Here is what you do here:
1. Get a small group of friends together. Eat dinner elsewhere.
2. Get a table outside at Cielo 13 overlooking Hoan Kiem District and the Song Hong.
3. Order bottles of wine until the prices don't matter any longer.
4. Soak in that view and love living in Hanoi.
Really, the food is mediocre, the prices are higher than some places, but it is one of the best locations in town to have a few bottles among friends.
Keep it simple.
The word "institution" gets used far too often for businesses that have been around more than a year or two and which have a following among the reviewer's friends. I get the inclination (to make one's times seem more important than they really are), but just stop it already. Institutions are few and far between.
Tadioto, however, just happens to be one of those legit cases. Yes, it has good drinks and creative food. Yes it is styled to no end and yet not over the top. These are good things, but any number of places could pull that off. That doesn't make it an institution.
What makes Tadioto an institution is that even in its fifth location, it has a continuity of culture that no place in the city can match. When you walk in those doors, you have the option to just be a customer if you wish, but you can also contribute to a community of regulars that give every impression of building something immeasurable. Whatever alchemy of product, atmosphere, and interpersonal curation Duc is weaving together, it is working.
You won't consistently find a more creative and savvy group of customers, both Vietnamese and expat, anywhere else in the city. It is consistently where you go to get plugged in to what matters here, and that makes it a true institution.
I expect a place like this to be disappointing, which is strange since I expect little to nothing. It's super clean, bright, sterile. Feels like a fast food joint, but a love of Hue food and curiosity got the better of me. The prices are great and the presentation is good. Everything looks the way you'd want it to if you know Hue cuisine. Sometimes even better than it would look in some places there. And if you didn't know the flavors of Hue well, I think you'd probably conclude that it was "good food." That should be enough. But I've been to Hue, and the kick just isn't there. This is Hue food for Hanoians who would complain about things being too spicy or too salty or too anything, really.
It's a super simple, painless, cheap lunch. I'll be back despite myself, because I don't always need lunch to be a proving ground for my expat chops. And if this were what fast food looked like in North America, the world would be a dramatically more healthy place. Make this a replacement instead of an accompaniment for KFC, and I'd sing its praises.
Just don't expect to close your eyes and get taken back to the banks of the Song Huong.
An absolutely wonderful physical space on a scale that one rarely gets to enjoy in Hanoi. Even at that size, it still has plenty of character and feel. No matter what has been going down, I always feel better as soon as I walk into that courtyard with the brauhaus looming over it all.
The front courtyard is a fine place to sit, but the second floor balcony surpasses it if you can get a table. They tend to go quickly. Inside is all dark wood and European beer hall cloned elements. That's not a bad thing, by the way.
From a product standpoint, you may have a preference for one of the other brewpubs in town, but I'd reckon that most beer drinkers would have Hoa Vien in their top three, both the Bia Vang and the Bia Den. It's solid.
There is a big food menu that tends toward the hearty. That said, the big groups of Vietnamese diners that head there ensure that most classic Hanoi dishes are present. When this place was really kicking four or five years ago, the food was on the expensive side. Now it seems to have fallen back toward the mean for this sort of place.
It has some flaws, but I always leave promising myself that I'll go back more often in the future. I never quite do. It's not really far out of the way, but in a part of town I rarely end up in by chance. It doesn't do quite enough to turn me in that direction frequently, but that's more on me than them.
A rarity in Hanoi: a trend chasing business that didn't quite get it right the first time that stepped back, gave it some thought, and revamped in a way that actually mattered. I was sure this place was on the fast track to closure, but over the course of a couple of weeks between visits, they made big improvements.
My first visit saw me not get much past the first floor. The staff were surly, the place looked thrown together, the beer selection was unremarkable, and the only patrons were so drunk they appeared unaware of who they were let alone where.
The next visit earlier in the evening. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and to see if I just caught them on the tail end of a particularly bad night. What I found was a menu revamped with a range of German beers not there previously and which I haven't seen in other establishments. A beer menu that had been an embarrassment for a place that was hanging its hat on that premise had quickly become an asset.
The space itself is now immeasurably cleaner and the staff were pleasant...even helpful.
There's still no telling how long they'll be around, as they seem stuck in that strange in-between space where they're not quite a nightspot and not a restaurant. That's exactly the sort of beer club that has been closing lately.
In the meantime, they are worth dropping in on for a drink.
Easily among the most underrated restaurants in the city. I'm not entirely sure why it stays that way.
The menu is creative with good (but not obscene) portion sizes at a reasonable price. The cocktail list is fun and also shows the care being put into the product. They serve the best local beer (Goldmalt) available on tap. All around, the sort of place I'd expect to thrive in many cities.
And strangely, I don't think I've ever seen them really busy on an average night where they didn't have some event going. Maybe the price is slightly too expensive to be seen a completely casual meal, while the decor too casual to be a fine(ish) dining destination. It's not quite a bar proper, but maybe its best case scenario would be to be treated as one with stellar food?
Inferior places not far away seem to have been adopted in numbers for no apparent reason. Do yourself a favour and give them a go.
Ok, so I've spent very little time in Thailand, but I love curry. I decided I had to try out this little gem, because, rumor has it, this is one of the best Thai joints in town. And I have a soft spot in my heart for hidden treasures, like this one promised to be.
A small, but well lit sign, directs to down a small incline from the main drag outside of the Sheraton, to the entrance. You walk in through a quaint out-door dining area, that is simple, but appears well appointed, and is probably quiet and delightful in summer. I spotted a couple of friend in-doors, and decided to join them inside.
The starter/sampler platter was just that, a sampler. Not overly generous portion size, but enough to let you try a couple bites of each item on the starter menu. The fish cakes, rumored to be good, were indeed, excellent.
The chef prepares each dish as it's ordered. There were few other patrons, so the meal was paced well, but I wondered if this place could get too slow under "normal" business demands. I had a meal of tom kha gha soup, followed by green chicken curry, stir-fried local greens, and coconut rice. The soup was very well balanced, plenty of mushroom and chicken, and lit me up when I accidentally bit into a hidden pepper! En Fuego!! I asked the waiter to tone down the green curry (from a five pepper rating to a two), and was not disappointed. It was a very nicely done green curry, and while I enjoy spicy food, I felt like a two was great. I could've done 3 or 4, but it would've compromised my enjoyment of the food.
The rice and greens were both properly done, and were the only two dishes that seemed to be above average serving size. Everything is quite adequate, however, and you inevitably leave feeling very satisfied. My only suggestion to the chef would be to add a simple desert item like mango & sticky rice, flan, or possibly banana fritters to the menu.
All considered, I'll definitely keep returning. Prices are very reasonable, at just over $600K VND for the three of us, including several drinks and a couple other dishes ordered by my friends. Did I mention the chef conferred with us a couple times to make sure everything was satisfactory? Great hospitality, excellent food, and good price point for the area.
P.S. They sent me home with a carry-out menu (free delivery within 3km radius on minimum order of 200,000 VND)
I've been in both stores, this one and Xuan Dieu.
Great selection of wines. Last week went to buy a french red in their Xuan Dieu store and with the help of one of the wine advisors (Italian) I ended up buying an Australian red, which was superb (I'm going back to get more)
Great fun too if you happen in the store when there's some wine tasting going on.
I love wine, went to the new store in Zuan Dieu and couldn't decide what to buy. No problem the Italian wine advisor there spent quite a bit of time showing me different bottles of French and Italian. telling him what I planned to cook, (bbq beef stakes) I ended up choosing with his help a beautiful Australian red.
They have an amazing stock, but I doubt thy can have every wine available all the time.
Been there for the after Tet opening. Cozy place, nice decor, not big spaces but perfect for chill out with friends after work. Loved the Moscow Mule (vodka n ginger) which we got for free all night because of the opening. So just give it a try and meet Linh, really nice and easy going owner of the Moscow Cafe
The last review is quite old so I thought I'd write about my experience at these apartments - I also understand that the apartments have changed ownership not so long ago.
I have lived here with my fiancée for the last 8 months and have no bad words to say about it.
Our apartment is reasonably old and doesn't have the latest style but we're not into the "shiny-shiny, looky looky" style of modern apartments anyway. Fixtures and furnishings are of good standard and the upper floors have great views over Ho Tay and the balconies are excellent for sun-downer drinks.
I can't fault the staff here - all very friendly and you get the feeling that they actually give a sh*t about you rather than just happy to take your money. We even received Christmas presents in December and lucky money over Tet. If there are ever any problems with our place, the apartment manager is very responsive and the issues are resolved quickly and in some cases, pro-actively, without us having to ask.
I would say it is at the quite expensive end of the scale (we pay 1000 USD for a 2 bed, 2 bathroom) but considering the nice views, quiet (for Hanoi) area, very spacious apartments and overall level of service, we have no regrets.
DO NOT USE THIS AGENT: This company not only failed to have my bond legitimately returned, he took half of what the landlady offered for himself. I lost HUNDREDS of dollars using his services. DO NOT USE THIS AGENT: If you like the look of the place you can ask another agent to negotiate for you once you have the address.
* English review below
Hello I’m Mayumi, a Japanese student taking Ms. Lien’s Vietnamese lesson.
Ms. Lien is a bright, intelligent, very fluent in English, and punctual Vietnamese lady teaching Vietnamese for foreigners in Hanoi.
She has many experiences teaching beginner Vietnamese for people from the UK, other European countries, Asian countries and others.
Classes are held at cafes in Hanoi.
I stay near Giang Vo lake, some kilometers away from old quarter and Tay Ho. She selects nice and cozy cafes near where I am staying, so there was no need to worry for taxis and buses.
I work in Hanoi from 8:30am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. I only have spare time in evenings and weekends, but she kindly offered to build my own curriculum for evening classes.
The first 10 classes were about pronunciations.
As you may have already known, pronunciations are the most difficult part for non-Vietnamese speakers. Ordering a “pho” bowl is quite challenging for foreigners.
You may have noticed that there are marks like ^ or ~ on Vietnamese alphabet. These are all different vowels and tones.
She taught me how the mouth moves, where I put my tongue and the like for each vowel, consonant and tone. Now I can say “pho” correctly!
My colleague said my pronounciations are very good. I feel very confident to order for food, talk to taxi drivers and say simple sentences to colleagues.
If you are looking for a Vietnamese teacher in Hanoi, I truly recommend Ms. Lien.
She offers the first class as trial. Meet her and enjoy Vietnam more :)