We all know that you can find cuisine from almost anywhere in the world in London. The food of some nations will never really travel beyond a single restaurant due to the acquired palette needed. Others are much more acceptable to our taste buds and travel far and wide to dozens, if not hundreds and thousands of restaurants nationwide. With Vietnamese food, there are at least 10 restaurants in London serving up unique and delicious style of cuisine. The problem is that every single one of these Vietnamese restaurant appears to be located on one street in East London!
The restaurant making the most noise on the Vietnamese haven of Kingsland Road is Viet Grill. Having gained its reputation originally as a cheaper than chips joint serving great food in a simple venue, the restaurant has undergone a major transformation to take it a couple of notches up-market. Yes, the prices have risen as a result, but we’re still talking under £20/head and a packed restaurant on most nights suggests that the pricing and quality are still on the money.
Viet Grill’s reputation is built on the fact that they serve what people actually eat in today’s Vietnam, with much emphasis placed on the careful selection of the ingredients. A little appetizer of Lotus stem salad includes shredded pork, shrimps, basil, peanuts & lime zest to create a wonderfully zingy tongue tickler. Chilli salt & pepper squid and Beef vinh (charcoal grilled five spiced fillet beef) were wonderful examples of quality ingredients seasoned and cooked to perfection. Seafood lovers will gain immense pleasure in the delicacy of the Banana leaf baked mackerel that’s been marinated in lemongrass, whilst the Quail curry, with aubergine, crunchy okra & coconut provided a great balance of big, powerful flavours.
In terms of drinks, they have even gone to the trouble of upgrading their wine list with the help of wine critic Malcolm Gluck. However, somewhat ashamedly, we really couldn’t stop necking back their Hanoi beer which perfectly matched the food!
Cuisine type: Vietnamese
Meal for two (excluding drinks): £35
58 Kingsland Road
London, E2 8DP
Tel: 020 7739 6686