hahah! The sign of a good chinese! What did you order?
122 Kingsland Rd,, Shoreditch, London E2 8DP
- Hoxton Station (0.2 km)
- Shoreditch High Street Station (0.8 km)
- Shoreditch High Street Rail Station (0.8 km)
The Balcony Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford, London E20 1ES
“Pho opened in Clerkenwell in June 2005 as London's first Vietnamese street food restaurant. We're small, informal and serve great value, deliciously healthy and authentically prepared Vietnamese food. At Pho we keep it simple. The short menu means...” more...
21 reviews of Mien Tay in English
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Comment 1 comment on this review
bexb-d, 25 September 2012:
My first ever Vietnamese dining experience, so nothing to compare it to. I had intended to go to Song Que as it had a good rep, however, i got there at 15.20 and discovered last orders were at 15.00 (opens again at 17.30).
This place, however, seemed pretty amazing to me.
Started with the ban xeo, followed by the goat with galangal, and steamed rice. Together with a coke, came to £17.80. Gladly left £20, and waddled off down the road.
(plus free prawn crackers and fresh orange to leave a sweet taste in your mouth!)
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
Have tried most of the Vietnamese restaurants in this area and finally got around to the Mien Tay restaurant, which was highly recommended by Time Out. I don’t know why, it was truly awful. The restaurant has expanded into the shop next door, which is where they asked us to sit. Unfortunately the decoration is still unfinished, so it felt as if we were sitting in a building site. It was cold as well.
The service wasn’t good: they tried to rush us, and completely forgot about the squid starter. The food itself was terrible: the ribs were mostly fat, the squid (when it arrived) was bland, the chicken dish was mostly onions. the rice was broken up into many little pieces (so seemed more like cous-cous), and the shaking beef wasn’t shaking at all, it had no life or flavour to it whatsoever. The portions of all of them were on the mean side (probably a good thing in retrospect).
Visiting a restaurant is not just about the food, it is about the whole experience: the ambience of the place, the service, and about how comfortable the diner feels. This particular experience left a very nasty taste in the mouth: both literally and figuratively. The disappointment and feeling of being ripped-off was very strong.
Based on this visit, one wonders how this place attracts customers at all.
Good food with reasonable prices. (Main dishes around 7,-) Small place with quick but polite service. BYO alcohol! Friday night was crowded but we got a table after 5 minutes. I can really recommend the won ton soup and the stir fried duck with bamboo shoots and chargrilled chicken with lemon leaf!
This packed restaurant is essentially the Vietnamese version of New Tayyabs. It’s crammed, the service is fast and careless and it’s cheap. Booking is vital if you’d rather not queue for half an hour and they’ll graciously give you a time to have to vacate the table by. They’ve got a license these days but still allowed us to bring our own wine in – though I can’t say how long this will last for. As far as I know they’ve not started stocking their own booze yet.
Like Tayyabs, Mien Tay has built its reputation on its food. Being on Kingsland Road, it’s surrounded by Vietnamese restaurants – none of which are as busy. You don’t go there for a nice romantic meal, you go there to eat and head on.
Personally I’m a fan of the Vietnamese curry – but don’t wear white. It’s splashy.
This restaurant became licenced in May so I was interested to see just how they were managing that so I went there last sunday to see.
There is a sign on the door just saying "We are now licenced". It was not as full as previous Sundays and plenty of free tables. There was no wine list and no sign of any stocks of drinks.
Inside it was obvious many were still bring their own drinks. A sign on the wall repeated that they were now licenced and had at the bottom in very small writing "We encourage any alcohol but not soft drinks". I felt comfortable with my wine bottle.
When the bill came it was not itemised but was now split into two figures meals and drinks. The drinks showed £5-10p. We had only ordered one carrot juice. I therefore would guess the juice was £1-10 and there is a corkage charge of £2 per person. Or perhaps the juice was £2-10 and corkage of £1-50 per person?
Nothing on their web site or the menu so its a try it and see situation!
Still lovely food though!
This family run Vietnamese on Kingland Road in Shoreditch already has a solid reputation and loyal following (including me).
It specialises in cuisine from South Vietnam and serves a wonderful array of dishes including the amazing Char Grilled Quail with Honey, Garlic & Spices and the Prawn and Green Papaya Salad both of which I order every time I go.
What makes this restaurant stand out on Kingland Road's 'pho mile' is the lively atmosphere and quality of food, service and the value for money. It's also BYO which is a bonus.
I discovered Miey Tay after it was mentioned on Gordon Ramsey's Best Restaurant and am very happy that I did. It is however a strangely well kept secret that I am more than happy to let slip.
I only thing I would say is it does get very busy so I would highly recommend you book in advance to make sure you get a table.
If you look for a quiet place for a romantic evening, that’s probably not the best place to go. It’s packed (be prepared to share a table with strangers in much closer vicinity than in Wagamama), it’s laud, there are people queuing to get tables staring enviously into your plates.
But once you get your food, you immediately forget about everything! The food is absolutely fantastic! The portions are massive (also the starters), and considering the crowd, we didn’t have to wait very long.
I take one star for the service. Mine and my boyfriend’s starters arrived about 10 minutes apart. They didn’t bring the drinks we ordered and when we asked for them they said they lost the order and they don’t know what to bring. The service was a bit chaotic, but that’s probably what happens when you have 5 different people serve the same table.
The nice thing is that you can bring your own bottle of wine.
And don’t forget to book a table, otherwise you’ll have to queue for 40 minutes to get one.
Came here for lunch on a Tuesday and it was completely empty, which usually turns me off, but reading all the reviews I told myself it would still be good, and I was right! The free prawn crackers are a treat to start and my chicken pho was delightful. Service was quick (once it took them 5 minutes to realize we were in the restaurant wanting to order) and the waiter was kind enough to tell me that I don't need the basil stems in my broth, just the leaves (such a rookie). Standard prices for good tasty portions.
A crowded BYO but worth the wait - excellent vietnamese food for less money. A better idea to call and book your place ahead of time. I went with a friend and was told we can spend just one hour in the restaurant. I found it rude but I realized why when I reached there - a queue couple of metres long at 9 pm!
I quickly forgot that I had just one hour when the food arrived. I ordered chargrilled quail with honey and garlic - it was perfectly timed, the meat succulent and imbued with a light smokiness. The Goat Curry with sticky white rice was equally nice for the mains.
Our favourite Vietnamese on the Kingsland strip - this (along with Tayyabs and Lahore Kebab House) is perfect for a night out with friends. And what do they all have in common - BYOB! Not sure what that says about me...Makes for a seriously cheap night...we first ate here a couple of years ago when they first opened - we nearly had the place to ourselves then. Now it has expanded to the shop next door and the queues grow longer. Favourites - sea bass, soft shell crab, squid, clay pots - actually the menu here is just great. You need to visit often and work your way through it to make sure you do not miss any delights. This place serves seriously good food at ridiculously cheap prices.
I've returned to Mein Tay several times since my initial visit. While the food was always good when I visited, a friend of mine (who also loves Mein Tay) once took a few people there for lunch and said that not only was the food horrid, they managed to forget one dish even though they were the only guests at that time. And apparently the Vietnamese coffee they served was 90% condensed milk and 10% coffee.
When I went there a few weeks ago, I ordered Prawn & Pork summer rolls. After eating a bit I realised that they were pork-less. I complained and first I was told that the waitress had misunderstood my order. When I asked to have the dish replaced the story was suddenly changed and I was told that the kitchen did not have any pork for the rolls. Although they brought me a pot of tea to compensate, I would have preferred to a) be notified that they were unable to serve me the ordered dish, instead of serving something different and hoping that I would not notice, or b) either replace the item or take it off my bill when I did notice.
During the same visit a guy came in to tell the manager that they had charged his card twice for the same meal. After some hemming and hawing, they finally agreed that he could come round and have some food on the house, i.e. they were not willing to give him his money back.
Having said all that, I still think that Mein Tay is one of the better Vietnamese restaurants in Shoreditch but I'm concerned that they are starting to go downhill as a result of their success. The lunch disaster indicates that they may have badly trained cooks in the kitchen during lunch. Their refusal to react appropriately to mistakes they made, i.e. overcharging customers or serving the wrong dishes, may fall back on them one day. I certainly hope not; watch this space for further updates.
There is nothing to fault about this place. We had several starters, of which the superb summer rolls deserve an honourable mention. As a main course I had a lovely hot and sour Vietnamese fish soup. It was a huge portion but so good that I finished it off.
We then ordered Vietnamese coffee and the super-lovely owner (previously metioned in other reviews), after hearing about my friend's trip to Vietnam, brought us a tea on the house after the coffee because 'in Vietnam they drink some tea after the coffee' - a very kind and sweet gesture.
All of this combined with the huge portions and byo add up to the Mien Tay being my favourite Vietnamese in London, I'll be back for more!
For full review see http://www.thehappinessprojectlondon.wordpress.com
We went to Mien Tay in Battersea on Friday night (they also have a branch in Kingsland Road in Shoreditch).
It isn’t really anything to look at from the outside, and inside with its bright lights and white paper tablecloths, is definitely cheap and cheerful. But there are also some treats – bottles of Saigon beer which made me nostalgic from a much-loved trip to Vietnam, super-posh thick wooden chopsticks, and coffee made the typical South East Asian way (with condensed milk – disgusting but reminded me with fondness of my trip).
First things first, fresh rolls with shrimp and pork. Absolutely blummin’ lovely especially with the thick satay dip. I could have eaten these all night. Then salt and pepper squid which sadly lacked a bit of flavour.
For mains, we had a sizzling duck with black bean sauce which arrived bubbling with heat – it literally exploded all over our table, which thereafter resembled an oil slick. It was tasty, thick and meaty but didn’t blow me away – we could perhaps have ordered something a bit more interesting (note: I realise this isnt a typically Vietnamese dish so woudl order differently next time). And, following a suggestion from Bibendum Wine on twitter, we had the steamed sea bass with ginger and chili. This was really gorgeous – a whole de-boned fish, delicately cooked and spiced, fresh and juicy, so it melted in the mouth.
All in all, for 3 beers, 2 starters, 2 mains, 2 portions of rice, and 2 coffees, we paid around £20 each and had a fun night. Recommended for a relaxed, tasty meal as long as you don’t mind the lack of glitz and glam (although I imagine the karaoke tables downstairs would be fantastically glam…). And next time I go, I’ll make sure I choose some of the more unusual menu options.
Last time I was in London I had a fierce craving for Pho - that delicious beef noodle broth which is the signature dish of Vietnam. I didn't care where I got it from, I just knew that I had to have it, or else there would be hell to pay.
Thank goodness then that I somehow found myself on Kingsland Road, spying up the mighty Mien Tay. Whilst there are other (dare I say it) slightly fancier looking Vietnamese eateries situated in Shoreditch, I would seriously doubt that there are many that serve up such tasty and terrifyingly cheap fare.
To say that Mien Tay is cheap would be an understatement. My lunch of fresh, cool and delicious Summer Rolls (bursting at the seams with basil and prawns), a magnificently delicious, authentic (and huge) bowl of delicately spiced Pho, a large Tiger Beer and a Vietnamese iced coffee only came to £12. When you take into consideration that a lot of starters in London restaurants are priced at £12, this is scandalously good value. Best of all, Mien Tay doesn't skimp on portions either - by the time I left here I practically had to be rolled out through the door.
With all this, AND a 'Bring Your Own Booze' alcohol policy, Mien Tay is undeniably a rare gem of the London restaurant scene. If you live in London and haven't been yet, go. Go now!
Quality Vietnamese up in Lil Hanoi; it aint often I don't finish what's in front of me (a result of country upbringing methinks) and it felt criminal given the quality fare on offer. You won't be disappointed!
This vietnamese gem is amazing!
Fantastic food with great staff and BYO... all good!
The food here is fantastic - we normally order a load of dishes to share and this works so well as you get to taste loads of lovely food.
The squid, the pork, the fish dishes.. try them all, they are amazing..
go there soon!
Describing Mien Tay as cheap would be doing them an almighty disservice. The accurate evaluation is that dinner here is incredibly good value. The food is divine, the portions plentiful and the service almost brought a tear to my eye (not wanting to sound over-dramatic, or anything).
We spent a relaxing couple of hours here and it also averaged about £15 per person (including a generous tip). That included a few shared starters, main courses, lashings of jasmine tea and some Vietnamese coffees. The latter is an acquired taste; the condensed milk gives it a rather sweet kick.
I was solely digging on swine this veritable Vietnamese night: the starter of pork belly in honey and spices was a quasi-erotic experience and the vermicelli noodles with grilled pork was as good as I’ve sampled anywhere.
As we exited, the lady who I presumed was running the show actually followed us out to enquire about our enjoyment of the experience and such an exemplary standard of service was quite touching.
I totally agree with AnimalGirl - and can recount a very similar story!
Living close by Thang Loi was our local and then one day we realised our fave dish (rabbit with honey) was not on the menu.
We asked how long they had been open and it was about 4 weeks old. We tried the food and were blown away.
The long long menu has so many amazing dishes on it it is so difficult to cut down when ordering.
Highlights have to be salt and pepper squid, pork with honey and spices, seafood hot pot (def one for a group of friends), sizzling goat with galangal, frog’s legs, beef salad, basically you could close your eyes, point at the menu and never be disappointed. I’m so tired of ordering I tend to ask the chef to make whatever he likes for us!
Price is ridiculous, leave stuffed AND happy for about £15! Unheard of in London.
I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you have a favourite Vietnamese on Kingsland Road give it a miss just once and try Mien Tay.
Thought I’d cut to the chase.
Conveniently for me, this is about a 30 second walk from my house, however, I would walk at least 100 times that if I had to. Situated in 'Little Hanoi’ on Kingsland road, there is nothing remarkable about it form the outside.
Upon entering, the lovely, lovely waiting staff seat you whether you are waiting for a table or for take-away. All smiles and consideration, they bring you a generous portion of prawn crackers.
Perusing through the bamboo covered, sensibly laminated, menu is a joy and a chore. Joyous because the food all sounds wonderful and a chore because narrowing it down sometimes proves impossible!
Once you have managed to reduce the items to a shortlist (I’d recommend the grilled beef with lemongrass) the price is very reasonable at around £5 for a main with £2 or so for rice, depending on your choice. A 'Bring your own Booze’ policy also keeps costs down.
All fresh, good quality ingredients, fantastic flavours, authentic, friendly atmosphere and very reasonably priced - you can see why this is one of my favourite places to eat!
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