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“Great food but no so great service”
Review of Thanh Binh

Thanh Binh
Ranked #223 of 748 Restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$40
Cuisines: Chinese, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed 29 December 2013

I ate at Thanh Binh on the 21st December with 4 friends. We pre-booked thinking it would be a busy saturday night but on arrival we were the only ones in the eatery….never a great sign in my experience. Its a bring your own booze place which I like as it keeps costs down and you drink exactly what you want.

Service was prompt if lacking any real pleasantries and despite literally being the only ones in the restaurant, our admittedly boistrous (but not offensive, rude, noisy - I mean giggles and laughter) seemed to be too much for the lady behind the bar who proceeded to shhh us!

All of the staff seemed to be less than excited that we were there (perhaps they don't like all male groups?) and were very business like. Hardly acting as warm hosts.

The food was limited menu wise but we all agreed it was excellent and very flavourful…perhaps the chefs should serve it themselves as based on the effort that clearly went into the food, they would have been a welcome change from the waiting team!

All in all, good food, naff atmosphere and bordering on frosty demeanor from staff. I won't rush back - a shame as based on the food, it could be a gem. That said, if eating in libraries (silence) is your thing, this could be the perfect place. Seeking atmosphere and service as well as good food, go elsewhere.

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Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 December 2013

We were looking for a good Vietnamese food and thought we should try this place. It is overall average in every way - which is not bad. Decor is nice, service was good and the food as well. Just not outstanding. It was a bit salty for our taste, but fine otherwise.

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Thank foodie_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2013

this place seems like a nice, quiet restaurant with a relatively small menu, which is usually a good sign. you can bring your own alcohol and there is a very small corkage charge.

We ordered starters of rice pancakes filled with seafood and beansprouts and crispy pork and prawn spring rolls. They were nice, but not amazing. the pancake was really thick and slightly rubbery. the spring rolls were okay, but nothing really memorable.

for the mains we had braised beef with rice and 'giant prawns' on sugar cane sticks. the bee had been microwaved to about a million degrees, it tasted of burnt sugar and was ridiculously hot- temperature wise.
The prawn dish was tiny for a main, it would have been better as a starter and for over £12 it was not value for money.
We were still hungry after the starter and main so decided to try pudding. My partner had a nice enough ginger ice-cream...it would have been nice served with something. I had a red bean pudding-which had the texture and flavour of baked beans served with cream-coconut. odd and not entirely pleasant.
as soon as we left my partner began to feel unwell and spent the evening with a really upset stomach.
another average Cambridge eatery and the third place we have eaten that has given us upset stomachs.

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1  Thank ondinel78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

Came here with hubby and a friend. We really enjoyed our starters of spring rolls and pancakes, which were very light and flavoursome. However, it all went downhill after that. Main course was adequate but not filling so I decided to go for dessert. The young waitress gave us all a dessert menu. After spending several minutes discussing with her what the desserts were and then selecting the oriental sponge cake she told us that they only had tapioca cake that evening. Why waste our time?! The tapioca cake did not sound as enticing as the sponge cake so my fellow diners decided not to have dessert, but I felt adventurous and went for it. I regretted it as soon as I put the 1st mouthful in my mouth. The texture was like congealed wallpaper paste that was cloying to the palate. There were hot spots in the cake indicating that the chef un- lovingly shoved the cake in the microwave. Worse dessert ever and at £4 a go not worth the money. It did spoil the evening. Should have complained but didn't. Just won't go again.

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Thank DRMR119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

My wife and I booked a table on-line at this restaurant on 11/11/13, for 8.30 pm. This is a BYO so we had brought our own wine for which there is a corkage charge of £1.20 per person. The food was very nice, though not the largest portions I have ever had. Nevertheless we were satisfied with the food, a little expensive but you can see the menu on the web-site so fair enough.
We ordered 10-15 minutes after arriving (8.45), our starters were brought 5 - 10 mins later. Our mains were also brought fairly promptly and were fine. Unfortunately there was only one other table occupied and the staff were trying to hurry us out. I reckon we got our mains at about 9. 15 or so but by 9.30 after a "closed" sign had been put on the door, the waitress was hovering over our table, brought our bill before we had finished and told us we would have to be gone by 10 o clock.
We had to finish our food, and drinks (for which a corkage charge had been made) and leave with no time to relax and settle down. It was raining heavily and we had to walk back to our hotel 20 mins away within minutes of our plates being taken. We are both in our 60s and this is the first time I have ever insisted that the 10% service charge be removed from our bill. We were made to feel unwelcome.The 10 pm closing time here means you must be out the door whether ready or not because the door will be locked at the latest then and earlier if you can be ushered out.

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2  Thank chrisngail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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