The Hanoi Bike Shop, Glasgow West End

When I saw the opening of The Hanoi Bike Shop mentioned on the 5pm blog, I was pretty damn excited. I love Vietnamese food, and really missed it since moving from Melbourne to Glasgow. Just a couple of months ago,  I resorted to made Bahn Mi – Vietnamese rolls – at home (they were amazing, by the way). I’m so happy I can now buy them in Glasgow.

We headed there on Saturday – they only opened on Thursday. Now, I’ve been to a lot of places when they have just opened, but I honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell – service was friendly and enthusiastic and the place looks great.

We started with a couple of beers – Hanoi, and Saigon. Personally I loved the Saigon but it was lunchtime so just stuck to one beer.

The Hanoi Bike Shop beers

Then to make the decision on food – the menu isn’t huge, but I still had a lot of trouble deciding what to get. I really wanted to try the Pho but couldn’t go past the Banh Mi this time. We also got some rice paper rolls and the Dia Dung Com as a side – Vietnamese sausage with picked vegetables and bread.

Vietnamese sausage and pickled vegetables – £3.95

Prawn rice paper rolls – £4.50

Both these dishes were great. The Vietnamese sausage was really tasty, and I loved that the pickled vegetables were served in their own little jar. Every dish came with lashings of coriander – probably my favourite herb so I was in heaven. The rice paper rolls were packed with filling and went perfectly with the dipping sauce.

There is one thing I haven’t yet mentioned which made me love this place even more. On all the tables they have a little squeezy bottle of sriracha. This is my new all-time favourite spicy sauce and I make it at home. I covered everything I ate with this to give it an extra kick.

On to the Banh Mi!

Banh Mi – lemongrass and sesame marinated beef – £6.50

Banh Mi – pork and woodear mushroom pate – £5.00

Wow is pretty much all I had to say – these were great. I tried both and loved them – the pork has a sweetness to it whereas the beef was definitely more savoury/umami. They were absolutely chok-full of ingredients but were easy to eat once you jammed everything in there. A Banh Mi can really have any mix of ingredients but I would say it is essential to have lettuce, coriander, pickled vegetables and some kind of protein (whether it be meat or tofu). The only one tiny thing I would ask for next time is for mayonnaise on my roll as that is my personal preference!

We had a great time visiting The Hanoi Bike Shop – and I would have loved to stay on longer but we had places to be (visiting the National Museum of Roller Derby exhibition called The Revolution on Roller Skates!). I can’t wait back to try the Pho and some of the other dishes on the menu that we saw neighbouring tables eating. This place has definitely brought something new and interesting to Glasgow, and is high up on my new favourite places to eat.

11 thoughts on “The Hanoi Bike Shop, Glasgow West End

  1. Tony says:

    As someone also from Melbourne, and an absolute lover of Pho (had it 1st in Vietnam and have since sought out genuine versions all over the world), I rushed off to The Hanoi Bike Shop for their pre-opening guinea-pig night … I’m really hoping it was a glitch of some kind, but there was something missing for me in the version I had.. It was OK, but not overwhelmingly wonderful like versions I’ve had elsewhere.. I’d be interested to see other people’s opinions because I, if they get it right, I’d pretty much be there every weekend – especially in winter..

  2. glasgow says:

    Went there for dinner this week – service was very friendly but slow and obviously understaffed, food was quite good but portions could have been bigger – expensive for what it is. Overall a bit disappointing really.

    • Briony says:

      Sorry to hear you didn’t have the great experience we did! I always forgive places for being slow when they are newly opened as they staff are still getting the hang of everything. What did you have to eat that you thought the portion was too small?

  3. Alfred Tan says:

    Briony, have to say that the pho lack the beefy oomph I was looking for. Portions could have been bigger for the price. *que wagamama as a reference to portion size. My beef bahn mi was rather dry as well. The folks were sincere and with time hopefully the food will improve… 10 / 10 for the deco though.

  4. calummacleod says:

    Wow, the Banh Mi looks amazing – I love a good dose of coriander. Never heard of this place before now but will have to give it a whirl – looks liek it’s worth it from your pics. Oh, and another thing you’ve introduced me to is Glasgow Roller Derby, definitely have to go see this!

  5. The Budgie Spirit says:

    We were very disappointed. I know Vietnamese rather well and this was a sad and cheap imitation. The portions were ridiculously small and it was overpriced. We sent the pancake back, it was smothered in fat. This place has very little to do with Vietnamese culture and food.the cook was not even Asian.

  6. thepointgrinder says:

    Don’t be fooled by the cool decor, the food here is terrible. Aubergine fritters was 5 thin
    Slices for a fiver, the curry tasted nothing like a south east Asian curry, and the rice
    was uncle bens. Cynically cashing in on the trend for Vietnamese food. Give it a wide berth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s