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Eats Amazing Hanoi!

Eating local cuisines is part of the whole adventure to other countries. During my visit to Vietnam, I got to taste some local dishes in some of the restaurants around Hanoi's Old Quarter.

You won't run out of places to eat because Hanoi's Old Quarter offers street food, food ala-carinderia (Filipino readers can relate to this), mid-priced restaurants, and high-priced restaurants. I'll be reviewing two of the restaurants I managed to eat in during my stay in Hanoi.

Mixed Rice

Spring Rolls
I normally don't search restaurants online before I go to a certain place, but I would search for places to visit and how to go around. So I just wandered around Old Quarter looking for a place to eat until my stomach told me that I should be eating at that moment, then poof! I stumbled upon Orchid. I bypassed the restaurants that offered a lot of Western food such as pizzas, burgers, etc. I wanted to try some Vietnamese food so I ended up in this restaurant.

It was dimly lit inside, creating a nice intimate mood for diners. The restaurant wasn't that big, giving it a homey and cozy feel. The menu consisted of salads, spring rolls, rice meals, noodles, and Vietnamese fare for $3 and up per meal.

The price was right for each meal because of the large serving, but I still ended up ordering two meals for around $8 including drink. The food was good but a little bland, but maybe because Vietnamese dishes don't use that many sauces or spices. Despite a lack in taste, I still liked the food, I also liked the way that the food didn't use that many sauces or spices to bring out its flavor.

For those inclined to cooking, there are also cooking classes available in Orchid. There was also Wi-Fi in the restaurant which was a definite plus for me.

Food 4/5
Ambiance 4/5
Service 4/5
Value for Money 5/5

Lucky Day Restaurant

On my last night in Hanoi, I wandered around Old Quarter again in search of a nice restaurant to eat in. I stumbled upon Lucky Day Restaurant which served both Vietnamese and Western dishes at an affordable price.

Spring Rolls (again)

Mango Salad with a flower carrot (yum!)
It must've been my lucky day because I stumbled on this restaurant. Like most of the restaurants I found along Old Quarter, this place had a homey and intimate feel. When I was there, the music was unlike any typical restaurant wherein pop songs blared (like other restaurants I have been to in Southeast Asia), there was classical music and instrumentals playing in the background.

I liked how this restaurant placed notes from previous customers from different parts of the globe underneath the glass of the table. For me, this added feature gave the restaurant a more intimate feel like eating at a friend's house.

The presentation of the food was good, it shows the cooks and the waiters made time to make the food presentable which I didn't expect from a restaurant just around the corner. The food was good value for money at $3 up or P140 per meal. The servings were generous and the food good.

The mango salad combined sweet and sour well to create a unique taste. The spring rolls were also delicious at four pieces each per meal.  

Food 4/5
Ambiance 5/5
Service 4/5
Value for Money 5/5

The two restaurants I've eaten at were just two of the many around Old Quarter. There are much more expensive restaurants near Hoan Kiem Lake (food for $10 and up) but if you want to save money just look for restaurants around Old Quarter.

I liked how I didn't have to go to a mall to get a good meal. Some of the smaller restaurants in Hanoi prepared, presented, and even made better food than some of the restaurants found in malls and posh areas here in the Philippines at a more affordable price. I also liked the homey feel of the restaurants I have been to, the restaurants were like a long time friend's business or a small family-owned business in your neighborhood.

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