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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Vietnam

Quán Cơm Gà Thượng Hải, Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh City

Quán Cơm Gà Thượng Hải, Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

6,5 points

Food in Vietnam is wonderful and much more diverse than you might experience traveling through this Southeast Asian country. In particular, as a tourist you may end up in rather – from a touristic perspective – popular locations. I guess travel agencies and hotels have arrangements with certain places, like for instance one of my favorite restaurants in Hanoi, the Four Season (https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/04/15/four-season-restaurant-hanoi/). However, there is obviously much more to discover. All kinds of street food anyhow. Restaurants meant only for locals, for the establishment, some with a modern western style, others more like a typical cantina (the Vietnamese version of fast food). Aside from of all these, there are a few around the country with particular traditions – sometimes because they offer specialties that you cannot find anywhere else or because of their concept and simply, how long they have been around. Remember my review about Bánh tôm Hồ Tây (Bánh tôm Hồ Tây, Seafood Restaurant, Inn and Biergarten, Hanoi) at the West Lake in Hanoi. This is one of the oldest and most famous places in Hanoi.

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Nhà Hàng Hương Xưa, Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh City

Nhà Hàng Hương Xưa, Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

5,5 points

While writing this review, I am expecting protest. I had the turtle! Yes! It is taboo and forbidden in many regions of the world. Actually, it depends on the species of turtle – certain types are strictly protected; for others it seems that eating them is allowed. Like many other countries, Vietnam has implemented official protection and prevention programs due to the fact that authorities, left to their own, don’t enforce their own laws strongly enough. Poaching is also certainly an issue in Vietnam in particular, since there is such a great demand in China for forbidden and really exotic animals.

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No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi

No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

6,5 points

Isn’t it true that many times we eat easy – unfortunately often unhealthy – food (or shall I say grub) which is prepared quickly and is also inexpensive, or, let’s be honest: it’s cheap. We either don’t have time or we just don’t take the time for a real lunch. And of course most of us can’t pay tens of euros or dollars for a midday meal every day –  which shows that the quality of what and how we eat is also a social question.

I admire people who cook at home and bring their own lunch to work, since this is probably the most inexpensive and reliable solution – you know exactly what kind of ingredients were used, where you bought your meat, and so on. But perhaps many of us don’t even have time to prepare any meals at all. And let’s be honest: it’s also convenient just to make a last minute decision about what you feel like eating for lunch.

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Song Xanh, Restaurant, Doung Dong (Dương Đông)

Song Xanh, Seafood & Restaurant, Doung Dong (Dương Đông), Puh Qouc (Phú Quốc), Vietnam

6 points

As recently described Doung Dong (https://avdwineandfood.net/2016/01/14/song-nu-restaurant-duong-dong/) is the largest town at Southern Vietnamese Island Phu Qouc.

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Song Nu, Restaurant, Dương Đông

Song Nu, Restaurant, Dương Đông, Phú Quoc, Vietnam

5 points

Duong Dong – the little capital of the Southern Vietnamese Island called Phú Quoc is rich of live. Fishing, harbor and tourisms shall be the largest economic factors of the town. Consequently you can find either rather touristic places or more or less radical Vietnamese ones. Some few restaurants are attractive for both: local inhabitants and tourists which are ready looking for some other placese than directly at the beach.

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Bánh tôm Hồ Tây, Seafood Restaurant, Inn and Biergarten, Hanoi

Bánh tôm Hồ Tây, Restaurant and Biergarten, Hanoi, Vietnam

4 points

photo14This is not only a very popular place for all people of Hanoi. It has a historical meaning as this inn is over 50 years old and has been always in private ownership which is quite remarkable considering ruthless disappropriation in the second half of seventies. If you ever have been in Hanoi it is very hard to imagine how quiet and even slow it was in this town just 20 years ago. Although socialism may have some positive sides – in particular in regard to social wealth in Vietnam – it also has had terrible consequences to a country of small but proud farmers and people of traders, dealers and retailers. The most famous meal of Bánh tôm Hồ Tây is the Hồ Tây shrimp cake. During Vietnam War, when young men got called to move to the south to war, families went to this place for a last big dinner. Always when Hanoi people had to celebrate something this restaurant has been first place of celebration.

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Four Season, Restaurant, Hanoi

Four Season, Restaurant, Hanoi, Vietnam

6,5 points

Hanoi! What a wonderful, lively but still classical Asian metropolis! A city which – still – let you feel South East Asian traditions but of course experiences a brutal modernism.

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Cua Do Restaurant, Da Nang

Cua Do, Seefood Restaurant in Da Nang, Middle Vietnam

6 points for food

2 points for restaurant

There are probably even more than millions of seafood restaurants in Vietnam, in particular along the very beautiful cost but some of them are outstanding. I believe the people who run it aren’t really aware about it as the cooks, the service people and waitress are probably such doing a “good” job. Aside of the fact that the variety fresh available seafood is impressive you still should know how to prepare all these different fishes, shells, langoustine, lobsters, slugs and crabs.

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