May 15, 2012 by doscojones
Mein Tay seems to be considered quite highly out there, it has glowing reviews from quite a few London newspapers and bloggers, at least according to their menu.
The decor is over the top kitschy Indochina, the glass top tables contain little Vietnamese villages including fake spider medallions.
Our initial waiter was pleasant and friendly, unfortunately we didn”t see him for the rest of the night and were left with a moody teenager that grunted at us. I guess he was underwhelmed to be working on a Saturday, I suppose I can’t blame him for that.
The spring rolls were nice and crisp, with noodles, veggies and good amount of herbs inside, I don’t think there was any meat in them. You dipped these in a sweet sauce and wrapped them up in lettuce mixed with herbs. I love the process of wrapping things up in lettuce leaves, its so fresh and the texture is great.
The quail with honey, garlic and spices was delicious, quail works wonderfully well with this sweet marinade. The only issue was Quail doesn’t have a lot of meat on it, so a small mouthful is all you’ll get of this dish.
The salt, pepper and garlic squid was disappointing, the batter was chalky and too thick.
The Green Papaya Salad with Tofu was punchy and fresh. I don’t like tofu that much but avoiding that and sticking to the juicy fruit salad worked for me.
The Vietnamese Chicken Curry served in a clay pot was a watery disappointment, it needed to be a little thicker and it was short on meat and vegetables, it was just flavoured coconut milk in the end.
The Pho with Beef, Brisket and Beef Balls was decent but not amazing, the soup was not strong enough, it did not have the usual complexity that I expect from Pho. I have not had beef balls in a while, this was a useful reminder of why I hate this cheap tasteless meat.
The Sea Bream with Fish Sauce and Mango was good, the crispy skin with the sweet sauce and loads of mango was a tropical delight, if only London’s weather would shape up and match this dish.
Stir-fried Lamb with Ginger & Spring Onion was a gelatinous disappointment, I couldn’t actually taste much ginger and I was a little freaked out by the glupiness of it all.
This is a decent Vietnamese but it’s quite hit and miss and I’m not sure it deserves as much praise as I seem to see all over the internet.