Xiao Susu

  • Restaurants
  • Asian
  • Vietnamese
1 Jianguomenwai Dajie

For somewhere that claims to be pretty close to Vietnam, Beijing struggles to cook its food. Thankfully there’s Susu, which has been head and shoulders clear of a pretty underwhelming pack of Vietnamese restaurants for five years now. The original siheyuan location continues to churn out dependable renditions of Southeast Asia’s greatest culinary hits in an atmosphere that belies its generous price point.


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Like the rest of present-day Beijing, Susu’s offshoot, Xiao Susu, is located in China World Mall. What the digs lack in hutong charm they make up for with tastefully modern decor, with a fantastic L-shaped bar – a pleasure to perch at – dominating a buzzing, east-facing room.


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A saunter through Xiao Susu’s menu yields a great many options: our pork and prawn cold rolls are delightfully fresh, our lemongrass chicken a more complex and substantial win, but we’re here for two things: pho and banh mi.


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The shimmering baguette of our classic meatball banh mi is a sight for sore eyes, a liberal outer glaze offering a chewy textural counterpoint to the softness of the mince. This thing is gorgeous, and while the leanness of the meat and little in the way of paté make for an uncharacteristically dry sandwich, the bread alone is enough to make us moan.


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Our pho arrives with the flair for presentation Susu is known for. The broth, cleaner than that of its competitors, smacks of trademark anise and slow-boiled beast and is perhaps the best in the city. Meat quality is good, rice noodles perfect and the rest blissful history.


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Xiao Susu works at both lunch and dinner, but beware: our midday visit featured a queue several parties long. A testament to a great new option in a location full of hungry office workers.

By Frank Sweet

Venue name: Xiao Susu
Contact:
Opening hours: 11.30am - 10pm (daily)
Email: guomaosusu@163.com
English address: 5 China World Mall 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie Chaoyang district
Chinese address: 北京市朝阳区国贸商城三期北座五层5014

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