In the mood for Vietnamese food (think Chinese food prepared by French chefs) I went back to the Mekong in Pimlico. As ever, the staff were very courteous and helpful, taking their lead from the owner. The Mekong was one of first Vietnamese restaurants in London, and made its mission to provide low priced, high quality meals to a loyal local clientele. They do this very well.
To begin with we shared the dumplings in soya and chilli oil, and Thai fishcakes with a sweet chilli dip. Very tasty. Then the sizzling lamb with ginger and spring onions. I remember thinking the sizzling lamb with coconut was somewhat bland; this was not. It came on an iron platter, spitting noisily and marking the tablecloth with a neat pattern of freckles radiating from it. It was delicious, the lamb strips moist and delicate and beautifully balanced by the ginger, and with lovely onions in amongst it.
For our other main course we chose the seafood hotpot with lemongrass and coriander, and a bowl of streamed rice. Again, we found this very good as we happily munched our way through scallops, prawns, squid, mussels and so on.
We’d ordered the wine first, so it was perhaps not what was ideal for the food, but it was very good nonetheless. It was an Ashbury Grove Australian shiraz/cabernet blend at 14 percent, full of fruit as you’d expect.