This revyu wil nok your soks of
After leaving the LABELS Catwalk Show in nearby Rivington St. cold and hungry at 11 PM, my friend and I anxiously wandered the buzzing side streets of Shoreditch in pursuit of a hot and hearty meal. Finding ourselves at the crossroads – in both the literal and figurative sense – we were divided between going to Saf, a seemingly organic and healthy option, and Little Hanoi, an unflattering Vietnamese restaurant flooded by bright fluorescent lights, but nonetheless bustling. Being in the mood for a proper bowl of noodles, my friend was able to placate me, and lure me away from the healthy gems of Saf.
After being seated by our bubbly waitress, we began flipping through what looked like an encyclopaedia of Vietnamese cuisine – a thick, glossy lexicon of possibly every Vietnamese dish under the sun. Rather than making things easier for me by providing me with more choice (being a vegetarian I normally struggle to order decent meals at restaurants), I found myself anxiously racking my brains, paralyzed by the abundance of choice. As well, the myriad spelling errors in the menu, and the owner’s penchant for Celtic fonts only aggravated me further, as I had to also decipher the names of unintelligible (and illegible) dishes. Accordingly, in an effort to rid any doubts I had, my friend reassured me that this brazen illiteracy on their part was testament to the authenticity of the food. In any case, I can now hold my head high and explain to my friends that no, Fog Legs is not the name of a newly-discovered arachnid species, but rather a simple misspelling of Frog’s Legs.
After finally piecing together a selection of small dishes in an effort to enjoy a dinner of Western proportions, I proceeded to play with my not-so-glamorous black plastic chopsticks, which my friend insisted – an euphemism for ‘forced’ – I use in an effort to further acquaint myself with the wonders of the Far East. However, practice, as they say, makes perfect, and by the time our main dishes had arrived I was pinning my morsels with grace. Sadly, though, what I ate that night was best left untouched.
Having ordered from the ‘Vgetble’ section of the menu a portion of Chilli Bean Curd, Stir-Fry Noodle, and Spicy Aubergine, along with the customary selection of spring rolls, I was dismayed before even having a taste (think grey, mushy aubergines and noodles swimming in their own juice). Needless to say, the food was less than satisfactory, and left me with a pleasant feeling of queasiness that plagued my Saturday afternoon the next day. Luckily, though, I had my glass of Chardonnay to fall back on, which along with the surprisingly good jasmine tea, was the only redeeming feature of the evening.
In a nutshell – mediocre food, total lack of ambience, and a mind-boggling menu. Would I ever pay the chaps at Little Hanoi another visit? Probably not – unless I am to succumb to peer-pressure, of course. However, being one to always look on the bright side, I must thank them for my now-consummate chopstick-wielding skills – a force to be reckoned with.
They never did bring my friend’s Fog Legs in the end, in case you were wondering if they were tasty.
147 Curtain Road
London, EC2A 3QA