VIETNAM House Restaurant is quite possibly the most unassuming restaurant in Edinburgh. I quite literally drove past the front door.
On entering the small room that feels more like a living room, we squeezed into our table, of which there are only six. With just a £1 corkage fee we plucked our bottle of wine out of a bag and the owner, who is also the waitress, came over swiftly with glasses and a jug of water.
The menu is very succinct with just two starters, ten mains and no desserts, however, any dietary or other preferences are catered for as much as is possible. Although pictures on a menu are usually quite off-putting, in this instance they were nothing but helpful.
Sharing the Cha Gio and the Goi Cuon (both £6.50), the dishes were beautifully presented with individual dipping sauces. The Goi Cuan consisted of four fresh spring rolls filled with prawns and noodles. Teamed with a delicious peanut sauce, they were lovely and fresh, if a tad over-noodled. The fried meat spring rolls, Cha Gio, were interspersed with lemongrass and other fragrant herbs which teamed with a chilli garlic sauce tasted rather more healthy than they sound.
Recommended the Pho, a rice noodle soup, I chose the shredded chicken and my friend the beef (both £6.95). With a substantial side dish of bean sprouts, fresh mint, chopped chillies and wedges of lime, the soup itself looked big enough to share. The broth was thin but full of flavour and depth and the ratio of noodles to meat perfect. It turned out to be too much in one sitting.
With friendly service, healthy food and a laidback attitude we agreed it was one of the most enjoyable meals we had had in Edinburgh. No fuss or pomp and easy on the pocket.
• Vietnam House Restaurant, 3 Grove Street, 0131-228 3383, www.vietnamhousescotland.com