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Directions: Between Ly Thuong Kiet and Hai Ba Trung, one block East of Le Duan.Phone: +84 4 39428162
57 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Hai Bà Trưng, Hanoi
“I've been twice in the last month - first time by accident as we were driving by and I spotted it so stopped. Sunday lunch we had the set menu and it was great. We had to add desert in just to try out the menu. Enough options to sample some of the menu. We had a friend in town 2 weeks later...”
We live close to Quan an Ngon and it always packed, with queues most evenings and taxis of tourists turning up every 5 minutes, but I still have no idea why. It is a nice setting, but each of the times we have been there have been just OK, certainly nothing to rave about.
Last time we went mid afternoon and it was not so busy - about 30% capacity. We ordered 3 drinks and saw the waitress write them all down, then ordered 4 dishes between 2 of us. Two drinks came, then garlic fried rice, which was cold. Next came pho, and after we had finished we enquired about our other dishes. They had been forgotten, so an hour after we sat down we got our special BBQ beef by itself. The 3rd drink never materialised. At the end we had to ask for our bill 3 times and wait 15 minutes till it arrived.
There is so much good food to be had in Hanoi I can only imagine that this place thrives on its guidebook and Tripadvisor reviews, not on return customers.
The food and drinks across the road at the Larue Bia Hoi are just as good for 1/3 the price.
I went there for lunch after reading a bunches of comments on TNH.
You have so many options to choose. All look good. Most customers are western. Seem like for "Tay" as someone mentioned.
The food is good enough for me, it is more than average but not to the top I think. Anyway I like it as you have chance to try a lot of the traditional Vietnamse dishes.
You might want to come at least once to enjoy.
For those wary of 'street food' here is your answer - clean, quality Vietnamese food within a great courtyard atmosphere.
Let me start by saying there is no substitute for hitting the street, in search of those elusive food purveyors selling some of the less well known dishes of rat, dog, cat & frog - the truly authentic 'good stuff' - however for those who feel a homogenised 'clean' alternative is necessary, read on, as this is the place for you.
I'm working my way through the menu & currently half way in - if you're unsure of what to order wander around & have a good 'butchers' at what's on offer; point, ask & all will be revealed - I quite often dine solo -'sad bastard'!- & occasionally i've no idea what it is i've ordered! the resulting dishes are always good, if not a little surprising for the kind friendly staff who humour me, as I ponder the new arrivals 'provenence'!
Tapioca Cakes with Dried Shrimp are reminiscent of something very male! & when dipped in the spicy sour sauce they really take off, with texture & flavour making these a perfect entree to a hot date! not for the faint hearted!
Button Quail Salad - subtley smoked, on the bone, generous raw vegetable salad with a piquant dressing worthy of any London brasserie - I eat it 'bones n all' - adds to the flavour!
Last night for 120k vnd we splashed out on a Shrimp Sugar Cane Pancake - superb - it arrives with fresh rice paper to roll your own, saladings, herbs, a different dipping sauce- the restauarnt was roaring, however our waiter found time to put on his gloves & peel the prawns for us - was it the 'tip' he wanted or just to 'gawp' at my particularly gorgeous dinng companion? hey ho, it was a classy touch!
This place is busy & to accommodate us they have staff by the bus load - I've never encountered a problem here, but those who do should simply ask for help! - like so many Vietnamese establishments, English is spoken & with a courteous tone 'everything' is possible - though miracles take time!
Beef Stew cooked in Red Wine with Baguette - delicious on a cold winters evening - the Malaysian couple next to me were so taken with it, they ordered the same!
Noodle Soups, Crispy Noodles with Fried Beef & Morning Glory - really very good indeed - perhaps a little homogenised for some, but I couldn't fault it.
One of my favourites is Shrimp Cakes from somewhere or other - whole shrimp in a light batter with a clear sour dipping sauce - off the scale & other than when eaten on Phu Quoc Island, the best to date.
Quan an Ngon caters for all budgets from 65k vnd upto serious money!
Its a great concept, the best advice is, 'get involved', drink hot tea & remember it always busy, which frankly is a bloody good thing as this ensures the food is extraordinarily fresh.
Thought I'd post a review of this small little undiscovered place. I heard that they served "street food" so I arrived hoping to sit on some kiddie furniture and be assaulted by bus fumes and hawkers while I ate. But no! Street food for Tay people! I finally found where to take first time visitors to Vietnam, to let them settle with some nice food and relax, just when they about to go mad from dodging motorbikes all day in the Old Quarter. Not such a bad place.
What a fun Lunch! Absolutely Super! I’ve been to Quan An Ngon several times now for different reasons, and each time has been a pleasant experience. What made this one outstanding was a combination of lunch partners, patrons, waitstaff and floor management, a lovely day, and predictably good food.
One thing you can count on during the busy lunchtime rush, is good, fresh food of a consistent portion size and quality, kinda like the McDonald’s/KFC/Subway of Vietnamese/Fusion food. You know what you’re gonna get and you get it each and every time, and that I something I like. Consistency.
Because this place has some significant busy peak times which require you to wait anything from 5 min to half an hour for a seat, there is quite a variety of waitstaff and they are conveniently dressed in different colours: beige for table runners and plate carriers, green for money handlers, and white for floor supervision and problem management. This works surprisingly well.
Who you dine with and other diners in the restaurant can also impact on the quality of your experience. My two companions were in fine form, finding moments of humour that made the lunch quite entertaining, then there were the couple of lovely ladies sitting next to us who noticed various curiosities I’d found, and engaged in their own mirthful discussions.
What led to this was first, I received a new glass, so new in fact it still had the “Ocean” label on it. When I pointed it out to the guys, the girls also noticed and started chatting about it.
I asked for a table wipe down, the waiter shuffled the glasses and empty bottles around, moved my glass of beer away from me and left the empty bottle in front of me. The comedy continued, I wanted to “take away” my crusty french bread roll so I asked for a bag. No less than three waiters gave me a foam clamshell box, two also included a bag.
It involved the floor manager telling the waitstaff what I wanted and shaking his head at the ensuing slapstick comedy of errors that would have made Buster Keeton proud. We were laughing, the girls were laughing, and all the staff were laughing.
At one pint they brought us our change, we hadn’t even asked for the bill. One of the Money Girls offered an exchange of $5.00 to d500,000.00 so, we asked her to change some money, she quickly realized her mistake and more laughter. The waiter brought us our next round of drinks and it was like watching a cups and pea shuffle, as he continued to put the wrong beer in front of me, I’d hand them to my lunch partners and he’d hand my beer to them so they had to hand it back to me. More laughter.
The girls had a quick discussion about where to have coffee, my mate pointed this out, they realized he understood enough, and they laughed again. We ordered the bill, told the money collector it was traditional to kiss the patrons goodbye, and I touched a finger to my cheek, she stepped away, laughing hard, the staff laughed, we laughed and left.
The point to all this is that dining at Quan An Ngon depends on what attitude you bring to the table. It can be quiet, entertaining, informative, relaxed or hilarious. The food is good, predictable and reasonably priced. The environment is relaxed, open air, and comfortable. The staff can have good days, and bad, but generally seem to be well managed and supervised, even if some seem to switch of and make amazingly simple mistakes. All in all, I like this place and will continue to return on a periodic basis.
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