I always check out Cha Ca La Vong every time I visit Hanoi.
The other must-go place is Green Tangerine.
I was in Hanoi again recently and again, I ate at the Green Tangerine.
In a lovingly restored 1928 colonial in the center of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the Green Tangerine, opened in 2003, offers a menu of rich, delicious French fare.
The small courtyard area is great for an afternoon drink just a few steps off of busy Hang Be, and the air-conditioned dining room is a sanctuary for a luxurious meal.
It is very popular restaurant, and that makes for a constantly evolving menu to keep up with the many repeat customers.
I was there on January 22. I started with a duck liver mousse with Amaretto salted in nuoc mam dressed on bread cooked with sweet white wine (Sauterne):
For my main course, I tried duck breast (doneness: medium) topped with roasted Vietnamese herbs, slices of fried lotus roots stuffed with mashed water spinach and bruschetta, accompanied with cabung sauce (aubergine in saffron and five Vietnamese spices):
It is a sacrilege, in my opinion, to end a fine meal without dessert, so I ordered the Roquefort and goat cheese presented garnished with candied green and red pepper and coriander seeds:
The restaurant can seat about 60 inside (about half smoking, and half non-smoking) and 20 in the charming courtyard.
After that we adjourned to the outdoor area on 5th floor of the strange looking City View Café for Vietnamese drip coffee:
Do check these places out when you are in Hanoi.