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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Plan the perfect year in the capital with our pick of the best events in London 2016. From January through to December, every month boasts an impressive line-up of entertainment. So, take a look at our guide and be sure not to miss a thing.
Hotels near Au Lac
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel from £79 26% 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 > Foodie Events Dates: 25th May to 17th September 2016
Red Market, 288-299 Old Street, EC1V | 6 minutes from Au Lac
The much-loved Red Market is back for its sixth year in 2016, returning to Shoreditch for possibly the last time. With the site due to be ...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
A Tribute to Dr Strange
Seasonal | Until 1st October 2016
The Queen Of Hoxton 1.93 miles from Au Lac
The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop has been transformed once again for its summer residency, A Tribute to Dr Strange. The ...More
The Last Days of Shoreditch
Foodie Events | Until 17th September 2016
Red Market 1.99 miles from Au Lac
The much-loved Red Market is back for its sixth year in 2016, returning to Shoreditch for possibly the last time. ...More
Cider Festival and Hog Roast
Seasonal | Until 29th August 2016
The Water Poet 2.06 miles from Au Lac
Popular east London pub The Water Poet is hosting a Cider Festival & Hog Roast once again this August bank ...More
Hotels near Au Lac
From cheap budget accommodation to luxury 5 star hotels see our deals for Au Lac hotels, including Ace Hotel London Shoreditch from 90% off.