Style:

Glasgow’s only Vietnamese restaurant serves up authentic street food in a convincingly rickety wee hoose down Ruthven Lane in the West End. Step inside and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a (peculiarly chilly) corner of Hanoi.

Image: Hanoi Bike Shop Facebook
Image: Hanoi Bike Shop Facebook

Best for:

A healthy, delicious and adventurous selection of dishes to share with a group or graze on whilst relaxing – and treating your tastebuds to flavours you might not have considered matching together before. Definitely a great option for a lunch break – our server couldn’t have done more to ensure that we were fed, watered and content in within 50 minutes of arriving.

What we ate:

One of the major credits of Hanoi has to be awarded to the staff, who have no problem distinguishing their Cha Ca Quy Nhon from their Dong Vat Co Vo Lau, and are happy to have a chat about the menu and make sure you’re ordering something you’ll really enjoy. After a few minutes frantically scanning the menu and having no idea what to order for a speedy lunch, we ended up by nodding energetically at all the suggestions made and allowing the waiter to order for us. No regrets at all, this is what we got:

 

Spoiler: IT’S ALL VEGAN.

Everything went together beautifully and each flavour was different. The spice of the ginger in Temple Tofu was balanced by the turmeric and coconut flavours revealed in the braised tofu hot pot, and I urge anyone who thinks they will never like tofu to give the Bike Shop’s own homemade version a try before forever scorning this diminutive bean sprout fare – it is a game-changer.

Fritters up front with Temple Tofu on back left and seasonal greens on the right.

In all honesty, I’m still not entirely sure that I could tell a cassava from Adam but it, like many things, tastes delicious when fried and dipped in a sweet and spicy sauce.

What we drank:

A seemingly never-ending supply of Jasmine Tea from an insta-worthy teapot, and the inimitable Hoodoo – a modern take on ginger beer which refreshes the palate with a whimsical blend of bell pepper, cayenne, hibiscus and pomegranate.

Verdict:

Delivered on all fronts, from superb timekeeping for a lunch hour to delicious food and generous portions that meant I practically sleep-walked through an afternoon of lectures (or maybe that was double-French, who knows). Highly recommend a visit if you haven’t already enjoyed an Vietnamese treat doon the lane. You won’t be disappointed.

Check out their website here and get your booking in – thanks Hanoi Bike Shop!