Welcome to the first review of a restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam! I've finally managed to add yet another country tag to this blog. It was my very first time travelling to the country, not really knowing what to expect. On the very first day, I had dinner at a well-known restaurant, which is also known as The Old Quarter Corner Restaurant in English.
For simplicity, or rather due to the fact that I'm not well-versed at all in Vietnamese alphabet, I'll use the English names of the dishes not just in this review, but the upcoming few as well. Didn't Pikachu look like a king, waiting to gobble the feast presented in front of him? :P
Fresh Spring Rolls with Prawns and Mango 69,000₫ (~S$4.20)
A trip to Vietnam wouldn't be complete without sampling their fresh spring rolls wrapped in rice paper. I was pretty impressed by the freshness of the vegetables, even though the prawns would be better called shrimps due to their puny sizes. The chewy rice vermicelli helped to absorb the sweet and sour dipping sauce well.
Traditional Hanoi's Field Snail with Pork Meat 95,000₫ (~S$5.80)
A local specialty would be the deep-fried cake made of a combination of minced pork, rice field snails and herbs. While the outer layer could be slightly crispier, I was delighted by the meaty filling that was complemented by the chewy texture of the snails. The accompanying chili sauce was thick and sweet, but not highly spicy.
Grilled Chicken Wrapped in Herbal Leaves 95,000₫ (~S$5.80)
Vietnamese answer to Thai wrapped chicken, perhaps, though I wasn't too sure of the identity of the leaves used to wrap the meat. Honestly speaking, it wasn't that aromatic and could be juicier as well, even though it wasn't dry. The chili sauce at the side was exactly the same as in the previous dish.
Stir-Fried Morning Glory with Garlic 39,000₫ (~S$2.40)
More affectionately known as kangkung here in Singapore, the leafy vegetable was stir-fried with an adequate amount of garlic, retaining its moisture well. Notice that there was a lime wedge on the plate. Initially I was skeptical about squeezing the juice out, but it proved to be rewarding for the zest it lent to the dish.
Caramel Custard 25,000₫ (~S$1.55)
The dessert dish that I ordered was somewhat dodgy. The custard was pretty eggy without being thoroughly smooth due to the air bubbles during the preparation. I suppose it did have a bit of coconut smell in it. The caramel sauce was adequately sweet, but not that aromatic.
Vietnamese Tea 25,000₫ (~S$1.55)
I suppose I ordered Vietnamese green tea. That pot was full of extremely robust tea that would be beyond description. It was truly aromatic and bitter, though not at all repulsive, jolting my senses in just one sip. If it weren't nice, I wouldn't finish the whole pot.
Wait, that wasn't all. When I was about to ask for the bill, a lady in black outfit, presumably the manager of the restaurant, politely asked me to sit down and relax for a while more as she would be treating us to a free dessert dish. The pineapples could be juicier, but their sweet and sour taste was refreshing.
In spite of the few misses, it was pretty decent for the very first meal in the country. Humble homely dishes, I'd say, served in a restaurant with a rustic decor. Pika's advice: Discover more of the regional dishes from the menu in the website shown below!
Qua Cho Que
44 Dao Duy Tu
(Daily: 6.30am - 10.30pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,