Authentic cuisine served with a smile
AN NGON MIENG – In Vietnamese, Hoang Lan means Wild Orchids. That is a combination of the names of the restaurant’s owners. Huy (his surname translates as Wild in English) is the talented chef and his partner, Lan (Orchid), looks after the front of house. ‘That’s why we like to have orchids decorating the tables,’ he smiles. The couple are passionate about their native cuisine. ‘Our dishes are light and healthy,’ explains Huy. ‘We use fresh ingredients and lots of herbs, such as basil, coriander and mint. And if customers prefer to add more spice, that’s not a problem.’
For those unfamiliar with Vietnamese food, Huy recommends the spring rolls – ‘I think they’re nicer than the Chinese version!’ – the Pho soup and any of the ‘sizzling’ main dishes. And for something traditional, the seabass with either mango, tomato or garlic sauce: ‘We only fry the skin a little bit, it’s delicious.’
Hoang Lan has been open for a year, it is licensed (Vietnamese beers are excellent), open for lunch and has a takeaway service. Huy and Lan have attracted a loyal clientele and, if their enthusiasm and charming service counts, the restaurant deserves to be a huge success.