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Mien Tay (Restaurant)

Picture of Mien Tay in Shoreditch, London

122 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London, E2 8DP
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Tel: 020 7729 3074 | Email to Mien Tay | Transport: Old Street | Write review

Mien Tay Review

The family owned and run, Mien Tay, welcomed us with open arms. The motherly Li pampered and treated us for the entire duration of our meal. What we had intended to be a quick “bite to eat” soon became a 5-course sampling banquet, lovingly served over the three and a half hours.

The friendly and helpful staff have limited English and this, combined with an array of special Vietnamese dishes, provides an authentic and charming experience. For a Wednesday night on a street full of Vietnamese restaurants, Mien Tay was impressively packed out on both floors. Chatting to Li, we learned that this is normal every night of the week, with bookings often being the safest bet to avoid waiting or disappointment.

Perusing the menu proved difficult as Mien Tay offers the usual pork/chicken/beef noodle fare as well as squid, mussels, frogs legs, eels, crab, lobster, catfish, scallops, Pho, curry clay hot pots, goat, crisp duck and vegetarian options. In the end, we put our faith in the hands of the manager, Tin, who brought us a selection of the popular and recommended dishes to start.

Mien Tay is currently BYOB so to tide us over we ordered two of the homemade lemon juices – refreshing but not for those lacking an extremely sweet tooth.

On the arrival of a traditional pancake generously stuffed with chicken, prawn and bean sprouts, we were treated to a demonstration of the two ways Vietnamese folk normally eat the dish. Before we even had time to finish, an enormous platter skirted by five other sharing samples arrived. Li checked back with us, her maternal charm guilt-tripping me into leaving as little as possible. Eating at Mien Tay is more like dining at a friend’s or family member’s - not wanting to offend by abandoning lovingly prepared cuisine.

After a brief breather, we were ready for round three. Fearing for our expanding stomachs, we decided to choose our own mains. At the lively table next to us, a candle-lit cake arrived and all customers were encouraged to join a round of “Happy Birthday”. The Mien Tay staff really go that extra mile to make everyone happy.

The mains were enormous and left us as stuffed as the pancake we had shared earlier. The beef clay pot in coconut and white wine sauce had the added excitement of being partially cooked in front of me. The moist, delicately spiced fish satisfyingly contrasted with the crispy and not-too-oily skin, and the fish sauce detracted from the sweetness of the mango slithers, creating an unexpectedly tangy combination. Be warned, though, the sea bream is not for the squeamish and is definitely one to share.

Keen to see us roll home, Li brought over a slightly surreal but moreish Vietnamese Rainbow drink comprised of mung beans, gelatinous seaweed and coconut milk with yet more green tea and crystallised ginger. It was time to go home and lie down in star shapes.

Mien Tay is definitely somewhere for repeat visits and the outstanding hospitality we received is clearly the source of their faithful and varied following. While, I relished the basic outdoorsy and slightly kitsch décor of the wicker furniture, floral arrangements and giant plastic flowers, others may not and might prefer to visit the more upmarket Battersea branch. Language was an initial barrier but staff apologising profusely for their limited linguistic skills, basic décor and the lack of alcohol only made the place more endearing.
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Customer Reviews for Mien Tay

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Mien Tay.

“Really friendly staff, big portions and food was spot on. I'd come back.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Jade Dennis, London (9 years 2 months 24 days ago)

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