Har Gau


Sunday, 16 November 2008

Viet Grill (first review), 58 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP London

What's for lunch? Hmm, how about some Vietnamese.
What's for dinner? Hmm, how about some Vietnamese.

After the lunch at Cafe East, we met up with some friends to watch the Liverpool vs some other football club game in a pub near Earl's Court. I was given the task of deciding what to do after the game, and the choices were -

1) Watch a movie, probably the latest Cohen Brothers one, in a cinema. Question was, which cinema, and do we have popcorn or not as it was before dinner.
2) Go to a fireworks display as there were a few being held in London. Question was, where.
3) Go for dinner. Question was, what.

As it was me who was deciding, it was without a doubt, popcorn. However, the others had other ideas, and decided on dinner instead. As it had been a while since we last had Vietnamese, we decided to go to Viet Grill in Shoreditch, because I'd been to Tay Do (another Vietnamese restaurant) a few times, but not been to Viet Grill as it looked nicer (i.e. more expensive).

Being a cheapskate, I had a quick look at the menu before asking the waitress for a table. Alot of people feel as though they are obliged to stay put in a restaurant the moment they are in it, even though the prices are more than what they'd pay for a small pony. Cheapskates, however, don't.

Viet Grill's prices were reasonable, and so we went with the waitress to our table which was located at the basement level. If I were to use one word to describe the deco of the place, it would be 'brown'. The lighting is low in this place, the wallpaper is brown with modern motifs, and the tables have white tablecloths and silver-coloured cutlery. There are candles on the tables, and a huge aquarium in the middle of the restaurant gives the place an underwater feel (not so good for the wallpaper).

How's the menu? It's acceptable, about 3 pages with good descriptions of what the dishes are. The only thing was, how do you order for 4 when you want to try almost everything on the menu?

First up, more rice paper rolls with minced meat and vegetables (Goi Cuon £3.20). The rice paper skin used in this roll wasn't as thin as the one in Cafe East, so it felt more like a big piece of noodle rather than rice paper, but the filling was generous, and falling out of the roll as we took the pieces from the plate.

Fried squid in batter, with salt and pepper, and spring onions and chilli (chilli, salt and peppered squid £5.90). The batter was tasty, and the squid was thick-cut. Slightly different from the Spanish tapas style calamari due to the batter.

This is the stir-fried mung bean noodles with prawns and crabmeat (stir-fried casava noodles £6.50). Very tasty, and tangy with lemon juice stirred in, the whole combination was not so much stir-fried in taste. Rather, it tasted as though it was mixed together in a bowl, which is a good thing as it tasted more like a salad, rather than a main meal.

This is the Bun Cha Ha Noi, made up of grilled or barbequed pork over vermicelli and vegetables, all mixed together before eaten (£7). The pork tasted similar to satay, and I don't know what it is about Vietnamese food, but even this tasted ... 'fresh'. Like, you want more.

The Pho or My Xao, stir fried pho with prawns, meat and vegetables (Chef's special £7.50). This is like Cantonese style hor fun, but with more cooking wine used, so that makes it taste different from the chinese version.

Feudal beef. You say, what?
This is called the Feudal Beef (£7.50). The description on the menu was quite long and described how the name came about, but let's just say, if I quote what I read from the menu about how the name came about, I might just lose my appetite for the next meal, so I won't go further on this topic.
The beef itself, was tender and marinated well. It's meant to be eaten with rice, perhaps, but we ordered it as a side dish and even when shared, there was quite alot of it.
This is one of the nicest Vietnamese restaurants I've been to, and I've been to three.

Viet Grill The Vietnamese Kitchen on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not many have the opportunity to taste so mny varieties of Vietnamese dishes in a single seating....envious !!!

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