Hai Ha

hai ha

July 31st, 2012

I had dinner with Catie at Hai Ha, a Vietnamese restaurant in Hackney last week. Hai Ha is generally referred to as Mandy’s (after it’s owner) and it was the first Vietnamese restaurant on Mare Street when it opened in 1998 (there are many now). We had no trouble getting a table and the staff were very attentive.

summer rolls

As a starter we ordered Goi Cuon (Summer Rolls) – prawns, rice vermicelli and salad, wrapped in rice paper with a Nuoc Cham dipping sauce of chilli, fish sauce and lime juice.

squid with chilli and lemongrass

For the main course we had a Xao Dia Gang Muc – squid with chilli and lemon grass,

mango salad with prawns

and a Mon Goi – house salad with prawns. We also had a bowl of steamed rice on the side.

It’s BYOB, so we took a crisp, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which went well with the seafood and chilli.

squid close up

Everything was excellent and reasonably priced – I’ll definitely be going back!

Hai Ha is at: 206 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 3RD

They also do online takeaway and delivery orders, via this website.

About Mad Dog

This entry was posted in Drink, Eating Out, Fish, Food, Restaurants and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Hai Ha

  1. Everything look really good, can’t pick only one. I find very interesting that you have so many BYOB restaurant over there…I don’t know how well that formula would work here in Spain 😉

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Giovanna. I think BYOB started in Australia and the concept was to allow people to drink in restaurants where they didn’t have a full alcohol licence (licensing laws were very strict). The idea spread to the UK in the 70’s, which also had difficult licensing laws. Things are easier now (I believe), but the concept has continued.
      I don’t think I have ever seen BYOB in Spain, though I do know that one has to pay a lot of money in Barcelona in order to purchase a restaurant/bar with a licence, because it’s almost impossible to be given a new licence, as so many already exist.
      Zim, the Unemployable Chef, may be able to enlighten us, as he’s been looking for a bar/restaurant in Barcelona for at least a year…

  2. I love Vietnamese food and that looks perfect. There’s nothing like it round here but I must visit a Vietnamese resto next time I’m in Paris.

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve a favorite Vietnamese restaurant and enjoy every aspect of the meal. As your pictures show, the food is meticulously prepared. Just look at that squid!

  4. Fantastic – my perect meal and you took my very, very favourite wine!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks, you’ll have to drink lots of that this month – it’s almost impossible to find New Zealand wine in Spain, though I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of experimentation with non Spanish grapes in Cataluña recently 😉

  5. azahar says:

    Last time I was in London I went to Que Viet on Kingsland Road. I really miss having restaurant variety but it seems Spaniards aren’t very adventurous when it comes to eating out.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Kingsland Road is full of Vietnamese Restaurants and Mare Street is becoming very similar. I’m sure you will get Vietnamese people moving to Spain to open restaurants. I’m amazed at how much variety there is in Barcelona now in comparison to 20 years ago and similarly I don’t think there were any Vietnamese restaurants in Hackney then either 😉

  6. Wonderful food Dog.

  7. Nothing better than a dinner out and Vietnamese! If only I lived near this one:D

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