When Mien Tay opened a second branch of its popular Kingsland Road restaurant in Battersea last year and brought the good people of Clapham Junction some of the best Vietnamese food in London, it quite rightly became a bit of a food bloggers’ darling.
We’ve visited numerous times since and have never left feeling anything other than impressed, stuffed and a little tipsy from the BYO wine we’ve picked up at the local Asda.
One man who probably didn’t call into Asda en route was Willie Lebus of Bibendum Wines, who went to Mien Tay for dinner earlier this year following a Twitter tip-off. He loved the food, which he no doubt washed down with a couple of perfectly matched bottles, but was appalled by the stuff that people were drinking. A crusade began, and now after several months of collaboration, Mien Tay is about to launch its new wine list, hand-picked by Bibendum.
Londonist was invited to try the wines, along with the food they’re matched with, and we were suitably impressed. All wines are available by the glass or carafe as well as by the bottle, which means diners can enjoy different wines with different dishes - and as would be expected with Bibendum involved, the matches are spot on.
Our one hesitation is the end of BYO and the extra cost it will add to the meal, but with most bottles around the £12-£15 mark, we can’t criticise the value. In fact, Mien Tay owners Mr and Mrs Le are so keen to keep the price down that their incredibly low margins mean many of the same wines will be found at other London restaurants for double the price.
Given how tricky it can be to match wines with high flavoured Vietnamese food, we think it’s great that someone’s done the work for us, and considering you can eat like a (very hungry) king for around a tenner at Mien Tay, we’re prepared to spend a few pounds more for some decent vino.
Mien Tay Battersea is at 180 Lavender Hill, SW11 5TQ. Visit the website here.