Viet Village serves Vietnamese cuisine and has been open almost 2 months. The restaurant occupies a former Pizza Hut location in South Fort Myers. Viet Village is owned by seasoned Vietnamese restaurateurs running successful Asian restaurants in St. Paul, MN worthy of International Critical Acclaim.
I had read very good things about Viet Village, so my dining companion and I, decided to have a taste.
The restaurant does not have a readily accessible menu on line. As such, here are the offerings from a paper menu they give patrons:
Although the outside of the building still maintains it’s old Pizza Hut facade, the owners have done a very nice job customizing the interior dining space. We arrived early and it was nice having a run of the restaurant. This was not the case later in the evening.
The menu definitely caught our attention. The first item ordered was the green papaya salad, Goi Du Du Kho Bo. The base of the salad is julienned green papaya with Thai basil. The dressing is traditionally made from sweetened soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and chili paste. Again, traditionally, this dish uses beef jerky but Viet Village tops their salad with beef garnished with peanuts. This salad was beyond the pale delicious and most highly recommended.
We then tried another menu starter, fried fish balls, Ca Vien Chen, which is classic Vietnamese street food. Seasoned with hoisin sauce, this was a very unusual dish, but good. At first bite, the texture was like tofu, yielding to a mild seafood flavor. I still don’t know quite what to think of it. If nothing else, a cultural experience.
We had read good things about the tamarind prawns, Tom Rang Me. This was good, though the owner told us she added pineapple, as well as other fruits to make the sweet (fruit) and sour (tamarind) components of this dish. The prawns were monstrously large, and were a bit difficult to navigate. I usually like to munch on shrimp tails as they are edible protein as explained to me a number of years ago by a coworker from Taiwan, where this is done routinely. This was not possible due to the size of the prawns in this dish. This was a minor complaint; I thought this dish very well flavored and delicious.
We finished with the Viet Village’s “signature dish”, Com Tay Cam Thap.
This was really really good, offering many textures and flavors. The rice in this dish was cooked to perfection being crispy around the perimeter due to direct contact with the clay pot and more fluffy towards the interior. This signature clay pot of Viet Village incorporates chicken, pork, shrimp, bamboo slivers, onions and cilantro. Traditionally, this Vietnamese entree is flavored with soy sauce, fish sauce, Chinese mushrooms and Chinese Sausage, colloquially known as Chinese chorizo. I believe the sausage was of the sweet, Cantonese variety. As a flavoring agent, it added a unique and quite delicious flavor to this multilayered complex dish. This was an excellent menu item and highly recommended.
My dining companion and I thought the food at Viet Village to be really good and deserving of a return visit. If you haven’t been, I recommend you go. From the menu selections sampled, Viet Village will not disappoint.
That’s that for another post on Forks.
16751 S. Tamiami Trail
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Viet Village Facebook Page