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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With an exciting calendar of entertainment, 2016 is another special year in London. Find out what's happening throughout the capital with our thorough guide to the best 2016 London events.
Hotels near Au Lac
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel from £79 41% 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 > Concerts Dates: Monday 27th June 2016 - 8pm-11pm
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 2-4 Hoxton Square, N1 | 4 minutes from Au Lac
The experimental indie-rock outfit, fronted by the Canadian singer, songwriter and keyboardist otherwise known as Moonface, perform material taken from their forthcoming album, My Best Human ...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
Stomping Grounds: Photographs By Dick Scott-Stewart
Exhibitions | Until 18th September 2016
Museum of London 23 minutes walk from Au Lac
An exhibition of the photographer's works showing London's social scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s....More
Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker
Theatre | Until 2nd July 2016
Barbican Centre 1.36 miles from Au Lac
A show about Japanese subculture where 25 performers swarm the stage. In a homage to otagei - ritualised dancing and ...More
Imran Qureshi: Where the Shadows are so Deep
Exhibitions | Until 10th July 2016
Barbican - Curve Gallery 1.36 miles from Au Lac
For his first major London commission award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi creates a new work for ...More
Hotels near Au Lac
From cheap budget places to stay to luxury 5 star suites see our discounts for Au Lac hotels, including Ace Hotel London Shoreditch from 91% off.