Review of 'MOC Kitchen'

In the Embankment area for a show we were looking for somewhere to eat. Earlier I had passed by “MOC Kitchen” when walking through an archway under Charing Cross train station. The smell coming from inside was so appealing it seemed like a good place to try for dinner. It was an excellent choice.

The MOC restaurant is quite tiny probably seating between 20 and 30 people though still has a toilet. The comfortable and quite contemporary interior is lined with pictures from Vietnam and low-hanging pendent lights. The staff, though quite busy dealing with diners as well as the continuously flow of delivery drivers coming and coming, are friendly and very welcoming. According to a write-up on the wall “MOC” is Vietnamese for fresh and healthy food.

Though the standard menu looked quite good with salads, soups (including Pho), spring rolls, savoury pancakes, rice noodles and other larger cooked dishes. We ended up ordering from the “Pre-Theatre Menu” (£18.90 for 2 courses, £21.90 for 3 courses) which narrowed the choices a bit for us and had what we were interested in ordering.

I started with “Chef's Speciality Salt & Pepper” squid (it comes in aubergine as well) which was, thankfully, perfectly cooked with the squid not at all chewy - crunchy coating with tender flesh and nicely seasoned - served with sliced peppers. Delicious.


My companion started with the veggie “Crispy Fried Spring Rolls” (it comes in pork also) which she found very tasty indeed with a delicious, though spicy, dipping sauce.

Vegetable Spring Rolls

For her main she had the “Grilled Cha Ca Fish” (monkfish) served with noodles, chopped peanuts and daikon (raddish). Served on a sizzling griddle brought to the table this tended to overcook the vegetables that come with the dish. It was quite good but with no outstanding flavours.

Grilled "Cha Cha" Fish

For my main I went for the quintessential Vietnamese soup: Pho with beef (available also with chicken or tofu). The light herb stock was fortified with lots of rice noodles and plenty of slices of beef. Fresh mint, peppers and basil served on the side added a lovely freshness to the dish. As with the fish, this was quite good but very bland though an occasional kick from the sliced peppers…

Beef Pho

Despite being busy the restaurant was quite quiet and did not feel crowded. All very relaxed in the heart of the madness of Embankment. A service charge was added to the bill which came to £49.84 including (non-alcoholic) drinks which is reasonable for the area.

A great place for some good, reasonably priced food in quiet surroundings with friendly and helpful staff.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2018-04-21

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Address: Unit 2,9,10 The Arches, Villiers Street London, UK WC2N 6NG

Public Transport: TUBE Embankment

Location: London (England) - Covent Garden



Show in Google Maps  Get Directions

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7839 1420 or +44 (0) 20 7930 8789