Alfresco Vietnamese: Transporting the casual bia hoi beer sipping tradition to Soho’s ever-evolving Peel Street, Chôm Chôm is pretty much always packed. Come the weekends, happy hour crowds spill out onto the streets and you’ll get lucky if you can snag a table, but the wait is usually worth it.
Look & Feel: With big open-air windows and easy access to sidewalk space, Chôm Chôm is not just a solid dinner option if you can snag a table but also a popular spot to throw back a few beers. Though the tables are really crammed in there, the tiny restaurant does its best to keep up with customers and there are a few extra seats at the bar that give off that busy street-dining vibe.
Meet the Chef: The Black Sheep Restaurant is undergoing a transition at the moment, after star chef Peter Cuong Franklin left to open Viet Kitchen in 2015.
On the Menu: Though you’ll find Hanoi street food-inspired dishes, don’t expect street food prices. The recipes, likewise, are classed up a notch with the likes of caramelized black cod, “shaking” beef tenderloin, and a true Hanoi staple: the turmeric-smothered Cha Ca white sole filet.
Jeng: We’re big fans of the aforementioned signatures, but no meal is complete at Chôm Chôm without an order of the VFC (Vietnamese Fried Chicken) wings: sweet, crispy and covered in garlic. And, naturally, we’re all over the Vietnamese beer menu, featuring the likes of Saigon Export and 333.
Not so Jeng: Almost every visit we leave feeling rushed and just kind of dismissed by the service staff. We realize they’re busy, but where’s the love?
Great for: Beer with friends, lively dinners.
FYI: There’s no banh mi on the menu… unless you get there in time for happy hour Wed-Sun from 4-6:30pm.
This writeup was based on an independent tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.