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Hoi-An – Halal Vietnamese Restaurant

[quote]No frog legs, no pork, no strange parts of animals that I reluctantly stereotypically associate with Vietnamese cuisine here. [/quote]

On our quarterly lads hook up, we decided to go Brick Lane which was somewhere local to everyone. On a recent drive by I noticed a Vietnamese Restaurant had opened in the ever changing Brick Lane scene, on suggestion to our lads Whatsapp chat room we all agreed we’d check it out. One of the brothers worked locally and picked up a menu for previewing.

The menu looked appealing, no frog legs, no pork, no strange parts of animals that I reluctantly stereotypically associate with Vietnamese cuisine here. In the back of the restaurant there was a what looked like a Bengali manager, our first thought was this another Bengali joint trying cook far eastern cuisine. Our waiter, Tony I think his name was, mentioned he was actually the chef and joint owner and was helping out in front due to staff shortage. The rest of the night we called him Chef, which he seemed to welcome.

We all ordered aloe vera mixed drinks, mine was kiwi flavoured sparking drink with bits of aloe vera floating around. Chef advised us this was what the Vietnamese would drink, I wasn’t a fan. It tasted like ice pops melted with floating bits and far too sweet.

Sea Food mixed platter

A portion for two, prawns, calamari, scallops all lightly fried in batter, sprinkled with salt and chilli. Two summer rolls with fresh vegetables inside, dipping sauce on the side. We devoured the platter, it was a good choice, light and fluffy. The sprinkled salt and pepper with chilli and garlic on top was great, only I wished it was covered with more of it.

Main Course

We ordered a mix to share between us, Imperial Chicken which was a whole chicken seasoned in 5 spices and fried. Sizzling Beef with spring onions and vegetables, Shaking Beef dish made from rib eye steak and lemon grass chicken. Sides of egg fried rice and stir fried noodles.

The Imperial “spring” Chicken was lightly crisp on the outside, a slight taste of Chinese five spice and perfect portion. The side rice was a little greasy, maybe it was the Vietnamese way but not the way I expected it to be. There could’ve been a little more egg, other than that the portion and flavour was okay.

Sizzling Beef was a little disappointing to all of us, it arrived sizzling and spitting away but tasted wet and under marinated. Flavours only on the outside and lacking when you start chewing. The Shaking Beef on the other hand was actually very nice, tender cuts of beef, moist and full of flavour. Without being able to compare to other Vietnamese restaurants as to be honest we don’t know of any others, the food in Hoi-An was not too bad, we could only compare flavours to a Chinese restaurants we’ve been to.

The stir fired noodles was a good compliment, egg and crispy, perfect with our dishes. The Lemon grass chicken was okay, only slight tastes of lemon grass. I would say by far the best dish we had was the Shaking Beef and Imperial Chicken, the Aloe Vera drinks actually worked well with the meal.10006035_311130325700869_3566838020932682466_o10275287_311130312367537_2695886431342226333_o

Final Thoughts

By the end of the meal we was content and happy, Hoi-An is still fairly new, Chef mentioned the trouble he had buying halal cuts of meats and how this was the first halal Vietnamese restaurant in London. I can’t confirm if this is the case, however Hoi-An got thumbs up from the lads, I’m sure we will be back.

£20 a head, starters, mains and drinks. Thanks to Chef for the pleasant evening and customer service.


Hoi-An Vietnamese Restaurant

48 Hanbury Street
London E1 5JL

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