122 Kingsland Rd
The Victims: One Kraut, two Poles, two Yanks, an Irishman, a BBI, and a Belgian. Plus a Belgian-American baby.
The Background: Chris and Evelien text me bright and early Sunday morning. Brunch? Vietnamese style? I'm in. They want to go to Cay Tre, but I know Cay Tre can be a bit of a mess on weekends. We call ahead to get a table for six. (Note we end up being 8.5…how do these things happen?) Cay Tre can take us…at 4 p.m.
So Kingsland Road it is. I've just read this review of Mien Tay on An American in London and I'm intrigued. Between Chris & Evelien and myself, we've been to nearly every other place on the Kingsland Road, so Mien Tay it is. Will it be as good as Alice has experience or as bad as Alice has experienced?
The Entrance: There's no one in there. No one. It's almost like it's closed. I'ts 1 p.m. We settle in and order some beer (only Tiger or Budweiser) and eat some prawn crackers. Eventually, we order some beef in betel leaf. It's good, but I feel like the servings of beef are skinny in comparison to those at Cay Tre.
The Starters: When I go out to eat with Chris, I let him order. He's good at it. Although he normally orders enough food to feed a small army. You have to be careful about that. He gets us some squid (pictured at the beginning of this post, nice) and some spicy soft shell crab. (The second photo in this post. It is patty-like, like An American in London has described, and just not so very good). Followed by some lotus leaf salad with prawns (OK).
The Service: Sweet. Fast.
The Mains: This is where things get a bit blurry, partly because of the Tiger beers but mostly because of the sheer quantity of food that Chris ordered. There was some tofu, which was yellow and very ver good. And goat! Yes goat! On a cow platter. And it was pretty excellent. Meaty. Flavorful. Some tofu noodles, which were boring. Two steamed fish which I wasn't that big a fan of. Lots of garlicky Morning Glory (nice). A chicken dish. (Eh. This was for one of the Poles.) A lamb dish (good). And a pork dish (I don't think I tried this one).
The Dessert: Our server brings us some orange and melon slices. Perfect.
The Loos: I've seen worse.
The Verdict: Eh. Nothing really wowed me. Except for the goat, weirdly. Who would have thunk it? I like goat.