Kevin Street Lower, Dublin
★ ★ ★ ★
Pang is a Vietnamese-inspired casual eatery which specialises in rice-paper rolls. They also offer traditional and modern interpretations of Vietnamese dishes, with options suitable for all tastes and diets (yes, even the vegans of the world).
Tucked away on Kevin Street Lower, it’s not somewhere you would venture to unless you intentionally wanted to go there. This is unfortunate, as the food is superb. In my experience, Vietnamese places in Dublin are limited to begin with, and decently-priced good ones even more so. Pang manages to meet all these criteria and then some. The owner is usually the one who greets and serves you, immediately setting a jovial mood. It’s small, bright and modern, in a colour scheme you’ll seldom find in Dublin. They pride themselves in using the freshest Irish produce, which shines through in their menu.
My first outing there consisted of sampling the rice-paper rolls. These were an interesting find, giving an initial burst of freshness and leaving the palate desiring more. It’s a nice, healthy alternative to a chicken fillet roll and leaves you feeling good about your choice. For lunch, two or three will fill you up.
On my second trek there, I went for a bowl of pho. For those not familiar with the dish, think warm, wholesome broth with meat and veg thrown in. The pho will set you back €9, and is a great option for a cold day. However, I found it to be lacking the depth and heartiness of flavours which the broth in pho is renowned for. I later learned that they use a vegan broth, as opposed to using chicken and beef bones, which explains it. That said, I’d have no hesitation going back and ordering one, especially given the low price-tag. I can’t say I’ve had many phos in Dublin, or anywhere else for that matter, but this is certainly better than the average one you would find in Ireland.
Cheap, tasty, healthy and served quickly and with passion; this Vietnamese spot certainly gives you Pang for your buck….
Alex Lohier – Deputy Editor