One of a small number of London’s ethnic restaurants to have a branch in its native country, Au Lac is a large Vietnamese eatery a few minutes walk off the main strip of Old Street’s nightlife. The menu is suitably exotic, with plenty of richly-flavoured Vietnamese seafood, alongside the Oriental restaurant standards.
Bahn Quon steamed rolls were irresistibly light and tasty and arrived in a pile large enough to make a meal on their own. Char-grilled monkfish was a great seafood variation on the duck pancakes so familiar from Chinatown, with crisp, thin Bahn Quon pancakes. Our waiter failed to warn us when we accidentally ordered a traditional Vietnamese crab dish and was unable to explain to us how to get into it using only chopsticks, but the bits we could get at were rich with spicy aromas that perfectly complemented the salty, succulent crab.
Prices are as low as the portions are huge, yet the restaurant was completely empty on a Thursday evening, with only two others dining in a space that could comfortably have seated 40. The reason is glaringly obvious, in an unappealing décor and a set of too-bright lights that create an atmosphere as intimate as McDonalds, but rather less cheery.
This is a more than decent restaurant, which is excellent value, but it will have to seriously redecorate if it is to attract the limited passing trade on the Kingsland Road.
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Discover what's on in London 2016 with our comprehensive guide to the best events. From theatre to art and music to sport, London 2016 has something for everyone - so read on to find out what London town has to offer.
Hotels near Au Lac
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel from £79 40% off
100 Shoreditch High Street, E1 | 5 minutes from Au Lac
Hip US hotel group Ace hotels arrived in Shoreditch in September 2013, expanding from their US sites to add a London outpost. The property has transformed ... More
London > Restaurants > Pan-Asian restaurants
52 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, London E2 | 1 minute from Au Lac
FiftyTwo Social, the team behind Shoreditch supermarket The Grocery, are presenting a two-month pop-up this spring. Open from 22nd April 2015, Chopsticks of Fury brings together ... More
London > Events > Exhibitions Dates: 25th to 29th Oct 2016 - 10am-6pm
Au Lac, 82 Kingsland Road, E2 | Same location as Au Lac
Photographs by the Canadian artist, which weave an evocative journey through his past projects, drawing together the visual and thematic threads. The exhibition coincides with the ...More
Entertainment near Au Lac
London > Shopping > Specialists
Unit 27, BOXPARK, 2-4 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 | 4 minutes from Au Lac
Online print specialists, MOO.com, have opened a bricks and mortar shop at Boxpark, bringing their cool brand of personalised cards and stationary to Shoreditch's quirky shopping ... More
London > Education > Evening Classes
10 Sunbury Workshops, Swanfield Street, Shoreditch, London E2 | 4 minutes from Au Lac
Learn some crafty manouveurs at Making Space where classes on mask making, glass engraving, pyrography (burning patterns into wood or leather), chainmail knitting, and book hollowing ... More
Also in Kingsland Road
Our recommendations in the same street as Au Lac
What's On Today
Near Au Lac
Exhibitions | Until 17th April 2017
Museum of London 23 minutes walk from Au Lac
The Museum of London marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1666 with a ...More
Exhibitions | Until 5th February 2017
Barbican Art Gallery 1.36 miles from Au Lac
What makes something vulgar? Drawing on a wealth of stunning exhibits from the Renaissance ...More
London Artist Printmakers Exhibition: Tracing Time, Placing Marks
Exhibitions | Until 26th October 2016
Barbican Centre 1.36 miles from Au Lac
Eleanor Durbin, Martin Henley, Jenny Lagnado and Frances Kiernan trace the changes in the natural world through their prints, paintings ...More
Hotels near Au Lac
From cheap budget accommodation to luxury 5 star suites see our discounts for Au Lac hotels, including Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch from 82% off.