Woking’s only place with zero hygiene rating is hidden delight

Not many people would go out of their way to visit a restaurant with a poor food hygiene rating, but either feeling brave or stupid that is what I decided to do earlier this week in Woking. My choice on a Monday lunchtime was Bep Viet, a Vietnamese eatery located on Market Walk close to the Victoria Place Shopping Centre. I arrived with an understandable amount of apprehension.

On April 21 this year, it received a zero food hygiene rating from Woking Borough Council with all four categories judged, including handling of food, condition of facilities and management of food safety, needing "major improvement necessary". Knowing this information was not exactly the best start to my lunch break but as a Vietnamese food fan I had a certain amount of curiosity, too. I arrived at their truck and browsed their menu which included an inviting array of traditional soups, salads and curries, but it was the sandwiches which caught my eye.

READ MORE:I tried Guildford Starbucks with poor food hygiene rating and the drink made me wish for an early grave I chose a lemongrass beef and crispy shallots baguette which with a Fanta cost a respectable GBP8.50. I was then shown to a row of benches opposite the restaurant and was surprised that the staff brought the food to my table rather than making me pick it up.

With a feeling of trepidation, I dug in. To my surprise, it was a very enjoyable meal. The beef was succulent and cooked perfectly while the crispy onion added a much-needed crunch alongside the cabbage, coriander and carrots all stuffed into the white bread.

Vietnamese sandwich reviewI visited the kiosk on Monday lunchtime

Suddenly I wasn't thinking about the food hygiene rating but rather the unique, but tasty, mix of Vietnamese flavours in a traditionally western casing.

My only criticism would be the marinade from the beef leaking out the bottom of the sandwich, but the flavours were spot on. Looking at the food truck it seemed like the staff may have learnt their lesson as when I took a sneaky look into their kitchen it appeared clean and well ordered. I couldn't see what the inside of their fridges or freezer looked like but it gave me the confidence I wouldn't receive any health problems as a result of eating their food.

Plenty of people appear to agree, which is described on its website as a family-run establishment with staff having 20 years of experience in a number of Vietnamese and London restaurants, gaining an average of 4.7 stars on Google reviews. I can't say I'm surprised and wouldn't have any hesitation in going back for another lunch at Bep Viet again. READ NEXT

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