Mien Tay

History and Background: 

Meal courtesy of Mien Tay (Battersea)

It was actually back at the end of November when I visited Mien Tay but has been caught up in the midst of all the backlog I’ve had since. A family run restaurant rich with tradition in the heart of Clapham. UK residents far and wide have constantly recommended Mien Tay as a Vietnamese favourite in London. Holding acclaim in The Evening Standard, Metro and Time Out – we were here to try out Mien Tay’s new restaurant menu launch come 2016.

Opened in 2008, a restaurant that seats 80, usually can be seen with a queue in the Clapham branch, flocked by locals eager to get their spring roll and clay-pot curry fix for the night.

The interior is somewhat run-down but don’t let that fool you – it’s a place great for catch ups, casual dining and party bookings. You’re here for the food not for the fine-dining, plenty of that else where, and what’s even better, is that its cheap.

The meal: 

Mien Ty (11 of 22)
Whole Grilled Semi-Dried Squid with Sweet and Sour Dipping sauce
A new starter, the whole grilled semi-dried squid. Unfortunately I wasn’t such a big fan of this as I am accustomed to either boiled squid, battered squid, or completely dried squid. With a completely dried squid, you see these often in Asia as a street food snack where you are able to strip these like ‘cheese strings’. The semi-dried squid was very chewy but did not have enough moisture to tempt me for more. The sweet and sour sauce made a great dipping sauce for it though.

Mien Ty (19 of 22)
Mains – Stewed Snakehead Fish
After being welcomed with Mien Tay Classics such as their Vietnamese Summer Rolls, we moved on to trying the new dishes rolled out for 2016 with mains such as Stewed Snakehead Fish. My first time trying this fish – a meatier texture but not as hard cooked as sword fish. Seasoned strongly with trimmings and chilli, adding more flavour to the dish.

Mien Ty (6 of 22)
Deep Fried Monkfish with Salt, Pepper and Garlic
This was one of my favourite dishes of the night, I love all things associated with fish. A starter, the – Deep fried Monkfish had just the right about of pepper and garlic, prepared over crisp coating of battered fish. The insides soft and tender, creating a melt-in-your mouth sensation.

Mien Ty (7 of 22)
Pomelo Salad with Chicken and Prawn
I am very big with pomelo, I have this almost every day at home, which may give reason as to why Vietnamese cuisine is one suited to my appetite. The pomelo salad was very refreshing, with processed Vietnamese chicken it really reminds my of my grandma’s cooking who grew up in Saigon for most of her youth.

Mien Ty (14 of 22)
Kohlrabi Salad with Squid

Mien Ty (17 of 22)
Whole Grilled Poussin with Honey and Herbs
The poussin was very tender, and when honey roasted you can’t really go wrong. A good dish in all but something that could be made at home – I would suggest to venture out with more exotic Vietnamese dishes on the menu. If you’re craving honey roast by all means go for it though!

Service: The Mien Tay restaurant family are very welcoming – they’ll be one of the most formidable hosts you’ll find. Friendly and not intrusive.

Bits and bobs: 

  • Another branch more north of London – Shoreditch and Hoxton
  • It’s a BYO establishment
  • Party bookings available

Price: £

Square Meal

Mien Tay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Banh Mi Bay

Serving one of the best Vietnamese baguettes in London
History and Background:
I first heard of this small eatery by word of mouth, Vietnamese food is not so mainstream in the UK, especially in London, but its actually one of my favourite cuisines.(I always think I’m half-Vietnamese due to my father’s history with Vietnam but many people think otherwise haha…) There are several good Vietnamese places worthy of note, but I first thought I would try my hand at Banh Mi Bay, Banh Mi is a literal translation for Vietnamese baguette, so you can guess that one of their specialties would be their…baguettes! I came with with Matt and Amy, to the Holborn Branch. You can find Banh Mi Bay in Fitzoriva (takeaway only) and St. Pauls. They also do delivery to certain areas of central London, for more information check their site: http://www.banhmibay.co.uk/ With a strong focus on Vietnamese authenticity, they stick to Vietnamese delicacies and local foods and have a strong following of City workers committed to having their daily lunch at the Vietnamese cafe. Fast and quick service means that Londoners and commuters can easily hustle and bustle within work hours without having to wait for good food.
The meal:
Banh Mi
Chargrilled Satay Chicken £4.50

One of the cheapest eats in London, takeaway prices vary from £4-6.

  • Fresh summer rolls (my favourite) – recommended * £3.50
  • Deep Fried spring rolls £4.00
  • Banh Mi Baguettes ranging from Shredded Caramel Pork to Char-grilled Satay Chicken £4.50
    • Extra main filling £1.00
    • Add Pate £0.50
  • Pho (similar flavours) for £6.00
  • Rice Boxes £6.00
  • Vietnamese drinks ranging from £1.50 – £2.00
Slightly dry but filling
Banh Mi
Chargrilled Lemongrass Beef £4.50
If you like sweet chilli flavours these baguettes are right up your street

These are big baguettes, but I found them to be slightly too dry, it may be because there’s too much bread – condiments ratio. Nevertheless, they’re enjoyable and aromatic, and similar to those that I have eaten in Vietnam. The added kick from chillies and fresh herbs allow your taste buds to savour the fresh flavour.

Banh Mi Bay
Deep Fried Spring Rolls £4.00
Vietnamese rolls are pretty different to Chinese spring rolls so do try some!

Fresh summer rolls (below) are my absolute favourite, my grandma always make them for the family on special occasions, and it really does taste exactly the same! The rolls are tasteless without dipping it into the lemon/ fish sauce I really love, you should relish the taste when you get a chance.

Fresh summer rolls £3.50

Service: It does get really busy especially during lunch hours, but the staff are friendly all the same. They are super speedy and very quick service, just what people love. They won’t rush you out either, since most of the business is take-out.

The bits and bobs:
  • Opening hours can be quite specific:
    • Mon-Fri 1130-4pm, 5.30-9pm. Closed Sundays
  • No booking between 12pm – 2.30pm, weekdays
  • Expect a queue but it dies down
  • The pho is supposed to be quite good, so try them out, (I will next time)
  • If you are thinking of visiting, ask me to come with, please!
Price: £

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