Review: Hanoi Bike Shop - Beyonce in Glasgow.




Entrance to Hanoi Bike Shop

Where does Beyonce eat when she is in Glasgow? After a much talked about Instagram picture it looks like its Hanoi Bike Shop. While in Glasgow for her recent concert Beyonce posted a picture just outside Hanoi sparking rumours she had eaten in the Vietnamese restaurant. Our twitter feed was buzzing with people talking about this so this finally gave us the push to try a restaurant that had been on our radar for a while.


View into the kitchen

Situated down the quiet Ruthven Lane, Hanoi Bike Shop is Glasgow’s first Vietnamese canteen. It opened in Late 2012 and is owned by the same group as Stravaigan and Ubiquitous Chip. Any reviews we have read have been of a high standard and the restaurant was award with one AA Rosette and a place on the Michelin guide in the short time since opening.

So finally after reading all the hype we booked in for a Monday night dinner, well it was meant to be 7pm but after a huge traffic jam on the M8 it turned out more like 7.30pm so thanks to Hanoi for their flexibility, it was much appreciated.


On Arrival it instantly strikes you that this is a restaurant like no other, with a unique character. No fancy tables and chairs on display; they have deliberately kept things casual with an array of small tables and worn stools, which really does add to the Vietnamese theme which we liked. The restaurant was packed and everyone looked relaxed which is always great to see.

We were taken to our table and the very helpful waitress talked us through the menu and the specials for the day, they recommend you choose three dishes from the menu and two side dishes to share between two. Dishes are made for sharing and are brought out when ready so a nice difference from the usual three course arrangement, which was refreshing. Here is what we had....


Prawn crackers with a peanut and chilli dip.

Lovely and crisp prawn crackers, the peanut dip had a nice smooth texture with a nice spicy kick of chilli. The portion of prawn crackers was generous and a nice way to kick off the meal.

Chargrilled sea bream, caramelized pork belly and spicy pickled cucumber.

The chargrilled sea bream was light and perfectly cooked, slightly crispy skin with nice soft flesh of the fish. The pork belly was fatty and rich and worked very well with the dish. The spicy pickled cucumber gave the dish some heat and was really delicious.


Grilled mince wrapped in betel leaf with
crushed peanuts and pickles.

This dish really was fantastic, the grilled beef  was tender and melted in the mouth. The nuts and pickles add different flavours and textures to the dish and when all tied together, create a great combination. Again the chilli dip gave a nice spicy kick without wasting the flavours of the dish.

Sesame crusted chicken livers with beansprout and peanut salad.

The chicken livers were cooked nicely but we found them a bit too rich, but that's just for us. The accompanying salad was fresh, zingy and very tasty.

Vermicelli noodle salad with lemongrass
dressing.

It may just look like a noodle salad but the flavours from this dish were outstanding, with noodles which were lovely and soft. The lemon grass dressing was fresh and added some acidity, spicy flavours also came through, the freshest and tastiest salad we have ever tried.

Our first time trying Vietnamese was a success. The food was fresh and packed full of flavor, ranging from a nice mix of spice without being overpowering to delicate sweet tastes and sensations. The chicken livers were a bit too rich, but that is just our taste, everything else was outstanding. The salads here are the standout for us; they are fresh and refreshingly tasty with flavors and spices jumping out at you, truly fantastic. The sharing dishes and the food being brought out whenever it was ready may not suit everyone but at Hanoi it really does add to the experience.

On a busy night the servers done a great job, offering good advice and they knew the menu inside out. They were frantically busy but done a great job attending to all the diners.

Overall we really enjoyed the Hanoi Bike Shop and would return, prices are a bit higher and portions a bit smaller than we expected but we don’t mind paying a bit extra for good quality food and it certainly was that. We were just in for a light dinner so turned out to be £15 per head with tap water.

If you want an authentic Vietnamese experience, great food in a relaxed and casual dining room Hanoi Bike Shop is surely worth a visit.

Scores

Food 7/10
Service 7/10
Decor 6/10
Toilets 6/10
Value for money 6/10

Overall 32/50- A really nice atmosphere, we would highly recommend as the experience and food are unmatched in Glasgow.









Square Meal

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