Le’s Authentic Vietnamese Restaurant, Allston, MA on Mother’s Day

 

Les seafood pot

The men today treated me to a fantastic lunch at one of Boston’s hole in the wall places that serves authentic Vietnamese food (that’s what their Menu says) that includes a to-die-for fire-pot.

good stuff in fire pot

We have been there quite a few times in the past, and its seafood fire-pot keeps dragging us back. The interior of the restaurant is quite shabby though, so if you are looking for high-end dinner experience, this is not a place. But if you have hungry kids who tend to plow through good food, this is the right place. Which automatically made it the perfect place for the Mother’s Day outing.

Kids n me

 

There is plenty of light inside the restaurant that makes it look nice and airy. Today we were seated immediately. Normally, this place is packed to the brim. Today surprisingly was almost empty.

We started with fruit ‘bobas’ – a fruit slush with large tapioca orbs. The Bobas we ordered were delivered right away. The flavors were not as refreshing as I expected, kind of tasted something that came out of cans, but not really that bad. The leechi slush didn’t have the ‘bobas’ but the our server delivered a small bowl when we pointed it out.

 

Mango Boba

Fresh fruit slush with boba $3.50

 

The leechi slush that arrived without the bobas but tasted quite nice.

 

leechi

 

For appetizers we went with wanton soup and grilled meat summer rolls. The wontons were flavorful and the meat cooked perfectly. However, the soup had too many lettuce leaves floating in it, and overpowered the broth. It can do with a bit more onions and a lot less of the lettuce.

 

wanton soup

WONTON SOUP SM/LG – 4.25/6.50

The summer rolls were soft, fresh and delicious, each bite full of shredded lettuce, mint and rice vermicelli with a sliced grilled piece of por  rolled in softened rice paper that came together wonderfully. It came with sweet and salty peanut sauce that was a perfect accompaniment.

 

summer spring rolls

GRILLED MEAT SUMMER ROLLS (Goi Cuon Thit Nuong) – $4.75

 

The spicy shrimps were disappointing, as we expected something that was a bit dry, and definitely with a bit of heat. The shrimps were quite bland, and needed more seasoning. I think we should have ordered the salted shrimps calamari style, and I plan to try that next time.

spicy shrimps

SPICY SALTED SHRIMP (Tom Ram Man) – $10.95

The plate looked very pretty, the shrimps were large and after Mr L8H mixed the in-house BBQ sauce with sriracha, and the shrimps disappeared quite fast.

special BBQ sauce

 

Mr L8H ordered went for curry chicken. We shared a few bites. It was rich, full bodied, comforting and flavorful.

 

curry chicken

Curry chicken (Ga Xao Ca Ry) $10.50

This is one of his all time favorite. He is not a big seafood fan, so he normally goes for this dish that has sliced chicken breast sautéed with yellow curry, red bell peppers, onions, summer squash, zucchini, green beans, snow peas and roasted peanuts.

curry chicken with rice

And of course, the seafood fire-pot: This is a traditional Vietnamese fare which involves a bit of cooking right at the table. High end restaurants have tables that have built in fire stoves. Le’s however provides a separate stove, a large pot full of broth, a vermicelli (thin rice noodles) and vegetable platter and raw seafood or meat, whatever you prefer.

The firepot collage

Seafood fire pot 29.95 (seasonal pricing)

 

The broth is already hot. Once the stove is on, you need to drop the raw seafood/meat in there and wait the stipulated time for them to cook. Add the vegetables that you like.

the fire pot

The fire pot cooking – good for 2 adults

Take out the servings in small bowl, add the vermicelli and go at it.

bowl full of seafood

Seafood firepot bowl

 

Our server was attentive, but fumbled. Delivered beef for fire pot the first time around and we had to wait for quite sometime before our seafood platter was delivered. Considering that it needs to be cooked on the table that takes at least 6 minutes, the delay can add up. Brought a glass of leechi slush without the boba. The soup bowls came without spoons, the firepot without the serving spoon. And this is on a day when the restaurant was close to empty. The service could definitely use a bit more efficiency. My husband made out a ten percent tip instead of the regular 20%, but the server pointed it out and asked for 15%. Well, I always thought tips reflected the service offered. It was Mother’s Day, and my husband didn’t want to make a fuss.

Menu

Overall, it was a good experience, and small hiccups aside, a great Mother’s Day lunch. The portions size are great, the prices are on the lower side and the service is quick. It is close to most of the large organizations in the area which makes it ideal for quick lunch breaks from work.

So tell me dear reader, does your tip reflect your satisfaction with the serving staff or do you tip irrespective?

Le’s Restaurant

137 Brighton Ave
AllstonMA 02134
b/t Linden St & Harvard Ave in Allston/Brighton
(617) 783-2340

(They also have two more locations – Dorchester, MA and Cambridge, MA)

9 comments for “Le’s Authentic Vietnamese Restaurant, Allston, MA on Mother’s Day

  1. May 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    looks so yum, hope you had wonderful day cause mother nature gave us wonderful day too.
    Linsy recently posted..Sriracha Eggplant and TofuMy Profile

  2. May 12, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    I love Vietnamese cuisine – it’s so fresh and full of flavour. I love the photo of you with your two handsome boys. What a shame about the service. And 20% tip? That never happens here but our minimum wage is so much higher than yours. Here you only tip if you want to. We always leave a tip and we were once waiters and I know how much you love it if someone leaves you something. But I was never as useless as your waiter! Glad you had a lovely Mother’s Day xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Mother’s Day 2014My Profile

  3. May 13, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    My tip definitely reflects satisfaction although we don’t usually go over 10% or so in Australia because they get paid a good wage (not like the US). Happy Mothers Day Minnie!
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..PAZAR Food Collective, CanterburyMy Profile

  4. May 13, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    I’m glad you had a nice Mother’s Day…the weather in New England was wonderful. I think the amount of the tip definitely depends on the service.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..Almondine or AmandineMy Profile

  5. May 14, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    This sounds like an ideal mothers day, delicious restaurant choice – I LOVE vietnamese food so it is even better :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Guest Post: The Dough CollectiveMy Profile

  6. May 14, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    I love a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant! Food sounds pretty good, although the service not so much. I usually tip 20% unless the service is exceptionally poor. And the service didn’t really sound that good. Too bad about that, but you had terrific company, and it sounds like a wonderful time.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Asparagus and Spinach SaladMy Profile

  7. May 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    I tip here in Australia but only if the service is good. I don’t believe in encouraging mediocrity. I’m not sure I’d have been happy at that restaurant. So much not attended to properly. I do love Vietnamese food.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Mother’s Day the IGA WayMy Profile

  8. May 16, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    I love Vietnamese food and I can eat it everyday if I could. Love how they use fresh veggies a lot in their cooking, along with herbs. Always light and flavorful. I think I need to go eat at my favorite place tomorrow! :D Looks like you had a fantastic Mother’s Day… and cute picture with your kids! <3

  9. May 18, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    All the dishes look very tastyand yes, you ohotographed them so well! Looks like this is a great place to try Viernamese food!!

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