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Vietnamese restaurants at the bottom of Kingsland Road have created a tight little group of mostly decent eateries where competition is fairly high and the food is of good standard. With places lined up next door and across the street from each other you’re going to have to be pretty good to stay afloat. London On The Inside has frequented a few of these places, some showing off ‘culture’ to the parents, some mid-week treats on the way to HQ and others shameful late night drunken escapades…

Now we have to admit this isn’t the first time we have eaten at Anh Dao and our decision to go there is usually made because it’s the only one open past midnight, and by this point we are usually pretty tipsy and the meal is a bit of a blur. However this time round we went because offers BYO (that’s Bring Your Own Booze) and if our memory served us right we’d never had a bad experience.

Anh Dao is a pretty big restaurant with lots of shared wooden tables and simple decor with the odd bit of “traditional” Asian touches. The menu offers a good selection of dishes with all levels of spiciness. What’s more they aim to please and when we asked for a Papaya Salad which wasn’t on the menu they were more than happy to knock one up which came crunchy, sweet and hot.

Other starters of chargrilled scallops and crispy duck with pancakes didn’t disappoint, and what’s more for £7 the quarter portion of duck is bloody good value. For mains the Prawns coated in spicy sauce came exactly as described, a mound of prawns coated in a hot, sticky sauce with crunchy vegetables. Rice was fluffy and light and overall the food was consistently good. If you’re looking for Vietnamese in Kingland Road give Anh Dao a shot – it beats a Doner kebab that’s for sure!

106 – 108 Kingsland Road, E2