We just visited Vietnam in March, and having overdosed on the local food at the time, we since hadn't been too much in a mood for that cuisine. However, after a couple of months, the crave for exoticism finally got the upperhand, and the weather being nice, we visited the cute "Karate Chop", a tiny and airy Vietnamese restaurant with a nice little semi-terrasse.
After getting a seat in the small but charming shop, I ordered what seemed the most filling Buta To Tamago No Nitsuke Don (¥840) which I oversized (+¥100). I am not sure what the most appropriate translation would be but let me go with Simmered Pork Bowl with a soft boiled egg.
After about 10 to 15mn, the chef brought us with our orders, the aforementioned bowl and the Zenbu-Iri Curry (curry with bunch of ingredients) (¥1,200).
The simmered pork was quite fibrous but managed to be very juicy when chewed on. It tasted like it had been simmered in a mix of Shoyu and Vietnamese fish sauce Nuoc Mam but Mea Culpa if I'm wrong on this. It was a shame it was not soft enough though to be easily mixed with the rice as it would have made a nice mix.
The egg was nicely half-boiled, which I love, with a nice flavor to it. The juicy and sour thin-tripped pickles added a nice consistence and aroma to the whole.
My only problem was the rice: it's my fault I oversized the bowl, but I got really bored towards the end as it's an unseasoned rice and there clearly was too much of it. I had to add quite a lot of Nuoc Mam to finish the dish. I strongly recommend that you order the regular size of this dish.
The bowl also came with a very good milk pudding that really nicely melted in my mouth and a cup of slightly too light cold lotus tea.
My wife seemed to enjoy the more Thai-tasting Zenbu-Iri Curry but it seemed to me a little expensive for lunch, even with that paper peacock on top...
They also had bunch of other Vietnamese fares such as the baguette sandwhiches "Bahn Mi" or a variety of Pho, so I will definitely try it again to have a better idea of the place...
Karate Chop is open everyday from noon to 23:00pm.
Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-7-3
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