One of a small number of London’s ethnic restaurants to have a branch in its native country, Au Lac is a large Vietnamese eatery a few minutes walk off the main strip of Old Street’s nightlife. The menu is suitably exotic, with plenty of richly-flavoured Vietnamese seafood, alongside the Oriental restaurant standards.
Bahn Quon steamed rolls were irresistibly light and tasty and arrived in a pile large enough to make a meal on their own. Char-grilled monkfish was a great seafood variation on the duck pancakes so familiar from Chinatown, with crisp, thin Bahn Quon pancakes. Our waiter failed to warn us when we accidentally ordered a traditional Vietnamese crab dish and was unable to explain to us how to get into it using only chopsticks, but the bits we could get at were rich with spicy aromas that perfectly complemented the salty, succulent crab.
Prices are as low as the portions are huge, yet the restaurant was completely empty on a Thursday evening, with only two others dining in a space that could comfortably have seated 40. The reason is glaringly obvious, in an unappealing décor and a set of too-bright lights that create an atmosphere as intimate as McDonalds, but rather less cheery.
This is a more than decent restaurant, which is excellent value, but it will have to seriously redecorate if it is to attract the limited passing trade on the Kingsland Road.
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With an exciting calendar of events, London 2014 is shaping up to be another special year. Find out the best of what's happening throughout the capital this year with our thorough guide to 2014's finest entertainment.
Hotels near Au Lac
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel from £90 38% off
100 Shoreditch High Street, E1 | 5 minutes from Au Lac
Hip US hotel group Ace hotels arrived in Shoreditch in September 2013, expanding from their US sites to add a London outpost. The property has transformed ... More
London > Events > Music Dates: Monday 28th July 2014 - 7.30pm-0.30am
The Queen Of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A | 10 minutes from Au Lac
A music showcase with appearances by Jammer, Layz, Dapz On The Map, Jay Fae, Maxsta, Lady Ny, Realz, C4, Sox, Emal and Imani....More
Entertainment near Au Lac
London > Shopping > Specialists
Unit 27, BOXPARK, 2-4 Bethnal Green Road, E1 | 4 minutes from Au Lac
Online print specialists, MOO.com, have opened a bricks and mortar shop at Boxpark, bringing their cool brand of personalised cards and stationary to Shoreditch's quirky shopping ... More
London > Education > Evening Classes
10 Sunbury Workshops, Swanfield Street, Shoreditch, London E2 | 4 minutes from Au Lac
Learn some crafty manouveurs at Making Space where classes on mask making, glass engraving, pyrography (burning patterns into wood or leather), chainmail knitting, and book hollowing ... More
London > Business > Venue Hire
2 Fournier Street, Broadgate, Spitalfields, London E1 | 14 minutes from Au Lac
Built in 1729, Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christ Church creation was declared dangerous and closed in 1956. Vigorous campaigning, from the poet Sir John Betjeman among others, eventually ... More
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