advertisement

Given its location, hidden away in a hutong to the east of the National Art Museum, just finding Susu brings a sense of satisfaction. Walk down West Alley No. 10 and turn the corner. There's no sign, but head through the red double doors at the end of the lane and inside you'll find an airy and stylish courtyard restaurant that offers up the most authentic Vietnamese food in Beijing. The food here is a testament to the skills of the head chef, who moved up from Ho Chi Minh City to helm a kitchen known for its light and fresh flavors. Spring rolls mix an assortment of fresh herbs with traditional pork and shrimp filling, wrapped in translucent rice paper. The signature DIY cha ca la vong is a highlight, with turmeric-seasoned yellow fish fillets cooked in dill over a burner, to be assembled with fresh noodles, crumbled rice crackers, and a piquant peanut sauce. Lunch sets are a particularly good deal, with options like a classic phở beef noodle soup or crepe-like bánh xèo. In summer and fall, be sure to snag a table outside under the shade of Susu's huge tree.