The food here never fails to live up to expectations. From the outside it is very unassuming and doesn't stand out on a street full of Vietnamese. It's worth finding it though and there may even be a queue but the food is worth it.
They have an extensive, authentic menu and it's all reasonably priced. This place used to be BYOB but now they've got their license there's a selection of beers to choose from. This is definitely one of the better places to eat on the Pho mile
Walked by here on a stroll through Hoxton and decided to check the reviews on yelp before trying it. Brought my boyfriend as he had been craving for some good pho like we used to have as students in Vancouver, BC. We had some pretty high expectations (based on reviews and photos) plus we are kind of particular about our pho.
My review is mainly concerned with the service we experienced, the pho turned out to be excellent.
We went on a weekday at 4:30 before the dinner rush. I ordered the chicken and he ordered the beef brisket. The first thing I noticed was no matter what meat you chose, the broth is always beef. I'm not sure if other places do this but the restaurant I used to frequent in Vancouver made my chicken pho with chicken broth.
The food came and to my surprise, we were served two bowls of beef. Additionally, the beef one brought to my boyfriend was not the type of beef he ordered. Just as we were about to say something a man and our server come over to our table. I mentioned the situation and I think they gave us a rushed apology but what I clearly is feeling like they barely acknowledged us and just treated us like we weren't there while they talked to themselves about the problem. The bowls were taken away, as well as the plate with the garnishes, and eventually replaced with what we actually ordered. Then they replaced the garnish plate with a different garnish plate and I was a bit disappointed since the new did not have as much basil. I don't really see the necessity to replace it when we didn't even touch it.
I never found out what happened exactly but I guess there was a bit of a mix up in the kitchen. Since the pho was very good and I live close by, I would be willing to come back and try here again and hope this experience was just a one time accident!
Really really good. The only vietnamese restaurant i go to in the area.
My favs - beef salad, mixed bun xa bo, beef pho, fresh spring roll.
Don't go there for 5 star service. There is a 30% chance the service won't be great (wrong dish, late dish, rushed staff etc.). For some reason the staff seem to be more efficient during dinner rush.
Don't go there for the ambiance - it's not the best (bad lighting, strong smell at times, not too comfortable, risk of embarrassing cover playlists, etc)
Go there for the food and it won't disappoint. Never disappointed me!
And - great value.
The place where Chow Yun Fat adorns the window. It's packed nearly every evening with a queue out the door around 7-8pm.
This place understands what customers are looking for. Good value and tasty food. Throwing in some extras like free prawn crackers to start and oranges (decoratively cut) at the end does no harm either!
My favourite meal is the lunch menu Honey BBQ chicken with rice. It comes with a free vegetable soup, that tastes better than it should for that price. Plenty of veg and lots of egg, make this soup a perfect starter. Then the main, the honey glazed grilled pork is just charred to a tasty piece of perfect. Accompanied by some salad, rice and of course boiled rice. The rice is cooked here exactly as I like it. Not wet, nor too dry. Firm, and sticks to the chopsticks making for easy gripping. After that feast, you have of course the oranges chopped into segments with a toothpick, using the peel as a clever little bowl.
If you're in the area on a weekday (which is the only time they do the lunch special I've just described, please get the Honey BBQ chicken. However I hear the Pho specials are good too. You just cannot go wrong here.
Four and a half if not for the stink. Oh well what to expect from Asian restaurants that has poor ventilation and pungent food. (pungent in a good way FYI).
food is good, reminds my good old pho days in the US; paired with the great sriracha reminds me of my freezing cold college days. Have not had good pho lately but since reviews says its good, so off I go to fulfill my cravings and hunger while visiting this beautiful town!
piece of advice, if you want to get the fish sauce, tell them the soy sauce kind, not the mixed up kind (has vinegar, sugar, chilli variation, don't really like it but it does the trick). I'd say a must visit, this place!!
I had this one in the drafts for quite a while...
I visited Mien Tay on a Monday night so the place was fairly quiet. Despite being half empty it still took quite a while for the staff to get our order and for the food to arrive. Nothing too bad...
... it sucks to wait when your table is in close proximity to a door that leads straight to the street. It was a particularly cold evening so every time someone opened the door you would get the occasional glacier breeze.
The place feels like a family business that hasn't change since the seventies (and there's nothing wring with that). There's always this background music that could be taken out of a half empty shopping mall - think Hotel California, the polyphonic version.
Ambiance covered, onto food!
The spring rolls were nice and so was the pork with egg and rice, but what really shined was the pancakes. OMG. Call off the search for delicious food, your prodigal son has returned! It's the kind of stuff you wish someone had introduced in your life when you were 10 years old. Try them and you will know exactly what I mean.
So all in all, it's not the most amazing place in the world but it's not bad either. I give it a 3 and a ;) but wouldn't mind coming back for more of those pancakes!
I tried the beef slice and beef brisket pho and I thought it was fantastic. The service was friendly and quick. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant and I thought the free, freshly fried prawn crackers was a nice touch. I thought this place was lovely and I definitely would recommend it to anyone who wanted to try vietnamese food without hurting their wallet. I can't wait to come again!
Just got beef pho. Large portions, came with lots of meat, noodles, sprouts, herbs, etc. Was ready very quickly.
5-star Beef Pho. A bit crowdy, but good place for after-work dinner. Staff is nice and it's not pricy here.
Where else can you stuff your face with shrimp fresh rolls, frog legs, seaweed, pho, spring rolls, and a whole fried fish, eyeballs and all for under a tenner?
A group of ten and the a total of £75. You do the math.
Grab a bottle of wine or two from the off license around the corner and joyfully come with a hungry tummy and an nearly empty wallet. You'll be well taken care of at Mien Tay.
I made my way up Shoreditch to Kingsland to try Song Que per recommendation by a professor of mine. Upon entering Song Que, there was quite a queue to be seated, so I opted fow or the next most populous Vietnamese restaurant with available seating which turned out to be Mien Tay.
I was promptly seated once I entered. After a through investigation of the menu, I narrowed down my selection to Pho, Bun Hue, and duck. I asked one of the servers what Bun Hue was, and she came out of the kitchen a minute later with a plate of the noodles; this gesture set the tone for the service. Anytime I looked up at a server, he or she immediately responded. Extremely attentive and helpful.
I decided on a Bun Hue item entitled Spicy Vermicelli Soup with Beef. The portion was more than reasonable for £6.50. I added chili peppers, cilantro, a few very small basil-like leaves, and what my very limited vocabulary of Vietnamese vegetables calls sprouts. The flavors interacted perfectly. The lemon grass did not overpower the thinly cut beef. The chili peppers cleaned my sinuses right up.
To cool down I ordered a rainbow drink which contained mung beans, gelatinous seaweed, and coconut milk; I did not consume it properly at first, so one of the waiters came over and showed me how to properly enjoy the drink. It was an excellent supplement to the dish. I was very pleased with my experience.
My new favourite Kingslander for three reasons:
1. Food - huge good Pho but also lots of variety too with hard-to-find dishes like spicy Mekong catfish soup. The free crackers and goodbye orange are wicked good too.
2. Value - two people left as giant warm tasty spherical balls of goodness for £14
3. Atmosphere - dinner at Rainforest Cafe will cost you your hearing, sanity and your wallet but Mien Tay are doing their best to offer you the same jungle feeling without the hassle. The wonderfully kitsch decor is topped by the plastic palm trees with animatronic tweeting birds of paradise. The owner lady takes real pride in her collection of made-in-Shenzhen bric-a-brac. Rightly so. It's great fun.
Make sure to check out their Buddha shrine - seems he has a drinking habit.
Anybody who knows me knows I'm the ultimate carnivore when it comes to seafood. Maybe it's to make up for the fact that I don't eat land-meat, but I get just as excited about a vast array of fruits de la mer as most people get about a juicy steak. Maybe it's because when I was six I wanted to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. After all, I do love seaweed. Yelping has helped expand my repertoire and I'm much more experimental these days - I'll consume squid and swordfish, octopus and lobster with aplomb.
But I'd never met a deep fried soft shell crab until the day the marvellous Lizzie G introduced myself and several other yelpers to the joy that was Mien Tay.
She promised me I'd forsake the love of a good man for one of these little critters. Now, if you've never had soft shell crab, don't be alarmed, but you're basically popping the entire thing in your mouth. Does what it says on the tin really, soft shell equals edible, and these are bitesize tiny creatures with a crispy coating and tender, melt-in-the-mouth meat inside. Even some of the carnivores were somewhat put off by the fact that you were eating its whole li'l bod, but me? Pah. All that stuff about crustaceans screaming when you cook them is just a rumour. Either that or they've just found out I've entered the room.
Oh, and the forsaking? Well, I doubt I'd be the first to say I'd happily leave a man because of crabs. (Buh-dum, tssh!)
As for the rest of the food on offer, my word, it's just incredible. We ordered a veritable buffet of treats including an entire deep-fried sea bass (and believe me, that bass was bliss - fish flaked straight off the bone, no annoying pulling bits out from your teeth or anything), various tofu dishes, gigantic prawns with cashew nuts, noodles, rice... the list goes on.
Even the basics like the prawn crackers are mouthwatering, and it's BYOB, so everything winds up being a zillion times cheaper than you'd think. My advice is take a pro with you and get them to order a bunch of recommended plates, otherwise you might find yourself in procrastination central with that behemoth of a menu! I agree with the other yelpers that the venue's a bit cramped and difficult to navigate but the food is the star of the show here.
Lush. Can't wait to go back!
I want to give ths place 5 stars but even though the food is mouthwateringly good, the venue itself is not remarkable enough. That and I'm a tough cookie to please (ask the other half!!!).
So if you are looking for good Vietnamese food in London, THIS is the place to come. The easily sat a large group of Yelpers, 10 in total, had no problem with us bringing our own booze and charged us £8 a head to stuff our faces. The menu was endless, and like so many Vietnamese around here, resembled the Argos catalogue in size. Flicking though is eye opening with unusal seafood and frogs legs (which I tried) on the menu.
Seriously, this place is new and I think it's going to fill the others with fear as they know what they are doing. Attentive staff, non greasy food and a HUGE selection. BYOB to top it all of and I'm starting to wonder why I haven't put this as 5 stars!?
SCORE!!!!!!!11111111111111 Good pho in London, found.
I know there is a huge Song Que/Viet Grill following, but this place has it down, solid. The broth flavor, combined with ALL the fixins (LIME!!!) and the correct sriracha hot sauce. Money...so, so money.
I wish I could teleport to this place every Saturday morning, since the prawn and pork spring rolls and the mung bean pancake are the best thing to cure whatever remnants of mischief you got up to after work on Friday. And then zap back again on Sunday afternoonish as well...
Hoorah!! Let's keep the quality HIGH at this place cuz we know yelp's gonna make the quantity of clientele explode to ridiculous levels. Mien Tay is blowing upppp!
With the many Vietnamese options on this strip, we ended up at Mien Tay for the tablecolths and the fact that it was packed at 9:30 on a Monday--always a good sign.
Definitely a family run kind of place....the son is definitely trying to get his waiter skills together and the mom is just a doll as she walks you out wishing you well and being so darling that you just want to come back again.
The food was quite tasty despite that it came out in very random waves. The fresh rolls were quite good....thumbs up to the beef salad and to whichever of the 20+ prawn dishes that my friend chose.
Definitely good for a great, cheap, casual yet more sophisticated than the average Vietnamese meal in Shoreditch.
Like a lot of the other reviewers... I wish their level of tasty food matched their decor. I understand the hole-in-the-wall decor, but there's a line. All the seating feels like they just bought it from a cheap patio sale. Wicker chairs are not comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, and even less comfortable to eat off of. Dusty fixtures and food stained walls are not appetizing to look at.
But even besides all of that, I have to say that I've enjoyed everything I've had here. The food is fresh and tasty. But I don't recommend eating the garnish. It always look stale and old. Clearly it's just there for presentation. And at least there's no msg taste like in the place a few doors down....
I'd always thought the Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Row were essentially the same, but newcomer Mien Tay is a cut above. The food was really nice--we had the deep fried sea bass with mango which was good, but it was the beef hot pot in vinegar that was the real standout. It was cook yourself at the table, which I usually think is a sort of Tom Sawyer-eque way of them getting you to do the work and pay for the privilege, but this time it was worth it, totally delicious.
Two mains, rice for two and a starter came to £23. It's BYO, and they're happy enough to open a bottle of wine for you if you bring it in, so hit up the off-license next door before you come in.
As with Lizzie, this would have been a five, and I dearly wanted it to be, but the venue was a let down, just for the sheer uninspiring nature and size of it.
They quite nicely did what they could to accomodate the size of our party, but it was clear that it was not something they encountered often. Thankfully, they added one more table at the end, and we were just about able to all fit around without blocking off the remaining space.
The menu was sizeable, with so many different categories, let alone ingredients, that it was hard to pick something. After Lizzie and I came to the agreement of sharing some rice, and both having our own little meaty dish with it, I ended up with some sweet and sour chicken. Never having had vietnamese before, playing safe with such a sizeable group seemed the best thing to do.
And wow, never before has playing safe been so rewarding. The sauce was perfect, as was the meat. The only thing that could have made the selection any better, was more of it - even then, that's purely out of greed, not a problem with the portion! In fact, my dish, combined with half a frogs leg and a piece or two of Lizzie's chicken, with half a dish of rice, was the perfect size meal for me to be full but still comfortable. It's almost as though they'd knocked me out, opened me up and measured my stomache before hand! Just perfect!
I would actually be willing to travel all the way back here, just for this, if I was going to get the company even half as good as the full Yelp group we had.
For a wonderfully low price, I offer it high recommendations. Just try to keep the party size down a bit, and remember to bring some alcohol (from the off license 4 doors down, if need be).
Mien Tay is the sort of restaurant I'll only go into with a recommendation. Call me superficial, but it's just a little bit grubby. Ok, it's not exactly a SE Asian shophouse restaurant, but it could do with a refurb. But once I'm there, I'm happy if the food's good.
We went with a banh xeo for starter (happy crispy pancake) - it passed the main test in that it was nice and crispy. For mains, I went with pho whilst my friend enjoyed his catfish. The pho had a nice flavour, although I was a little dismayed about 45 minutes later when I started to get MSG mouth. To be honest, the soup really didn't need it so it seemed a little unnecessary. Ok, it's kind of my fault for insisting on finishing every last drop of broth at every restaurant I go to, but I'm just not a big fan of the stuff (feelings of extreme thirst and hunger after big meals).
Overall, it's a pretty solid eatery and the staff are very pleasant. I'd be keen to try some of their other stuff sometime.
Mien Tay is one of many Vietnamese restaurants in the area but it definately stands out for the AMAZING food, very friendly service and reasonable prices.
Unlike many of the Vietnamese 'cafes' selling standard dishes, Mien Tay actually feels more like a restaurant and the menu is much more varied. If you love seafood you'll LOVE Mien Tay, the seabass is delicious and my mouth is watering just thinking about the tasty king prawns with ginger!
Next time you're in Shoreditch pop into Mien Tay I know you will not be disappointed!
Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie!!!!! Take your hands off that last deep fried soft shell crab or i may have to bite you......
Yip folks, they really are that good.
Having gone on a bit of a 'posh nosh' tour of London, it was nice to fire into a proper wee restaurant that was more substance than style.
To say the food in here was authentic would be as similarly stupid a statement as pointing out that the Pope was indeed a catholic, or that bears do in fact....lets just stop there.
So, the scoop?
Well, a big whack of us entered this wee joint and ordered a big spread of grub for sharing and general table leaning, plate passing fun activities.
Yum says I. As a bit of a shellfish-a-phobic (its a real word!) i was a tad dubious about the crab, but can honestly say they were just flippin lovely.
Everything else was similarly flantastic, as was the service offered throughout.
things to look out for!
- BYOB, grab some at a local takeaway a'fore entering
- comical urinal in shower box......yes, that's what i said.
All in all an amazing spot to grab some real down to earth grub at very reasonable prices....spot on!!
This is my spot!!! I love this place.... Everyone MUST have a clay pot dish.... Service is friendly and prices are honest. 5 stars from me :)
7.30pm on a Tuesday night and Mien Tay was packed. It was my first time here and I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere - if you're facing away from the road it truly does feel like you're in a restaurant somewhere in South East Asia!
For £32 total, 2 of us enjoyed: fresh rolls, the most delicious crispy sweet corn spring rolls(!!!), a big bowl of vermicelli/tofu/lemongrass, a gingery duck dish, steamed rice, OJ, a hot Vietnamese coffee and a beer.
Service was snappy and generally pretty nice. I'm not sure I'd come back here with a group or for a special occasion, but for a casual meal early week it was pretty good.
I think there are generally a couple of key dishes you can order in every Vietnamese on Kingsland Road and provide you with quite an accurate orientation of their quality as against the traditional benchmark (Song Que):
1. Spring rolls - actually very good. Fresh, obviously homemade and tasty.
2. Spicy squid - not that impressive, much less flavoursome and tasty than Song Que.
3. Pho in all of its varieties - actually very good. I had the spicy prawn and it was very very spicy and had prawns. Also importantly they gave a good selection of the fresh extras you MUST have with pho.
Finally, as an extra we ordered some soft shelled crab as a starter. Very tasty.
So all in all, good but not a revolution. If I had decided to drink it would have gone up a whole star though - I mean BYO, awesome.
Price - £18ish for a lot of chow
The service was SO awful, my memories of the food are irrelevant and all I remember is how unhelpful the staff were:
1. It may be BYOB but you are fully licensed and when a large group come to your restaurant without booze then you should probably ask them within 30 mins of them sitting if they would like anything to drink. Your aim is to make money, right?
2. If someone orders a bottle of wine, please bring it, we have ordered it and we want to pay for it. Don't make us repeat our orders.
3. Ask me if I'm finished before taking away my food (I wasn't by the way, neither was I finished with my drink).
4. We will ask for the bill, please don't throw it at us.
5. If you require us to leave as we are approaching our time limit (although we still had half an hour and you spent f**king ages taking our order in the first place) then apologise and explain, don't just tell us we are taking too long and need to leave.
6. Don't lie to us. The restaurant was emptying fast, this large group that were apparently waiting for our table were either invisible or imaginary.
PS - I have vague memories of Pho, it was acceptable...
Scene: Birthday party dinner at Mien Tay
Key actors: A birthday Yelper and about 5 subsidiary Yelpers, plus a couple newbies.
Snippets of the conversations from the night:
Excuse me....sir, Excuse me? Um, can we order now? Hello?
**20 minutes later**
Yes, I'll have the number 134. No...no, not the 27, the 134. ONE.THREE.FOUR. That one by my finger. No....YES, that one!
**20 minutes later**
Um, excuse me? we haven't received our bottle of Prosecco....Prosecco. Sparkling Wine. NUMBER 21!
Basically, the service is what did it in. It took forever to get our food, they misunderstood half of our order and at the end of the night, they actually had the audacity to pick up my friend's coat and bag as he pushed his chair out and basically pushed him out the door thirty minutes before we were supposed to be gone from our pre-booked table.
Yes, the food was very good, but seriously? Going to have to step it up a notch, guys.
I've decided that my love of pho makes it my responsibility to try it at as many places on Kingsland Road as possible. I know what you're thinking - wow, she has some lofty goals - but I think this is a worthy cause. Mien Tay is the second place I've been on the "mile of pho" (Song Que was my first) and I was not disappointed.
The space is a little cramped as most of the restaurant is taken up by large faux flower arrangements and no one was in a big hurry to take our order after we were seated. I grazed on the prawn crackers that sat in a wicker basket shaped like a duck while I waited for service. I was already on page 6 of the paper when I asked for the usual: fresh rolls (known as summer rolls in the States), a bowl of pho with sliced beef, and an iced Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk.
There are only five pho options at Mien Tay: sliced beef, sliced beef & brisket, sliced beef & beef ball, beef ball and a mix of all four types of beef. My husband was sad that tripe is not an option.
The fresh rolls were stuffed with lettuce, mint, pork and prawns and served with a sweet-ish dipping sauce. The mixture was a bit too heavy on the lettuce and the flavour of prawns was lost in the shuffle.
The pho packed a deeply flavourful, meaty punch with lots of fresh herbs and hot peppers. The soups were served with the requisite Thai basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, limes and hot peppers and, as usual, I spiced my bowl up until the broth took on a reddish hue.
Even though the service was a little spotty, we left with smiles on our faces.
I noticed the hours aren't listed on Yelp, so I'll post them here.
Monday - Thursday: Noon - 3pm, 5pm - 11pm
Friday - Saturday: Noon - 3pm, 5pm - 11:30pm
Sunday: Noon - 11pm
I like Mien Tay.
We passed by the near empty restaurant next door as we enter Mien Tay and I think "gosh they can't compete with Mien Tay". But I am wrong, its actually the overfloor section for Mien Tay... we go back out onto the street and enter. There are a rake of empty tables in the front half, but we are put down the back in the corner, squished in, surrounded by occupied tables. Odd really, but it amused me really.
The staff are focused on serving quick and they don't really focus on the service with a smile tactic. Again something that amused me.
And boy were they quick. All dishes were brought out in quicktime.
We were visiting friends in London and this was their favourite Viet restaurant in the City, so we let them order and we shared everything.
My highlights were the Octopus and Spring Rolls, as starters. For the mains I enjoyed the shredded duck, chicken curry and whole sea bass with ginger.
There is an office licence two doors away from Mien Tay, it had a good selection of wine and beer, so get your BYOB here.
I recommend Mien Tay, its was a bustling close up experience.
Okay, I'm feeling generous, but I don't see any reason why not...
After a visit to their web page and reading a few yelp reviews I already decided that I like these people and their restaurant. Affordable, yet, I had the impression that they make a healthy effort to please.
Despite a few empty tables that didn't fill up later either (well, how were they to know) I was seated next to a couple (which I expected, anyway... not the couple, I mean, but the shared table).
On my way to Mien Tay (like on some of my previous visits to Tay Do) I picked up a ginger beer to have there, which, luckily, remained in my bag, just as I noticed in time their note saying that they're not a BYOB place. Therefore, I requested a Martini ... and then another one.
My pilgrimage to Mien Tay was long. It was late by the time I got there, and I was so hungry that I was unable to process information from a menu of some 200 items. Clueless, I asked a smiley waitress to brainstorm with me, and we narrowed things down to two starters, instead of one main dish. The staff was attentive throughout and the food arrived soon: the Mien Tay Spring Rolls were delicious, and the deep fried Salt, Pepper & Garlic Squid was the highlight of my day.
Plan to return.
I tried this place for the first time last week and was bowled over by the food.
We began with vegetable spring rolls, which were interestingly latticed, crunchy but not greasy and served with fresh mint, crisp lettuce and clear, sweet/sour chilli dipping sauce. The other starter was beef with betel leaf, which had a surprising nettle-like taste, complemented by the crunch of crushed peanuts.
For my main I tried the eel, fried with chilli and lemongrass. The eel was perfectly cooked - moist, succulent and gently flaky on the inside, crispy on the outside with a tang of lemongrass and crunches of garlic. I did get a bit of food envy watching a whole seabass with mango strips arrive at another table. Must go back.
First of all, a massive thank you to all you wonderful Yelpers who recommended this place to me, you certainly know your stuff!!
I was meeting up with some friend that I had originally met while travelling in Vietnam and was looking for an authentic Vietnamese restaurant to relive these memories. Mien Tay is pretty much as close as you are going to get in this country (the only thing missing was the force-feeding of the spring rolls, may be if we had asked...)
They have a huge menu which included the usual pho and noodle dishes as well as some more unusual seafood dishes. We went for the salt and pepper squid and vegetable spring rolls to start. The spring rolls seemed particularly authentic, using the Vietnamese wrappers as opposed to the normal Chinese ones you tend to find in this country. They were tasty and not too greasy which is always good, and served with some amazing pickled veg. For main course I went for scallops with ginger and spring onion, the scallops cooked to perfection and not at all chewy - top marks here. The rest of the table thoroughly enjoyed their meals and were very impressed with my restaurant choice (thanks again Yelpers!)
The restaurant is BYOB so this keeps the costs down and I thought the whole thing was very good value for money. I was surprised at how busy the restaurant was - we got there before 7 and took the last table, by the time we left people were waiting for to be seated in the cafe next door. I would recommend booking in future.
The only things stopping this place from getting the full five stars are the fact that the staff can be a little surly and the dining room isn't anything to write home about.
Cám on Mien Tay for a great Vietnamese dining experience.
I miss Vietnamese food. It was a staple lunch for me for a good couple of years and suddenly, it's gone. Poof. Just like that. So far, I believe there is only one pho stop in Edinburgh, and it's not within walking distance for me either for lunch or for dinner.
I knew London would be different.
Turns out Kingsland Road is the place to go when you are craving a vermicelli bowl (like me) or pho (not like me). So I made the trek (literally, as half the tube network was down for maintenance on Saturday) to finally appease my cravings, unsated for 6 MONTHS. This was going to have to be good.
So, down to it. First of all, stars a-plenty for the appetiser - summer rolls (aka fresh spring rolls) stuffed with prawn. No pork! Which means I got to tuck into something I hadn't had in a long time. Oh the combination of shellfish, fresh coriander and mint, vermicelli all dunked in peanut satay sauce is just divine.
Next up - my all-time-fave, vermicelli and veggie spring rolls. Now, it was pretty good, but the spring rolls tasted suspiciously meaty (on inspection couldn't find any trace), and the sauce was a sweet chilli base - got to admit, I like my fish sauce unadorned with sweet chilli, so it wasn't the most ideal for me. Overall though, good portions and I was stuffed to the core.
My waiter kept disappearing so it did get a little confusing for me to figure out what was going on at times and left before presenting me with a bill. So really, what am I saying? Mien Tay is good, that is for sure, but I think I would want to try other places along the K-Road (as I now call it) prior to tipping my hat at it.
Decent food, excellent Vietnamese iced coffee! Their pho definitely isn't the best I've had but it was good enough to do the trick on a damp day. Noodles with mixed meat and prawns was tasty after a healthy application of soy sauce. Like I already mentioned... their iced coffee is so good I was tempted to order a second one before leaving.
So, the staff aren't always perfect and the decor isn't exactly smart but I don't care! The pho is amazing. The menu is so big you could never get bored and everything I've ever ordered has been amazing. And it's such good value!
The salt, pepper and garlic squid is amazing and the quail is pretty good too. I'm pretty sure the best thing on the menu is the beef steak pho, but I'm going to keep going... just to make sure.
I can't decide whether The Bodyguard soundtrack that was playing during my meal made the mediocre pho better or worse.
Incidentally, RIP Whitney Houston.
Food is decent. Not excellent. I've had tons of Vietnamese having grown up next to little Saigon, as in little Saigon in Orange County. The pho at Mien Tay lacked depth and flavor. Service is not the best, granted they are very busy. It reminded me of my favorite Vietnamese dive in San Francisco, Sunflower in the mission district. Except at Sunflower the good food was worth the occasional rude service.
One of my favorite places in London.
I'll be honest: the quality of the meat in the pho varies quite a bit, but everything else is totally spot on. I have absolutely wonderful memories of sitting by the window with a bottle of wine (BYO), a cute boy, and a steaming bowl of noodles with fresh herbs and spicy tofu.
Definitely one of the best ways to spend 10 quid.
My friend brought me here, it's quite popular, it was pretty packed when I got there last Saturday. I hate that the tables are all right next to each other, you are gonna be legit right next to your neighbor...The tables by the door is cold! Just when someone opens the door, the service is nice. The fresh rolls (shrimp and pork) was good, but smaller than what i'm used to at home. I got the sliced beef and beef ball pho.. It was fine, I guess this is good in london's eye. There are two floors, and upstairs was also filled. You might have to wait if you come a bit later...like around dinner time... The fried calamari i had was aite, could have been more flavorful. BYOB!! wooo.
Good price for pho.
The second star is because my pho was quite tasty and they had the accompanying plate of condiments/toppings that I've been missing from other restaurants.
Otherwise the service was bad. They had a hard time taking down our orders despite seeing the menus for themselves and going sometimes by item number rather than what we said. Even still they forgot parts of peoples orders, especially the drinks part.
I was at a ten top table for a birthday party and according to the birthday girl who reserved the table they started kicking us out of the space about 20 minutes before our allotted time was up. They were really trying to rush us out of there and even asked us to please leave at one point.
I was about to say I'll try and come back here another time with a smaller group on a slower day but why bother? There's like five other vietnamese restaurants on the same friggin street. Thanks but no thanks Mien Tay.
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