Of the many Vietnamese eateries on Shoreditch’s Kingsland Road, Viet Grill remains the one to beat. ‘It’s permanently packed with Shoreditch locals’, even at lunchtime when its competitors lie forlorn & empty. Some credit for this goes to the venue’s good but ‘not aggressively trendy’ looks (bold wallpaper, dark wood & ‘somewhat annoying’ clattery surfaces, ‘unconducive to a lingering meal’), but most goes to the food. The placemat menu divided into ‘small eats’, ‘sublime greens’, ‘street dishes’ & so on, has simplified ordering, & the original English-language monikers scream ‘eat me’. ‘Sitting duck curry’, ‘piggy grilled aubergine’ & ‘sizzling seafood’ certainly grab your attention. Come in for ‘a beer & a bowl of pho’ or take the waiter’s tips for a proper feast. It’s all very user-friendly, but there’s a lingering question mark: is the kitchen ‘holding back on the spice factor to accommodate Brits’?
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