Ive eaten there a few times and thought I'd give it another go since last time the service wasn't good. I popped in on my own for lunch, they weren't particularly busy and I was seated and ordered a beer whilst browsing the menu. The service here has never been warm, and I had the same waiter that had given us the worst of service in the past. I asked him what was in the Duck Salad? "Duck and salad!" he snapped. Genius! So, I asked what type of salad? "Green salad!" I could tell that I was dealing with a true master, on top form. As I'd skipped breakfast and was likely to miss supper I ordered 3 starters, grilled eel, spring rolls, and a raw beef salad (thankfully I already knew what was in this salad) and although i wanted a bowl of Pho for main course I held off, as I know they have a habit of bringing everything to the table at the same time. One of the ladies at the table next to me tried very politely to get his attention "WHAT!" he snarled at her and shrugged his shoulders, turning and walking off toward the kitchen. The eel was decent, a version of salt and pepper style which I wasn't expecting but I liked anyway, the raw beef salad was amazing, beefy, oniony, hot, sweet and sour with crunchy peanuts, I could have eaten 3 servings of this alone. But the spring rolls weren't good at all, skinny little Brillo pads of vermicelli, overfried and with almost no filling, which was a shame because there was plenty of lettuce and fresh herbs (all GREEN, to my surprise) to wrap them in. I ordered the Pho and asked for it after I had finished my starters, but 5 minutes later it appeared, was plonked on the table and a half finished plate of eel removed. When I called the waiter back he spun around, glared and, true to form, spat "WHAT!" at me. When I told him i wasn't finished that plate too was lobbed back on the table. When I finally got to it the pho was delicious, fragrant, plenty of herbs, beansprouts and chilli to dunk in. I'm not one to let someones attitude spoil my experience, and the food overall was pretty good, but we shouldn't have to put up with poor service and shitty attitude. If it had been a first time I would have blindly put it down to the guy having a bad day, but it wasn't, and every time this waiter has been deliberately rude and aggressive. If not for that it would have been a decent 4.
Ming Tang Evans
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Sep 17 2010
The original branch on Kingsland Road sent the food community into a lather when it first opened; Mien Tay’s fresh approach to Vietnamese cooking clearly struck a chord among those jaded by the near-identical menus along ‘pho mile’, offering as it did the sweeter, more delicate flavours of south-western Vietnam.
Chargrilled quail lightly brushed with honey is a signature dish: all smokiness and spice and deep, gamey flavours. Another highlight is deep-fried sea bream, free of oiliness and served whole under tart slivers of mango and splashes of sour-salty-sweet nuoc cham. These classics are executed with equal aplomb at this newer Lavender Hill outpost. We’d also say that the pho here is marginally better, with an astounding balance of complexity and clarity in the beef broth; bouncy beef balls are a recommended addition.
The restaurant is never going to win accolades for outstanding decor – it’s the usual plain furniture and paper tablecloths, with colour added by way of cheesy plastic vines and flowers curled around the edge of the ceiling. Service is as hospitable as you might expect in a family-run joint.
Mien Tay 180 Lavender Hill
- Venue phone:
020 7350 0721
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-3pm daily. Dinner served 5-11pm Mon-Sat; 5-10pm Sun
Tube: Clapham Junction rail or 77, 87, 156, 345 bus
Main courses £5-£8
- 180 Lavender Hill
- 020 7350 0721
- 180 Lavender Hill
- Mien Tay
Average User Rating
2.9 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:3
I love this place, being brought up with Vietnamese food its sometime difficult to eat out things you can make at home. Mien Tay does such great dishes you just don't have to worry about that. The Pho is clear and flavourful with just the right amount of meat, the fried fish with mango and fish sauce is great for two or more to share. Its a shame that Time Out have classified it as a Thai restaurant as its definitely Vietnamese!!!!!
I love Mien Tay and me and my partner are regulars - the food is delicious. Personal favourite is the crispy pancake with prawn, pork and beanspoats, my partner loves the quail and we both love the pho which they serve with loads of fresh herbs. I know the service can seem a little 'rough and ready' which is annoying at times but it's not an expensive place and they have a high turnover of customers due to demand. The only thing that has been getting to me recently is that they don't give you change even when you leave a lot more than the bill and we end up having to ask for it! Me and my partner are good tippers but when faced with the assumption that we're going to tip 20%+ and having to ask for our change and wait a long time for it - last time we left nothing! They need to learn from this and treat their customers properly!
Having been to the East London restaurant on numerous occasions after seeing Time Out's review thought would give Battersea version a try. Thought it would be the same but with better service. How wrong. Service was ok but staff distant and cold. The place lacked soul. Rather grim experience. Food was fine but initially they didn't have the dish i wanted bcoz they said they had no tofu as it had to be imported from abroad. Never heard that b4 and never had a problem at the Old street branch. Wouldn't recommend. The best Mien Tay is near Old Street and i'm an adopted south londoner.
Absolutely shocking service. Rude waiters not listening to us meant every dish we ordered came out at the same time. Even though I pointed this out not one of them apologised and instead just tried to squeeze them all in on the table leading them to take one of the dishes away. After our plates were finished they quickly took them and produced a bill without us requesting it, or asking us if we wanted any other food or drink. The bill included the starter dish I didn't even eat which they then bought over just as I went to ask why it had been included... still no apology. Needless to say I didn't leave service. Get a take away to avoid the horrendous service.
I went to Mien Tay last night and was surprised to find they have a wine list that recommends wine with matching dishes. I had not heard about this and it was amazing! We love Mien Tay anyway and then to have a wine that goes perfectly just makes everything 100% more amazing!! What is really good is the wines are all available by glass and are really cheap, we always just get lots of starters so in theory you could get a different wine for each dish. Can't wait to go back and try more matches.
This was the worst service I have ever had. Rude waiters, I was interupted at least twice when tryign to order. Food came out late, by the time I got it everyone else had finished eating and there was no apology. The duck dish with rice was horrible. Really dissapointing.
There are only a few places i really look forward to going to in the Clapham Junction area, and this is definitely one of them. I have been to the sister restaurant on Kingsland Road (look at me i am so well travelled!) whichIi feel has a little more charm being narrow and intimate, but this location still maintains the fantastic food. The salt, pepper and garlic squid may not pure Vietnamese, but it is crispy and tender. The goat is great and the beef with lemongrass and chilli also hits the spot. This is the only place I have ever had fresh rolls, which for me have all the delight of the spring rolls while leaving you spritely enough to continue gorging happily. Having said that the Vietnamese spring rolls are lighter and crunchier than any Chinese counterparts I have had in London (including Royal China and Wing Yip). Finally the deep fried whole seabass with ginger, lemongrass chili and mango is amazing. If you plan to head there between 18:30-20:30 either book or expect a wait. This place used to be a little known treasure, but the secret is out. This place now has a license and you can pick up a 330ml beer for 2.50 and wine is reasonable, but it is still BYOB if you fancy increasing the savings.