Vnam, Manchester February 2018

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The first dinner of February finds us again in Manchester, with what can only be described as a food scene so big its hard to know where to eat next! One area of the city that was in the news in the week was Ancoats, voted the hippest place to live. After a stroll about, it is clear that there are a lot of cool places in this hotbed of regeneration, so expect more Ancoats based writing, which can only be a good thing right?

Having spent two weeks in Vietnam before Christmas, we were starting to miss the taste of the Orient. A quick google found three Vietnamese places to eat, all in Ancoats and all on Oldham Road. We’ll get to all of them but for now the mystical three letters of B Y O led us to Vnam. (so for the unaware, you can take your own booze, but you knew that right – corkage of £1.50 per head by the way).

I can’t say we were on our best form for this visit. We were staying over at the Hilton on Deansgate, and had somewhat taken advantage of the 2 hours free bar in the Executive Lounge. I’m relying on my iphone photography to get us through readers, but I can remember enjoying everything I tasted.

To start we went for the BBQ sharing platter. It’s a monster. BBQ wings were very tasty. Chicken wrapped in pandan leaves was moist. The chicken skewers were good as were the spring rolls.

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The accompanying dip sauces were nice. On the whole it was a good dish, but on the next visit i’ll be looking for something a bit lighter with the traditional Vietnamese herbs.

Onto main, and it had to be Bun Ga Pho for me.  Hanoi style broth, simmered as I was informed by the black board for a good 12 hours, containing chicken, vegetables and a decent bunch of herbs to throw in for good measure. It was very spicy – not too spicy, but only go for this if you enjoy the heat. The broth was good and it was so hearty I think I got about 2/3rds of the way through it.

Mrs FS went for Goi Ga, the chicken salad. Whilst it was fresh, she felt that some green papaya would have improved the depth of flavour presented and the heat could have been turned up a notch.

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The bill for all this was just £30. The BYO coming into its own with our cheeky bottle of Sainsbury’s red, because we hadn’t already had enough alcohol.

I would definitely come back to Vnam. It has a nice feel to the place and I regard Vietnamese cuisine as some of the finest I’ve ever eaten. For cheap eats, give this place a try.

Recommended.

14/20.

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