Restaurants, Bars and Cafes

Food blog: Left Bank’s Hoi An Char grilled skewers are ‘tasty, exotic and affordable’

By Ava Richardson at

After visiting before and being incredibly impressed by the interesting diverse menu, I decided to return to face the hype for their most popular dish – The Left Bank’s signature “Hoi An Char Skewers”.

I have heard people rave about them left, right and centre – a West End crowd favourite. Tasty and affordable, packed full with exotic ingredients.

Hype: The dish lives up to its reputation.

I looked up the background behind the name and “Hoi An” is Vietnam’s most ‘atmospheric and delightful’ town, which is a fitting name for these delicious skewers influenced by Vietnamese culture.

THE LEFT BANK’S SIGNATURE: ‘HOI AN CHAR GRILLED SKEWERS’

Left Bank is a beautiful open light space with the sun streaming through and lovely authentic food with classics and twists.

Space: Left Bank has sun streaming through and authentic food.

The grilled chicken skewers are served as twins coated in a gorgeous golden peanut sesame satay, which is packed full of Asian spices (winner for me) and punching with flavor.

I was impressed with the presentation and the unique ‘taken off the skewer’ style, mixing it up a bit (and slightly less messy).

On the plate, the array of colours complement each other well and the ‘peanut slaw’ that accompanies pops on the palate and balances the chicken out nicely.

Ava Richardson:

“I was impressed with the presentation and the unique ‘taken off the skewer’ style, mixing it up a bit (and slightly less messy).

“On the plate, the array of colours complement each other well and the ‘peanut slaw’ that accompanies pops on the palate and balances the chicken out nicely.”

Impressive: the dish is beautifully presented.

The slaw consists of vibrant fresh red chillies, red cabbage, lettuce, lime leaf, lemongrass and coriander with plenty of kick.

The tender chicken was very succulent and generously doused with the delicious spicy satay with a zing.

FRESH SLAW, SUCCULENT CHICKEN AND TOASTED PEANUTS

The toasted peanuts are the perfect touch to top it all. Crunchy, spicy and zesty. The variation of texture is a match made in heaven.

I opted for the skewers for a light lunch and it totally hit the spot on its own, one that does not require an additional dish. It definitely stands alone and delivers.

Lunch: the dish is light enough to have during the day.

WHY NOT HAVE A GO AT MAKING YOUR OWN CHICKEN SKEWERS?

As a chicken satay lover I was totally inspired to try and recreate this meal with my own flair.

If you are a sucker for peanut satay I’d recommend you to give it a bash and play around with it.

This is not The Left Bank’s chicken skewers own recipe (that’s wonderfully top secret as it should be). However, here is my own take on it.

To create the satay sauce, you can really make it up as you go along according to personal preference as long as you have some of the key ingredients (peanut butter is a must, chillies and spices and limes).

I tend to create my skewers with the following ingredients:

* 3 chillies (keep one aside for garnish).
* 2 cloves of garlic.
* 1 teaspoon of curry powder, turmeric and cumin.
* 1 clove garlic.
* Thumb sized piece of ginger.
* Bunch of fresh coriander (keep a few leaves aside for sprinkling on top).
* 6 tablespoons of crunchy peanut putter.
* 4 spring onions (keep one aside for garnish).
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce.
* Chicken (breast or thigh, whatever is your preference).
* Juice of two limes and the zest of two limes.

First make sure the oven is on nice and hot. I go for Gas Mark 6.

Let your skewers (if wooden) sit in cold water so they don’t break easily later on. 

Heat up a teaspoon of each for a minute; medium curry powder, ground cumin, turmeric.

Use some water to help liquify it a bit and then blitz all of it together in a blender with your ginger, garlic, chillies etc.

Experiment: it’s a dish you can make up as you go along.

Once you have a nice thick paste, keep some of the satay sauce in a bowl for dipping later and marinade your chicken in the rest of it and leave for a while to let the flavour soak in.

I usually don’t leave it for long due to excitement and impatience, so just leave for however long you can stand it.

Then pierce your chicken on the skewers and get them in the oven for 15 minutes until cooked through and a nice golden brown colour, turning them over half way through and you’re done.

SERVE WITH SALAD OF CORIANDER, CHILLIES AND BABY GEM LETTUCE

Serve with whatever you like, I like to use the left over coriander, chillies, spring onions and some baby gem lettuces to create a little side salad to balance it all out and brighten up the plate. The crunch of the fresh lettuce with some light rice vermicelli noodles and satay chicken is a dream combination.

All in all, highly recommend hitting up The Left Bank on Gibson Street.

As long as the “Hoi An Char Grilled Chicken Skewers” stay on the menu, as it keeps evolving, I’ll continue to come back for them and I suggest you do too.


The Left Bank
33-35 Gibson Street
G12 8NU
0141 339 5969
contact@theleftbank.co.uk