I am falling so behind on this blog. Life just seems to be getting in the way - when I'm feeling inspired to write I don't have the time, and when I do have the time I'm not feeling inspired! I'm not particularly inspired right now to be honest. Just drunk on Lolea sangria!
At the start of this month we escaped to Glasgow for a couple of days. It was nice to just explore with no particular plans, other than to eat. As always I did my research and planned where to have dinner like a month in advance! The Hanoi Bike Shop was the one this time.
A cosy, compact Vietnamese eatery near Ashton Lane, the bike shop is exactly how I imagine dining out in South East Asia. We sat on rickety wooden benches next to total strangers, sharing plate after plate of delicious, flavourful food. Forget sweet chilli dip, you have got to try dau phong - peanut and chilli - with your prawn crackers! The Hanoi beer and Ho Chi Minh mule were ideal accompaniments.
Our waiter recommended 4 dishes and 2 sides between us. Gordon was confused with all the offerings and decided to leave it up to me to choose! I knew there was a reason I married him. I picked the beef wrapped in betel leaves straight away (hello, crushed peanuts) and did let him pick a side - vermicelli noodle and carrot salad with lemongrass dressing. It wasn't my cup of tea to be honest but he lapped them up!
Everything arrives at the table as it's ready, rather than starter/main courses, which I'm 100% okay with. I'm hungry, just feed me in any order! The crispy pork spring rolls were a treat, and I'd definitely order them again.
The Hanoi Bike Shop has a specials board and I jumped straight for the beef brisket dish. It was nice but nothing compared to the Vietnamese barbecued chicken! It might not look much in the pictures but believe me, this dish was INSANE. Absolutely packed with flavour and my favourite from the night. If you're going to order any dish, order this. Unless you're vegan, then there's plenty homemade tofu options to pick from. My only regret is not trying the pho.
After that absolute feast I still managed to convince Gordon to share dessert with me - a perfectly light coconut and lime panna cotta. Honestly, thanks to the Hanoi Bike Shop, I am so looking forward to heading to South East Asia and checking out the local street food. If Thailand is anything like Vietnam, the food will be unreal!