Even before I discovered Luke Nguyen fabulous Vietnamese cookery book “The Songs of Sapa”, I was a fan of the countries splendid cuisine.
When we walked out of our hotel, we passed by a very busy eatery, full of life, people and somehow a very inviting atmosphere. Well, let’s have dinner there! And in we walked. We were seated at a table with other guests, a Vietnamese family.
“Quan An Ngon” was written on the menu, which was brought to us by friendly waiters (who do not speak much English). So that must be the name of the place, I thought. We browsed through it and ordered some “recognizable” dishes: a fish (mackerel), some dofu/tofu and some green mango salad. I also had some buns, Chinese style, where they are called “mantou” with sweet milk. The drink of our choice was a cool Hanoi Beer.
Green mango salad with peanuts
Dried dofu/tofu with dipp
“Quan An Ngon” traditional Vietnamese restaurant has a large garden part where one can sit outside under tarpaulins but also the inner part of the restaurant, housed in a colonial style building is very appealing and attractive. The cooking is conducted in a kind of roofed “out houses” surrounding the courtyard. I could not resist to take some photos.
The outhouse kitchen
More outhouse kitchen
Lots of happy eaters
The place is usually packed with people, groups of young women, families but many below the age of 30 I would say. We were definitely having a negative impact on the median age of the customers. It’s a noisy place with a lot to look at. Especially for a foreigner who does not have much time to look around it is just a great place to get a feeling of Hanoi and it’s people. I highly recommend a visit.
The price level is modest. We ate for about 120.000 Dong per person. Needless to say, the very next day we went back for another fill of delicious Vietnamese food.
Quan An Ngon
18 Phan Boi Chau,
Tel.: +84 4 39428162
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org i
Directions: Between Ly Thuong Kiet and Hai Ba Trung, one block East of Le Duan.
PS: When writing this story, I found that Quan An Ngon is a kind of a chain restaurant with dependencies also in Ho Chi Minh City.
The restaurant reviews on the internet are not all good. Especially seasoned Vietnam travelers seem to be disgusted somehow and feel that on the street proper, the food is tastier even if less “safe”.
Well, the fact that Quan An Ngon is full with Vietnamese people (my guess 90% of the customers) suggest otherwise.