There's a new kid on the Manchester Vietnamese restaurant block. It goes by the name of Hanoi Quan and it's next door but one to Vnam Café. I was first alerted to its existence by Mancfoodian ages ago, and after it appeared to be open when I drove past a couple of weeks ago I'd planned a return visit.
It wasn't open on Wednesday night, and according to the guys in Vnam Café where I went instead it hasn't opened yet, and the owners are 'having some problems'. Oh well, that's put paid to my fantasies of Oldham Road developing into Manchester's answer to London's Pho mile. If they do ever open you can't miss the place, the sign is bright pink.
This was my third visit to Vnam Café over the last year (second visit blogged here), and all three have been good. Three meals is plenty enough to give the menu a good going over as it's brief and to the point. Various grilled things and rolls as appetisers, just six things on rice or noodles for mains, a few salads and pancakes, and of course noodle soups.
On Wednesday I had the summer rolls, then BBQ chicken with rice to follow. The summer rolls weren't freshly made (I don't think) but were pleasant enough, and two dipping sauces rather than one as a bonus. The thick peanutty one was excellent.
The chicken was simple but tasty. A chicken leg, de-boned then chargrilled so the skin was crisp and blackened but the flesh moist. Plain boiled rice and fresh salad. The whole lot doused in sweetened fish sauce with a little garlic and chilli.
I like this place a lot. The food is basic but reliable, served quickly and cheap. This meal cost me under a tenner. If the Manchester Pho mile doesn't quite come to fruition can we have a place like this in Leeds please. Just one will do. Pretty please.
140 Oldham Road