Canteen-style Vietnamese restaurant (Glasgow’s first) where pho noodles, curries and imported beers are all excellent
The newest addition to a famous family of Glasgow restaurants that includes the nearby Ubiquitous Chip and Stravaigin inhabits a pretty two-storey house down the quaint Ruthven Lane. Upon opening in 2012, it became Glasgow’s first Vietnamese restaurant, and one with a fresh, casual, canteen-style feel.
The square tables are packed in tight and surrounded by wooden benches and funky coloured plastic stools. You’re offered a crash course in how to order upon arrival, the key instruction being that there’s no such thing as mains and starters here – food just arrives when it’s ready, sometimes resulting in food pile-ups if you’re a slow eater.
Prawn crackers with moreish peanut butter dip are a must-try to get you started, likewise the summer rolls – cold rice paper parcels packed with prawn, omelette, mint, coriander and noodles, for dunking in a sweet chilli dip. Pho noodle broths in chicken, beef, pork, seafood and tofu varieties make up the majority of the hot options, and are all wonderfully flavoursome. ‘From the pot’ specials can include cari-spiced coconut and coriander curry or black pepper pig’s cheeks with lemongrass pork fritter, seasonal greens and roast peanuts.
The imported Vietnamese beers – the hoppy Hue lager in particular – help everything go down, and are strongly recommended for dousing heat if you like to pile on the optional chillies. The cocktails and smoothies aren’t bad either, nor is the strong, sweet Vietnamese coffee served in individually filtered cups, either black or with condensed milk. If you get the bug for Vietnamese food – and one visit here should do the trick – you’ll find yourself coming back again and again.
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