We went for lunch on a Friday. It wasn’t packed or anything like that: we sat right away. Yet it took us an hour to have three appetizers. The wait time between the first appetizer and the second two appetizers was horrendous. Probably a half hour.
We started with the wok fried monk fish, called ca bam. Though very salty, small, and overpriced ($15) it WAS very tasty. The rice chips were the perfect crunchy vessel to eat the peanutty and lightly spiced fish.
Fast forward 30 minutes and our soups FINALLY came to the table. We each ordered the signature pho dish. At $19 a pop I was expecting something at least as filling as a bowl of pho from Chinatown. No such luck. There was about 10-12oz of liquid broth, a few thin slices of the meat, a small handful of noodles, and a small piece of fois gras. The bowl, in all, is a bit smaller than what you’d make with instant ramen or instant pho. While I realize that it is an appetizer portion, I feel that for $19 you should get more substance. At least it was delicious. It was hearty, tasty, and it contained quality ingredients. The foie gras was deliciously fatty and perfectly executed.
The decor was definitely beautiful. I should have thought to snap a pic of that. It was very reminiscent of real French-Vietnamese structures in Vietnam. Hence the name Le Colonial.
But paying $68, tax included for three appetizers to come out over the course of over an hour was fucking absurd. I’ll never eat here again, though I’m glad I got to try the soup. In the future I’ll just stick with the Chinatown pho joints. Only in midtown NYC can you pay $68 for lunch and still be hungry. Fuck that. I guess the good thing is that I got to spend some quality time with my wife in the middle of a work day.
149 E. 57th St.
New York, NY 10022