Bun sa, cold vermicelli noodles with chicken cooked in lemongrass, with crispy lettuce, pickled vegetables, cucumber and mint were, on our last visit, somewhat lacking in flavour, and a little stingier on the chicken than usual. I have my suspicions that portion sizes are being sacrificed a little here to keep the costs so low. The noodles come with a side bowl of nuoc cham (fish sauce, zingy lime juice, garlic, chilli, sugar), essential for pouring over the mix.
Most people come for the pho, the comforting, spicy, noodley broth, which is slurped up hungrily, even as plates of starters and drinks arrive at their tables, apparently out of sinc. No one seems to mind. Extra fresh chilli and other bits are provided on request.
A personal favourite is the beef salad - slithers of beef with chilli, onion, lime, Vietnamese basil and smashed nuts. It's full of flavour, although the portion on my visit last week is (again) smaller than I remembered it.
Corkage is apparently charged on wine (about £3) but the bottle opener for our beers was unceremoniously plonked on our table last week and we drank without charge. This is one cheap night out. Starters are often around £2-4, and the average price for larger dishes is around £6-8.
Service is sometimes erratic, but never bad on my visits (I'm not expecting Michelin star service here), and the young guy who coordinates it all is smiling and helpful. He doesn't miss much when it comes to pointing out who needs what and when.
Viet's popularity means there are often queues on Friday and Saturday nights (some resort to cracking open their beers in the line), and you can't reserve ahead. So get there early, and tuck in.
Viet, 35 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 5DJ (Tel: 020 7494 9888). No website.