    1. re: equal_Mark
                      CatLadyJan RE: equal_Mark Sep 10, 2012 04:50 PM

                      You know in all honesty my opinion is that Vietnam Bistro was stingy with the portion sizes and seemed inconsistent with dishes (i.e. menu said one thing and actual food was something else) I was not impressed...........

                      1. re: CatLadyJan
                        gumpycat RE: CatLadyJan Sep 19, 2012 03:05 PM

                        I agree that the portion sizes were not the typical large sizes one gets in other restaurants, but I found that the freshness of the food more than made up for the smaller portion size. I had one of the specials which was pork with rice noodle sheet. 1/2 the plate was the pork and noodle and 1/2 was a mixture of greens, soybeans and pickled carrot/daikon. The taste of the pork was excellent and the meat was tender. A coconut drink was fresh and had an exquisite flavor. I also ordered the chicken wings which was around $10.00 and consisted of maybe seven pieces of chicken on a bed of greens, onions and tomatoes. The wings were in a sweet sauce. Again, the flavors were just great. In sum, fresh tasty food, but don't expect "American" size meals.

                        1. re: gumpycat
                          CatLadyJan RE: gumpycat Sep 20, 2012 10:07 AM

                          If I am paying "American" prices, I want "American" size meals.....we left there hungry and disappointed. Again, menu said one thing, i.e. "served over a bed of watercress" and we were served run of the mill "lettuce". Not given rice with the meal and we thought the dish did not come with rice, until we saw the next table ordered the same thing and got rice, even got extra rice because they complained about their dish not being right. We just got the feeling this was not just being "new" and ironing out the kinks, but deceptive. We will not go back.

                          1. re: CatLadyJan
                            Strangewine RE: CatLadyJan Nov 26, 2013 07:59 AM

                            There's always the Sizzler where you can get "American" size meals all day long.

                          2. re: gumpycat
                            MGZ RE: gumpycat Sep 20, 2012 10:28 AM

                            I agree with you, grumpycat, I thought the food was both "fresh" and "tasty". Moreover, we had no problems with cost, portion size, or any misleading menu descriptions. The rolls and Sauteed Squid with Lemongrass were particularly enjoyable. After only a single visit, I don't feel quite prepared to offer too detailed a consideration of the place, but my wife and I both would like to go back (we are just so rarely in Howell, it may be a while).

                            1. re: MGZ
                              CatLadyJan RE: MGZ Sep 20, 2012 03:41 PM

                              Again, that's your opinion; I respect that, but I am not rushing back any time soon.

                      2. e
                        esjro RE: wench31 Sep 20, 2012 07:25 PM

                        I went there for lunch on Friday since I was working in the area. Got there early (just after 11), so I was the only one there for a while. The owner was really friendly and made a point of introducing himself and asking how I felt their food compared to other Vietnamese restaurants.

                        The fresh spring rolls were good, and served with picked carrots and daikon. I got the pho with meatballs. I wish that the amount of noodles would have been larger, but the amount of meatballs was generous and the broth was quite tasty. I will go there again - I want to try the shredded pork, pork chop, pork patty, and fried egg platter...... nom, nom!

                        1. y
                          yCf RE: wench31 Dec 2, 2013 06:21 AM

                          Went here last night. I think it was my third time here.
                          It was very enjoyable as usual.
                          Ordered their chicken wing appetizer. It was deep fried panko crusted and come with a mayo/sriraccha mix dip. Liked it a lot.
                          Also tried a grill vermicelli with beef dish (D4). It's probably one of my favorite Vietnamese dish.
                          The 2 bowls of Pho were good usual.

                          Give this place a try if you are in the mood for Vietnamese.

                          1. t
                            TNCrumpets RE: wench31 Jul 18, 2014 07:23 AM

                            Vietnam Bistro now delivers! We've had their Pho and Bun delivered twice now, and it was great. The pho comes with the broth separate from the noodles and garnishes, which is the way it should be. I'm still meh on the appetizer quantity vs. price, but we're sold on the entrees.

                            Bonus is you can order online!


                            1. j
                              jsfein RE: wench31 Jul 18, 2014 11:07 AM

                              The renewal of this thread reminded me that I have been meaning to give this place a try. Finally made it today with my son. Enjoyed a lunch of summer rolls, vietnamese egg rolls, and a couple of Banh Mi sandwiches (pork and beef). It was all good. Will return to check out more of the menu. We were the only customers for the hour we spent for lunch. Hope they are making it.

                              Show Hidden Posts