I haven't eaten much Vietnamese food so when two friends (one of them a chef from Vietnam) recommended me to try Hanoi restaurant in JLT I had to go.
The food from Hanoi, the city, is known as being light, fresh and less spicy than the food from other parts of the country so was the dishes in this restaurant.
The interior is simple but still nice and a bit kitschy with its colorful chairs and fake palm trees. Most of the staff seemed to be Vietnamese which adds authenticity.
Hanoi doesn't have a liquor license but a great selection of juices and teas. One drink that caught my attention was artichoke tea so of course I had to try that. Intense aroma of the vegetable followed by a dry, earthy flavor. It also had a bitter and leathery after taste that was more interesting than good.
We also had two types of bubble tea. I went for "flavored iced shaken black tea" while C chose "ice shaken thai tea" which was spicy with flavors of cardamon and cinnamon.
The chewy, sweet bubbles in the bottom of our teas are made from tapioca and these sorts of refreshing teas was invented in Taiwan in the 80s and is now a popular drink throughout Southeast Asia.
The menu is divided into noodle soups, bún dishes, salads, light bites, mains, sides and finally desserts.
Crunchy Vietnamese salad with peanuts
Fresh summer rolls with prawn
Crispy spiced quail
Vietnamese stuffed crab shell wich was deep fried and filled with noodles
We continued with a lovely braised eggplant and tofu clay pot. So yummy.
Panfried water spinach with shrimp paste and chili
For dessert I chose banana, sago and coconut pudding
While C had banana fritters with ice cream
I rounded of the dinner with Vietnamese coffee. The bottom of the glass was filled with condensed milk so it turn from a strong, dry brew into a milky, sweet drink after i stirred the spoon. Pretty nice.
Hanoi also deliver food but at the moment only to the JLT area, unfortunately, so I guess I have to come back soon.