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Directions: Just across the train tracks as you leave the Old Quarter on Tran Phu.Phone: +84 4 37472900
60 To Ngoc Van, Tây Hồ, Hanoi
“Great place! At first, we thought for the price, the portion must be small, we were wrong! All our food came in a short while, big portion, and very tasty. Nice and decent restaurant with friendly staff. Definitely going back.”
The best beer being made in Hanoi by some margin. Sure, their locations are a bit dull, dusty and smell like a brewery, but that just keeps the riffraff away. And by riffraff, I obviously mean those who wouldn't know a decent beer from the branded international cat piss that usually passes for beer around Hanoi. Food is good too.
I'm disappointed, and it's a sad, hard thing to say.
I'm a frequent visitor to Goldmalt's several locations. I also usually highly recommend them for the beer, ambience and the food. Yet things are slipping.
Now, first things first, Goldmalt (Tran Phu) is a Beer House. it's a place where beer is made, onsite, and served to the patrons, along with food, in a noisy, smokey, chunky, semi-dark, tavern-like environment. It's the kind of place you might read about in some piece of fiction.
What you wouldn't read about is the detritus of meals languishing over the tables, cigarette buts and soiled napkins littering the floor. While the staff doze at tables elswhere, or text, or flirt with their latest in-house conquest.
I sat with four people at a central table on the first floor. We arrived two by two. On arrival we were promptly served. A little while later when the other two arrived, it took a little while for them to be served. It seems as if perhaps one waitress was responsible for our table and in spite of there being another 6 floating around, they weren't gonna come anywhere near us.
We ordered the standard Goldmalt yellow beer. Blow me down! but is that, a "Bubblegum flavour" in the backnote of the beer? WTF!?! It was sweet, cloying, and floral. Certainly an unexpected note in what is otherwise and normally a really good beer.
Two of our party opted to reorder and eventually they got the Black beer, which went down with no complaints. I opted to reorder the yellow. But what a saga to place the order: we had a waitress sweeping the floor next to us, another texting behind me and both were so deaf to calls for another beer that I was forced to breast up to the bar with my empty glass and startle the barkeep, who was used to usually dealing with surly or flirty waitresses rather than fierce looking foreigners who might compete in a Ho Chi Minh look alike contest.
Oh well, it looks like a batch problem - bubblegum again.
I've been watching this place go downhill in a big way. It is becoming dirty, grungy and derelict through the abject neglect shown it by the staff that seem to inhabit the place like rats in a demolished manor littered with the forgotten detritus of form glories and windblown garbage, laced with spiderweb and cockroach casings. The staff have little or no respect for each other, for themselves or the environment in which they spend much of their lives.
As I said, I am disappointed. This place needs to pull its socks up, it could be so much better.
Goldmalt gets the formula just about right here - odd that there are no reviews in over 2 years. We had our weekly 2HU meet-up here yesterday and spent the afternoon sinking good beer and chowing down on decent food. It was lunchtime so it was pretty busy with large groups of noisy eaters and drinkers - all locals except for us.
If you go here for cleanliness you will be disappointed. It's a rowdy beer hall, smells like one, is pretty rough around the edges but does most of the basics pretty well.
The beer tastes really good. Not quite as chilled as it could be, but really good all the same. No complaints here. The beer glasses are not the cleanest in town so be aware of that. The pouring skills, as mentioned below, are poor. Actually laughably poor really. It actually can take numerous pours of foam before a beer is poured. Which is pretty bad for a beer hall. Seems Goldmalt needs to invest in some staff training. Another of our party can no doubt comment further, being the beer aficionado he is!
Speaking of the staff, being a waitress in one of these places has to be a tough job. Clearly it gets to them as predominantly they are fairly bored looking. But, they are quick to respond and it's a good challenge trying to get smiles from them - it can work!
The food is much better than I was expecting. Good goulash that actually tastes real. Good quality meat, well cooked and a superb accompaniment to the beer. It's a big menu - pretty much something for everyone. Quite well priced, especially if you are sharing with your mates.
This is one of those places where it's normal to say hello and raise a mug to people at the next table - everyone is very friendly. Someone I met and spoke to for a few minutes ended up buying me another beer - that's what a beer hall is all about! Recommended as a spot to laze away an afternoon - aircon is much better downstairs than up.
If you like Goldmalt (Tran Phu)...