Van Le, eldest daughter of My Le — owner of the Mien Tay restaurant group, which has four venues across London — has opened Mrs Le’s Bahn Mi and Grill on Battersea’s Lavender Hill. Named in honour of her mother (and situated next door to Mien Tay’s own Battersea branch), the new restaurant aims to be the closest replication of the Vietnamese grill restaurant experience in London.
Mrs Le’s promises that menu items, along with their preparations and presentations are “exactly as you would find in a typical grill restaurant in Vietnam,” a style of dining said to be popular particularly in the south-west of the country. Fresh seafood is sourced daily from Billingsgate fish market, and all menu elements are prepared in-house.
Dishes such as one-day sunshine squid (inspired by a traditional preparation whereby fishermen clean their catch of squid, then leave them to bask in the sun for a day before grilling them to their namesake sunshine-yellow colour) and mackerel with lemongrass (an aromatic, charcoal-grilled mackerel served with rice-paper rolls and fresh herbs) are joined by a range of bahn mi featuring fresh house-made pate and whipped Vietnamese butter. Other larger dishes include whole, charcoal-grilled chicken, and a range of noodle soups, while traditional Vietnamese drinks including condensed milk-sweetened iced coffee are available as accompaniments.