Monday, July 23, 2012

Gastronomic Delights in Hanoi

Spent a few days in Hanoi for some events. As usual I did not have time to go around, so I made up for it by eating every chance I got (it helped that the heat during the events helped burn everything I ate immediately). I asked my superstar travel blogger friend - Nina - what's the best thing to do in Hanoi. She said that I can not go wrong with food, because everything was delicious in Hanoi.

I was too tired to go out on my first night so I just had late merienda/early dinner after my afternoon meeting. I was asleep by 9 in the evening, but was up early the next morning and had some pancakes in my room. I made sure my stomach was ready to take in lots of food by lunch time since Phillip said that Spices Garden Restaurant at the Sofitel Metropole Hotel was probably the best Vietnamese cuisine restaurant in Hanoi. I tried many different things - pork (like tapa), spring rolls, fried bao, traditional fried pancake etc. - and I loved it all. The buffet made available many Vietnamese dishes and it was hard to choose since everything looked delicious.

I piled up a lot of fried stuff on my plate (bad, bad, bad!), but I balanced it by eating a couple of all-veggie spring rolls. I couldn't resist eating a couple of fried bao though. It was just truly yummy.

This is Phillip's healthy plate. I would've gone for the prawns, but I was scared of having my allergies act up.

In the evening we headed to a French restaurant - Green Tangerine Cafe & Restaurant. The dishes we got were quite unlike anything I've had. Reminded me of the stuff they make on Master Chef. My choices though was pretty limited because most of the dishes had chicken in it. (Apologies for the bad photos, it was pretty dark and I couldn't get the right camera setting).

The next day we had lunch in Venus Palace. The restaurant mimicked a typical street food set-up in smaller towns. We had to get coupons so we can "buy" from one stall to the other. I had a bit of a hard time ordering food since I wasn't sure about the ingredients. I'm glad though we had Phillip and Dung help us with our orders.

My trip was too short to see the beautiful sights around Hanoi, but I'm glad I managed to make up for it with food! Since my trips are always for work, I guess I'll just focus more on posting about food and what you can do with limited time in a country. 

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