Mien Tay has the best pho you can find in London. Not the best service or decor, but you don't go to Mien Tay if that is what you are looking for - you go for the amazing Vietnamese food which they definitely deliver on. Clapham branch is just as good as the Shoreditch one.
Ming Tang-Evans / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Mon Jul 2 2012
Much derided for its rather unimpressive, run-down façade and pretty shabby, paint-peeling decor (which could all be remedied fairly quickly and cheaply), Mien Tay is nevertheless a great place to get authentic, top-notch food. The two-roomed interior is cramped, and filled with staff who seem to do lots of unnecessary wandering up and down. The very reasonable prices attract a fairly young, mostly western clientele, and the idiosyncratic layout manages to accommodate at least one long table for parties, and two nicely tucked-away tables for duos. As for the food, stir-fried green mussels with ginger and spring onion was a delight: plump and tasty mussels, perfectly cooked à point, with a sauce that was spot-on. Scallops with black bean sauce were equally brilliant; the chef here obviously has a way with seafood. Lẫu, or seafood hotpot (for a minimum of two diners) seems equally appealing. There’s a short but excellent wine list, compiled for the restaurant by Willie Lebus of Bibendum, plus the two usual beers, Tiger and Saigon.
Mien Tay 122 Kingsland Road
- Venue phone:
020 7729 3074
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 5-11pm Mon-Sat. Meals served noon-10.30pm Sun
Tube: Hoxton rail
Main courses £6-£12.50
- 122 Kingsland Road
- 020 7729 3074
- 122 Kingsland Road
- Mien Tay
Average User Rating
3.2 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:4
How the mighty have fallen - well, maybe not mighty, but good enough to get great reviews! Comparing the multiple past plaudits with the rude service and mediocre-to-bad food dished out on a wet afternoon visit when we took refuge in the founding Shoreditch branch - assuming that we would be in safe hands, given past praise - Mien Tay certainly appears to have gone West... It started out with some of the worst service ever suffered - not just rude but confrontational... yes, it does take two to tango, but a waiter insisting that it was too much trouble to move two paper napkins, two knives and two forks from one table to another even when we offered to do it ourselves. Oh, and the table we wanted was nearer the kitchen, so just bloody mindedness. "Extraordinarily friendly staff" claims one review, quoted in Mien Tay's menu; yeah, right... must have been their day off, unfortunately. Still, it's raining out and there aren't so many places open at three in the afternoon... so rise above the obstructive rudeness, the food's had rave reviews! Yeah, right... simple lunch so it's a shared starter with two mains and rice. Vegetarian Spring Rolls came freshly fried - witness not just the temperature but the amount of cooking oil still running off them. With them came a very large bunch of mixed herbs plus some crinkle-cut carrots, which could only have been an attempt at "decoration" as they had obviously been passed from plate to plate: worse than "tired" they had certainly gone West! - fit only for the compost. My partner's Traditional Crispy Pancake with Tofu, Onions & Beansprouts, was generous, as was my Stir-fried Eel with Galangal - both instances where more is less, enjoyment. "Dull" isn't quite praise for the pancake, but close to it, but the eel was worse: imagine (the squeamish should stop reading at this point) finger thickness of skin-on eel, covered in a squidgy batter and then smothered (as in "asphyxiated") in a creamy gunk that seemed like bought Korma meets Emlea. During the short time it was in front of me, it formed an artificial skin reminiscent of plasic surgery. The rice was OK; the bill didn't include Service and we certainly didn't leave any - we spent that on Rennies
Worst new year eve meal ever. Waiter forgot our beers and brought them out after we finished almost everything. Stilled tried to charge us for the beers after that first by saying they lost the bill but remember it worth 142£. When we refused to pay without the bill, they make a fake wrong bill and we caught that by looking at the menu. After that, waiter still tried to maked us pay for the beer he broke in front of us by telling the manager we had one beer before order. Manager defended his employee and tried to tricked us into paying the full bill by saying he will pay us the money for the beers in cash after we pay for the whole bill??? When we refuse, waiter sweared and tried to be violent. So Please Please Please take my advise, DO NOT even think about eating here cause that will be the BIGGEST MISTAKE of your life. My name is Daniel and my number is 07576875875. Im not afraid of standing up against this kinda people so just contact me if you have anything you want to know about this
Go there, ask for Ken and listen to his recommendations! Both meals I had there were good, but the fiery papaya salad and whole fish were the best. We had great, friendly and helpful service on both visits.
I had a delicious beef pho and a wonderful quail. Everything is very tasty and the staff is nice. £20 for two people, I'll be back !
I had a really delicious goat with galangal and green papaya salad. Their pho is good too. Complete with kitschy vietnamese decor, which all adds to the flavour - I've always had great service whenever I've been there, and the food is fresh and fast. Well priced. Great place!
you don't come here for the decor or the service. But the food is fantastic, and very reasonably priced. Staff are polite, but the whole place runs on speed. Still, it has a great atmosphere, and the spicy squid is superb. Can't stop coming here.
Avoid this place at all costs. The waiters are rude, they rush you and try and take away your dishes before you've even finished eating. They also short changed us and shouted when we tried to contest this. Overall it was the worst service I have ever experienced in my life at any restaurant. The food was cold, toilets are dirty, and the decor is terrible. All in all a bad bad bad experience.
Great food. Goat curry and the Mien Tay spring rolls are a must eat. Service wasn't overly friendly however Mien Tay is all great, cheap food and not the surroundings.
First visit with a group for a b'day, food was average but serivce was below average! To sum up, the b'day cake we brought in to ask them to serve for us after looks like it was about to fall apart as it didn't seem like they'd kept it in a cool place, but worse of all, the waiter said to us he didn't have enough plates (14 plates) and suggest we use nakpin or something. We ended up taking the melting cake back home..disappointing end of a b'day as you can imagine. Our first and last visit for sure, so there you go...
Very bad service, the waiter wasn't able to take the order right. 3 people, 3 dishes, 3 drinks, I don't think it's hard. We had to reorder the drinks as they never came, and 1 dish came 30 minutes after the 2 others, and the owners don't even have the decency to apologise. On top of that the place look dirty and the food is not even great...
This restaurant became licenced in May so your Time Out review about BYOB is somewhat misleading so I was interested to see just how they were managing that so I went there last sunday to see. There is a sign on the door just saying "We are now licenced". It was not as full as previous Sundays and plenty of free tables. There was no wine list and no sign of any stocks of drinks. Inside it was obvious many were still bring their own drinks. A sign on the wall repeated that they were now licenced and had at the bottom in very small writing "We encourage any alcohol but not soft drinks". I felt comfortable with my wine bottle. When the bill came it was not itemised but was now split into two figures meals and drinks. The drinks showed £5-10p. We had only ordered one carrot juice. I therefore would guess the juice was £1-10 and there is a corkage charge of £2 per person. Or perhaps the juice was £2-10 and corkage of £1-50 per person? Nothing on their web site or the menu so its a try it and see situation! Still lovely food though!
It's alright. Tried all of the Vietnamese restaurants around there, and have no doubt that Cay Tre and Viet Grill are the best quality. I occasionally try a different one (e.g. Mien Tay) but always end up regretting it. Song Que is the best of the rest - don't mind the rudeness, seems to be part of the course - but the manager can actually be quite charming.
My fave of Kingsland road bunch. Salt and pepper squid is amazing. Yes, the tables are sticky and the service hit and miss, but at least they're not rude like they are at Song Que. I love it.
Let me make this simple and straight Service- alright - trying bit too much Food- mediocre -been to better places and worst places Place- was all jammed up in a small table - bamboo table felt icky (as in there was grease on it) Price - reasonably leaning towards the cheap side
Kingsland road is the harbour for many Vietnamese restaurants and so i had to try all of them. i've already ate at most of the other places and had left to try Mien Tay. It was packed when i went and i had to wait for around 30 minutes even though originally the waiter said the wait would only be 5-10 minutes. We were rushed to order so i ordered the famous vietnamese dishes; the PHO, Pancake, Salad (i can't remember which). When it arrived the Pho (main course) came out way before the starter (salad). The pho was normal, not that great and there was not enough of the accompanying beansprouts for me to enjoy. The beansprouts also looked brown and somewhat old. When the salad came it was lacking the crunch and so was the pancake. The salad was soggy and by the time we came to eat the pancake we was so hungry that it tasted alright. Would not recommend this place to anyone, it deserved 1 star however i gave it 2 as it was reasonably priced but not worth it. BTW we was also rushed to leave
Best Vietnames around, super cheap and excellent food! The service can be great or it can be awful, but it doesn't matter the food is too good for this to be an issue. Don't go here you you want artistic menus and a lovely wine list, or if you require the staff to wait on you hand and foot. DO go if you enjoy eating good grub, actually not good grub, if you enjoy eating some of the best grub around. All the bad reviews here seem to start with some complaint about the service, which obviously caused their tongue to reject anything that touches it. I wouldn't listen to them; I've been to most of the Vietnamese restaurants around and this is the best.