Tucked away on Kingsland Road in Hoxton is the lovely Viet Grill. We were recently invited along to try out the menu and we couldn't wait to tuck in.
Viet Grill belongs to the Vietnamese Kitchen family (a chain of three different sister restaurants). Having never tried Vietnamese food before but being huge fans of all other Asian foods, we didn't know what to expect but we had high hopes after reading some reviews online.
Upon arrival, I couldn't help but fall in love with the interior. The walls are covered in bold leafy print with low-lit, hanging industrial lights; instantly making you feel warm and comfortable after escaping the cold and wet streets of London just outside.
We got a drink at the bar first which gave my boyfriend the perfect opportunity to try out Vietnamese beer. He describes Saigon Special as light with an easy taste on the tongue. I went for the home-made lemonade which was one of the best I've ever had. It was very smooth, with no bits, and it certainly wasn't bitter which many home-made lemonades can be.
We were offered any table of our choice, so we chose a table at the front of the restaurant which gave us a perfect view of the entire restaurant which was brilliant for photographs.
Our starters were brought out to us within 10 minutes of ordering them, which was fantastic as we were rather hungry! I ordered the Banh Goi (or Hanoi Pillow Dumplings) (£6.50).These crispy dumplings, made using crispy pastry, are stuffed with minced pork, glass noodles, cloud ear mushrooms, and Chinese sausage. Definitely something I've never tried before, but they were delicious. They were tantalising on their own, but also came with a sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
Ricky went for the Cha Gio Thit (or Imperial Spring Rolls) (£5.50). They are a delicate size, crunchy, crispy, and perfect for picking up and dipping into the chilli dipping sauce on the side to maximise the flavours. They are stuffed tightly with pork shoulder, shrimp, cloud ear mushrooms, and glass noodles.
Off to a flyingly good start, we were both looking forward to the mains arriving next. I ordered the GaRoti or Chicken Supreme (£12.00), which is essentially what it says: a supremely good chicken. A whole spring chicken marinated in five spices, roasted and dressed with soy sauce. It came with a side salad and I also ordered a side of egg fried rice to accompany.
All grilled dishes are cooked on a fire burning Josper oven, which is why there's a occurring theme of succulent and falling off the bone meats in this review. The meat is cooked over burning charcoal creating a barbecue taste and texture. Honestly very delicious!
The chicken was delicious and fell off the bone, however did contain a lot of small bones which is something to be careful of. I ate around them and a whole plate of bones afterwards, but it was worth it. Something else to note is that I was told my main would take a little longer to prepare (around 30 mins), but I was able to request that both mains come out together, which they were happy to do.
Ricky ordered the Shaking Beef main dish, which is not on the online menu. However, it was around the same prices as my own main. In this dish was cubes of soft fillet beef, wok fried noodles onion, pepper and spices and served with a salad and additional side of egg fried rice. The beef was cooked perfectly, tender to the bone and cut like butter.
We were both very impressed with the food at Viet Grill and would highly recommend visiting. The service was also very good. We were made to feel welcome but left alone enough to enjoy the food without being interrupted too much. Just what I like in a restaurant...And it just so turns out that I do like Vietnamese food! I'm sure we will be back!
Visit Viet Grill at: 58 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DP
Disclaimer: Complimentary meal for two provided in exchange for an honest review. All content is my own.