Located on the topmost floor of Elegance Diamond Hotel that is situated in the maze of the old quarter of the capital city of Vietnam, The Gourmet Corner Restaurant has been known to pamper its customers with a medley of Vietnamese and Western food, as well as the panoramic view of Hoan Kiem Lake.
We didn't really try the Western food, save for the Italian dessert since the restaurant doesn't offer Vietnamese sweets. Without further ado, let's take a closer look into the dishes we ordered for the night.
Crispy Spring Rolls 89,000₫ (~S$5.45)
For a start, I relished the crispy spring rolls, each having a crispy shell that imparted a nice crumbly sensation in the mouth. Encased within was a mildly seasoned mixture of ground pork, eggs, mushrooms, carrots and glass noodle. I didn't expect the spring rolls to come with springy rice vermicelli.
Chicken with Chili and Lemongrass 138,000₫ (~S$8.50)
The first main course to arrive on the table was a letdown. The stripes of chicken were dry, not to mention that the aroma of lemongrass was almost non-existent. Nevertheless, the rice was cooked well, served with pickled salad which was crunchy. The accompanying clear soup with tomatoes wasn't bad either.
Cha Ca La Vong 180,000₫ (~S$11.05)
Said to be an iconic dish of Hanoi, the grilled fish originated from an eatery within the old quarter, so famous that the street at which it's located is named after the dish. We didn't traverse the maze to specifically find that eatery, partly due to the highly mixed reviews online, so we thought we could just try it elsewhere.
The friendly server passionately taught us how to enjoy the dish. Ingredients were put on top of a piece of rice paper in the following order before being wrapped together: rice vermicelli, fish, herbs, peanuts and fried shallots. Apparently, the fish slices were too dry for my liking, even though they exuded quite a nice turmeric smell. Some parts were burnt as well. From what I've researched, it seems like the original dish at Cha Ca street is quite the opposite, i.e. oily.
Coconut Panna Cotta 117,000₫ (~S$7.20)
Literally means 'cooked cream', the Italian dessert didn't win my heart. While the coconut taste was there, the texture didn't quite match its name, for it wasn't entirely smooth and irregularly firm. The mango slices, however, were delightfully sweet. They were a nice contrast to the sour passion fruit syrup added on top.
Summer Time 89,000₫ (~S$5.45)
It was winter when I was there, but anyway, to wash the calories down, it was a good choice to pick a glass of mocktail made of pineapples and kumquats that was further sweetened with sugarcane juice. The drink was generally smooth without being too sweet, served chilled enough.
Pika's advice: Do make a reservation beforehand in order to get a seat next to the window! It was a pity that the quality of the food was below that of what I'd expected, but the superb ambience, along with the warm and professional service rendered by the servers, did make up for it.
We really didn't want to leave the restaurant. Haha... Oh, the manager of the restaurant, Mr. Andy Phuc, also sent me an e-mail message of appreciation. Thank you!
Below is another picture taken with my Sony Xperia Z3 compact.
The Gourmet Corner Restaurant
32 Lo Su
12/F Elegance Diamond Hotel
(Daily: 8.00am - 10.00pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 5% service charge.
Have a nice meal,