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Directions: at intersection with Âu CơPhone: unknown
172 Xuan Dieu, Tây Hồ, Hanoi
“A great new place for shopping in Hanoi. Ali and her team of girls are great in taking care of customers and helping them finding the most suitable dress, accessory or gift. Not to be missed! ”
Just before Christmas I noticed that all the tubs of cream and sour cream in the cold room at Veggy's had had their plastic lids removed. That is, the plastic lids which have the expiration date on them. I dug around until I found a couple of tubs which still had the lids - the expiration on both was the 16th of December.
I spoke to the manager, and she said she knew they were all out of date but they were so busy they had no time to remove them from the shelves. She said they would be removed later that day. No comment on why the lids had been taken off.
Fast-forward to now, and the dozens of tubs of cream are all still there, most with the lids (and therefore expiration date) removed, but you can still see the few tubs in the back with the 16/12/10 expiry.
I'm not going to shop again at a business that goes out of their way to deceive customers into buying dairy products more than three weeks past their expiration.
And I sure as hell would not be eating any cold cuts from this place if I were you.
I've reviewed Veggy's before, but having since moved into the area and frequented the place more often, my opinion of it has fallen to levels disdainful. A perfect encapsulation of the typical Veggy's service attitude can be seen in one or two experiences I had when the Argentinian steakhouse next door was being built, which necessitated fairly significant alterations to the Veggy's layout. For the first time ever I saw the American or Canadian owner of Veggy's actually at his shop, "coordinating" the refit. The place was a disaster zone. Nowhere to park your bike out front - building debris spread everywhere. No Veggy's staff trying to assist customers navigate the chaos. Boxes and junk stacked up everywhere. Confused customers wondering where they could leave their bikes and enter the shop which was also in disarray. I overheard the owner fretting to his PA about the effects of his neighbour's construction on his shop, but he himself was making absolutely no effort to minimise inconvenience to his customers (which should be the first priority). Can I help you? What are you looking for? Sorry about the mess, as you can see there are some changes in the works...no, nothing of the sort. He totally ignored me and the other customers. Didn't even look at us. And I haven't seen him since, so I guess it figures. I don't intend to spend another dong in this man's shop. He doesn't deserve my money.
But beyond that, you'd think with the refit, Veggy's might have added an extra till to do something about the painfully slow service, but alas, it continues. I suspect a major reason for this is because most of the labour at Veggy's is, at all times of the day, at the back of the shop eating a meal. Next to the staircase. You often have to step around them to get to the spice rack. This can pose a problem, as many of the items at Veggy's aren't priced, and since most of the staff are eating instead of providing service, it means you either have to beg a member of the Veggy's Supper Club to take a few moments from their perpetual brunch, lunch, lunner (dinch? ok, high tea) or dinner to supply you with the information you require, or queue for five minutes so that a reluctant diner torn away from their meal can sullenly check your goods.
As for the fresh fruit and vegetables - just forget Veggy's. Seriously. Brave your local market. If you don't speak any Vietnamese, point and gesture. Don't be afraid to handle and check the goods before you buy. It's worth the effort. What they're selling is DEFINITELY fresher than the limp, geriatric offerings at Veggy's, and also significantly cheaper - even when the foreigner's premium is added on, you'll still find your market-bought veggies much cheaper than what's at Veggy's. As a rule of thumb; if the market seller is asking more than what you'd pay at Veggy's, you're being screwed. Royally. Walk to another vegetable seller (there are always at least four or five) and offer half the price for the same goods. And the range at markets is much better, too. Which reminds me...Veggy's supply of western veggies is terrible! They're always running out of mushrooms, peas, beans...I mean what bloody good are they as a provider of western vegetables if they constantly run out of the mainstays??! Why do they exist? Their vegetables aren't fresh. Their prices are high. Half the time you can't find what you want there. Useless. Yuki's down the road is a much more reliable source of fresh produce. Veggy's exists because of a lack of competition.
Overall, this is a joke of a shop, with overpriced imported goods (relative to other places serving similar products). I have compared prices on several packaged goods, and Veggy's is always the most expensive out of L's Place, Western Canned Goods, Hung Long, Yuki's etc; and usually by a long chalk. Their supposed strong suit - their fresh produce - more often than not sucks. Crappy products, indifferent service, overpriced. These amateurs appear to be contemptuous of your hotly-contested business. Why give it to them? The alternatives are far superior in every way.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL at Veggy's. A few days ago I was looking for a frozen cut of lamb and came across what looked like a fresh (not frozen) one. Of course, on closer inspection it had clearly been thawed and put in the fridge as a 'freshie'. Hmmmm. I pulled it out and the packed date showed 8.12.11 (yes, correct 8th Dec 2011) AND the expiry date was 8 Feb 2012 - some weeks ago. I told the shop assistant VERY CLEARLY that if they sold it to someone it could make them very sick and that she was not to put it back in the fridge, but that it HAD TO BE THROWN OUT. As I walked down the stairs, I sneakily turned around and of course, there she was PUTTING IT BACK IN THE FRIDGE. I confronted her once again and repeated that it would make someone sick and she should be ashamed. Still she left it in the fridge!!! Please everyone, CHECK the use by dates at this place all the time!
Totally agree with the last couple of reviews. I've noticed the same thing on several occasions. When I first arrived in Hanoi I bought some lamb shanks from there which were vacuum sealed. I had them at home for a day and when I went to cook them I gagged on opening the packet because they were so off. I complained and they said "oh yeah well, they've been selling slowly". They did give me credit and I put it down to bad luck. After spotting changed dates on dairy products I only shop there when I'm desperate. They used to be the only choice but with Oasis open at the other end of Xuan Dieu with more choice and a real pride in what they sell, why would I ever go back to Veggy's? They will go out of business eventually unless the management get's it's act together.
Oh yeah, and only about 20% of the goods are actually priced. I guess so you put it in your basket and then don't want to back out when you realise at the till with a big queue behind you just exactly how expensive it is. I understand imported goods cost more but some transparency would be nice. And normal!
Just the follow-up of noseyinhanoi`s review: I have noticed the same practice with the cottage cheese. And to even top it: I went there yesterday to find that the expiration dates on the plastic lids had been changed. The original date "25.12.10" had been altered to "25.02.11" You could see that the first "1" and the "0" had been scratched off and they changed it to "0" and "1". Some of the plastic lids were still unchanged and so you could see that the lids with "25.12.10" and the ones with "25.02.11" were all from the same batch of the same production time. It is one thing just to remove the lids so nobody can tell the expiration date. But to change the date about 2 months is criminal.
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