Viet Shack Lemongrass Chicken Burger

Review of ViET SHACK Lemongrass Chicken Burger


What they say:

AWARD WiNNiNG Viet Shack! Come and eat some Viet street food with a modern twist. Our food is 100% homemade, healthy & non-processed. #Shackalicious.

Price: £3.00.

Calories: Unknown.

I detest hype. It brings obsessive behaviour and, with food places, invariably queuing.

I do, however, accept that hype often surrounds great food and less so bad food. Therefore the hype surrounding the relatively new Viet Shack kiosk in Manchester Arndale market is probably justifiable.

By all accounts, the food is good, prices are keen and service is friendly. It bodes well.

Viet Shack Lemongrass Chicken Burger
Tiny kiosk holds delights…

As I said, it’s just a little kiosk in the market with basic communal seating. But a sizeable presence on social media as well as frequent positive feedback, causes this little place to have substantial lunchtime queues.

Which I hate, so I went early hoping to avoid the 9-5 hordes. I think I was there about 5 minutes before they opened because clearly they were still setting up. They still took my order though, and got on with it.

The term “street food” is one of these things, along with beards and “pop ups” that I wish had left us in 2014, but is sadly lingering around.

It’s just a gimmick but people buy into it, thinking they are getting something more authentic than they’d get in a good restaurant. Viet Shack’s tasty food would taste just as good in a real restaurant.

The size of the kiosk is probably not much bigger than a food truck though, and the smell of the food they were preparing was outstanding.

In almost no time at all, my burger was ready. Simple polystyrene box, no condiments or napkins. I sat down in the communal area as people bustled past and started investigating my burger.

Viet Shack Lemongrass Chicken Burger
Basic presentation is deceptive…

Chicken pieces, some sort of sauce, carrot and various greenery. It looked different certainly, and still the smell was with me.

I started biting in. Firstly, the bun was soft and pretty basic. It was perfectly adequate.

However, once I started tasting the contents, I really wasn’t thinking about the bun. I’d had a couple of lesser burgers recently and needed something outstanding for a change. I found it at Viet Shack.

Viet Shack Lemongrass Chicken Burger
Array of delicious ingredients…

The chicken was so damn tasty with a crispness on the outside. The large amounts of green were really fresh and tangy. Plain lettuce so often just gets lost on a burger but not here. Even when I got a bit of just bun and green, it tasted good.

The grated carrot on top of the whole show gave a lovely moreish sweetness to the flavours and again, was very good on its own.

In a chorus of excellent ingredients, the absolutely perfect sauce conducted the show. Slightly spicy and just a tiny bit sour, it balanced everything out in such a wonderful way that I did not want to finish.

Viet Shack Lemongrass Chicken Burger
Near perfection from Viet Shack…

I’ve read such wonderful things about the other things on the menu here (not burgers) that I’m going to have to return in civvy garb.

The menu isn’t big – I counted about nine items all told – but if the rest of the stuff matches the quality of the Lemongrass Chicken Burger, then it’s hardly surprising this place is surfing the hype.

After I finished, and sat for a while making my notes, the delicate yet confident flavours remained in my mouth for some time. When the taste is as good as this, that’s a very welcome experience.

Viet Shack Lemongrass Chicken Burger
Cross-section of the Lemongrass Chicken…

Simple, straightforward, incredible value and really top quality, I highly recommend Viet Shack. I’ve never had a burger quite like it before.

Would I have it again? Probably by the time you’ve finished reading this!

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