By Matt Stevenson

Shabby décor, a noisy kitchen and staff that can at times be accused of being a little brusque, but delve a little deeper and you may find why Mien Tay has become one of the area’s most popular Vietnamese restaurants. Mein Tay is now one of three of asmall chain operating in London and prides itself on its heritage, serving fresh traditional Southern Vietnamese cuisine with emphasis on fish and vegetable dishes for which it is famous.

Kingsland Roadis more than spoilt for choice with Vietnamese restaurants in what has become known as the ‘Pho Mile’. Inside, the bright green Mien Tay may not initially grab your attention;the lacklustre décor (we’re talking plastic lobsters) and the cheesy tunes are certainly not the reason why this restaurant is packed out every night. But everything becomes clear after that first bite – Mien Tay offers its customershigh quality food at a very reasonable price.

In addition to its selection of seafood dishes, the restaurant has become famous for its Chargrilled Quail with Honey, Garlic and Spices starter – and with good reason. It’s messy and fiddly but beautifully spiced and succulent, bringing finger-licking-good to new level. Do not be deceived by the low prices of the mains, portion sizes are very generous and equally delicious. We recommend the Crispy Fried Sea Bream with Lemongrass and Chilli – a dishsure to impress.

Since becoming fully licenced in September, customers are no longer able to bring their own drink to the restaurant.However, Mien Tay do provide a range of Vietnamese bottled beers and a list of ‘stress-free wines, fizz and sherry’withconvenient food matching outlined on the menu. Most of the wine bottles can be purchased for around £15 and Mien Tay insists that the wine has been selected for its taste and quality rather than price.

Mien Tay has received wide recognition and is clearly appreciated by its customers who fill the restaurant even midweek, so booking is advised. For those whostruggle to find the charm in the décor and service, the restaurant also has an option to take away.

High quality food and wines at a reasonable price make this restaurant perfect for those searching for casual dining, whilst the lateThursday to Sunday openings will appeal to those late night diners.

www.mientay.co.uk/shoreditch/