Almost opposite Hedone is this Vietnamese restaurant, directly on the high road. The dining room is quite smart, with wooden floor and prints decorating the walls. Its menu is something of a tome, page after page of Vietnamese dishes, and takes some time to digest.
Summer rolls contained shredded vegetables (mainly carrots and cabbage) and were served with a peanut sauce. The rice paper rolls could have had better texture and for me a bit of spice would have been useful, though I could at least taste the Thai basil (11/20). Better was the prawn salad, which is distinctly reminiscent of a Thai som tam salad: shredded vegetables in a chilli dressing with a few prawns. The dressing had a pleasant spicy bite to it, the shredded onions, carrots etc quite crisp (12/20).
Sizzling prawns were rather disappointing, the shellfish overcooked, as were the vegetables (broccoli, carrot) with it (10/20). Choi sum was less good than the last time I tried it here, cooked with garlic but rather lacking in flavour (11/20). I did enjoy some noodles that you mix yourself at the table with fried prawns, shredded vegetables, onions and a separate plate of fried prawns; the texture of the noodles was good (12/20).
Service was friendly, and the bill came to £31 a head, with beer to drink. Four months after opening, Caphe Guests was rather quiet on this summery Tuesday evening, which I suspect is much to do with the location, at the less smart end of Chiswick towards Gunnersbury rather than at the bustling end near Turnham Green tube station. There is a reason why the rents are much lower just half a mile east of here. The food at Caphe Guests is nothing remarkable, and tonight was less consistent than my previous visit, but it is a pleasant enough local place and the people running it seem nice, so I hope they start to prosper in due course.
Further reviews: 03rd Feb 2015
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