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76 Yen Phu, Tây Hồ, Hanoi
“A restaurant with a strange name in a strange place. "Tivoli Cafe" and yet there is no Italian food. Coffee, I guess? And the Hanoi Club is just odd. Is it a hotel? A country club? Social club? And yet, the food here is actually good and cheap. Seen a foreign chef milling about. Looke...”
I consider this the best bit tet in Ha Noi, given the price and amount per serving (a bit under 40,000). Coming out in a sizzling iron platter, you have to be a bit careful of some rogue drops of hot oil, but it's nothing a napkin over the lid can't handle. The meat is paired with an egg and pate, all of which are incredibly delicious. The sauce is thick and, in my opinion, unmatched by any other bit tet place, always ask for extra! Bread is fresh and crispy, and thus is ideal for dipping. Arrive on the earlier side to avoid waiting to get a seat, as it gets really crowded with locals by 7:30pm and onwards.
Double-checked, and the best bit tet is number 6 Hoe Nhai (I think it's been wrongly labeled on New Hanoian). Easy to locate as there are multiple employees walking around in red shirts with the address on them.
The very typical street food setting but with an actual house to sit in. While not as big and popular as the places on Hoa Ma, I do think they have a very nice touch in the thick garlic sauce. It makes dipping your bread in fun, and hides away all the grease a little bit. Definitely a sleeper spot, and a favorite of some certain foreigners in Ha Noi
Wanted to review this place last year but somehow never got around to it so here's my first dab at a new hanoian afterlife review.
First off the name of this establishment I'm certain isn't Bit Tet 3 Hóe Nhai, secondly this is also a review of the excellent seafood operation right next door as the places, much like other local eateries seem to work in tandem and to great success I may add.
My lacking attention to details I could try to pass off as a result of the heavy rains on the night my friend and I ate here or to some sort of travel related stress causing me to be less mindful, but really those who know me are sure to realize that I was simply in a food-induced euphoric state blocking of access to other parts of my brain.
Which leads me to the actual review of the food here; from the bit tet place you get one of those cow-shaped fajita looking sizzling hot plates and when unveiling the contents from underneath the dented aluminum lid what is presented to you is a beautiful marriage between the French and Vietnamese cuisine. A fair warning to those watching their bathroom scales, this ain't no diet food! There's an array of stuff going on in there, you got your succulent slices of beef, your rich paté, french fries, a few plum tomatoes, spring onions and to top it off a fried egg sunny side up. Enveloping all of this is the sot vang, wine sauce which is rich, garlicky and thick enough to coat any cutlery that may be at hand but even better the accompanying banh my which has been grilled for a few minutes.
From the land faring animals to those inhabiting the sea, the next door place by far offers the best steamed clams I've ever had in Hanoi. The soup or broth that the clams are cooked in is brimming with zesty, lemony flavor from the generous amount of lemongrass, perfectly balanced chili and the clams themselves. You'll need a lot of self restraint to keep you from throwing up an "em oi" for an extra banh my to dunk into that broth, clams to spare or not.
Accompanying the seafood are of course some dips and the pickled cucumber 'salad'. You get your mix of salt, peber and fresh chilies with calamansi on the side to squeeze over and stir around, always a good thing. Additionally there's also a dip which from what my palate can deduct is made of rice vinegar blended with orange chilies and just a bit of garlick, sugar, and more juice from calamansi - dip wise a very yummy experience.
On previous occasions here I've also enjoyed snails baked in the charcoals, mussels fried with chili and garlick, both dishes were equally delicious.
The service is fast, efficient and smiley in that "look at those crazy foreigners waxing lyrically about a few clams and cow bits and being all oohh aaah" manner.
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