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Friday, 1 July 2011

Viet Grill in Hoxton

Deciding where to eat in Hoxton takes a while - there is everything and anything you could ever desire, a juicy burger in The Diner, a veggie treat in Saf, or something a bit more exotic from the selection of Thai and South East Asian eateries. We chose to venture to the huddle of restaurants on Kingsland Road, specifically to the very popular Viet Grill, a great hang-out serving as authentic Vietnamese food as you're likely to find anywhere in London.

The restaurant was bustling as you might expect on a Saturday night. The success of this venue has led to the opening of two other restaurants, both with a similar menu. We passed sister restaurant Cay Tre on our way, where hungry Hoxton hippies stood in a long line outside awaiting a table and some grub.

We were seated downstairs at the bar where, with a Hanoi beer, we waited till a space became available. Before too long a waiter showed us to a nearby table and gave us menus. There are certain categories on the menu but many of the dishes seemed very similar to me. Unfortunately our confused waiter seemed to know nothing about the food which didn't help much with the decision making process. For mains we opted for two meat dishes: sitting duck curry and ginger roast duck, the food came very promptly - very generously sized, steaming bowls of aromatic fare. Silence fell over the table as we scrambled over the food. Rich and delicious and very fresh tasting, the duck was cooked to perfection. In a hope of finding the 'morning glory' vegetable that I am addicted to in Busaba Eathai, we ordered a portion of wokked Bo Xoi greens cooked with crushed garlic and a touch of rice wine, this was a lovely complement to our main dishes.

I wouldn't recommend Vietnamese desserts unless you've experience of these curious delicacies - sweet treats that tend to taste rather odd to western tastebuds, often consisting of slimy jelly or strange fruity flavours that I find rather challenging and unpleasant. So we left on a high from our mains.

Viet Grill has a great vibe and fresh delicious food that is reasonable and comforting. Definitely worth the trip.

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