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Monday, 23 December 2013

Lunch at Ha Noi Vietnamese Restaurant

Hanoi Vietnamese Restaurant was recommended by a friend of friend's, and after dinner there once, I decided to bring my good friend Kerlyn* there for healthy, sumptuous lunch.

Located at 100 Tras Street #03-13, 100AM (beside Amara Hotel) Singapore 079027, dial 6444 4406 for reservations if you please, but usually the restaurant is not crowded.

This elegant, authentic Vietnamese restaurant is tastefully decorated with traditional Vietnamese lanterns and paintings that brings out the simple, down-to-earth beauty of the Vietnamese culture. It has comfortable seats whether in booths or at their smooth wooden tables; and the polite, efficient waitresses are clad in beautiful, traditional Vietnamese costumes. It gives a very comforting setting ideal for business lunches, daring couples or friends to enjoy a good Vietnamese cuisine together.

We looked through the menus briefly, even though I already knew what to recommend and what to order. We placed our orders shortly, and chatted away as the waitresses first served us our Iced Lemongrass teas. It did not take long for the food items to be carried to our table as well.

I ordered the Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup, which was the exact item I had on the first visit. Pour the raw beansprouts into the piping hot soup and squeeze a little dash of lime, and you are all set for a good meal. The soup was very tasty, infused with the taste of quality stock, and further enhanced by the various vegetables added in (mint leaves being one of them). The shredded chicken strips were softly-cooked, and went really well with the smooth, flat rice noodles.

Kerlyn* chose the Hanoi Beef Noodle Soup (better known as "Pho" in Vietnamese, but pronounced as "fur"). This was another scrumptious dish with superior soup base and tender chunks of beef, again enhanced by the flavour of the strong leafy vegetables tossed in. She loved the recommendation, and pointed out how perfect this hot, soupy meal was for a cold weather like today's.

And healthy too? No oil detected in the soup or meat at all.

I ordered plates of Vietnamese Spring Rolls - fried and fresh, just to try. Filled with vegetables (radish? turnip? and some greens) and little shrimp bits, wrapped in thin rice paper (for the fresh ones) - this was a little bland, but served as a good starter to "open up the gastric" because of the juicy crunchiness of the vegetables rolled into the rice paper. Dipped with the sweet sauce (and chilli sauce I added as an afterthought), it was rather sumptuous overall. Needless to say, the fried rolls tasted better, crispy from outside to inside.

Overall, this was a very lovely meal, and one that cost us only SGD$20.00 per person.

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