The mangosteen is an exotic tropical fruit with luscious segments of white flesh inside. The Movenpick Hotel has taken inspiration from this fruit in the naming of its restaurant, which is located on the second floor with views across some of Hanoi’s fine French Colonial buildings. The space is artfully decked out with walls the colour of mangosteens, splashes of purple in the furniture upholstery and the modern paintings on the walls. The table setting includes a glass cube vase containing a single white gerbera and a green fern frond. The décor promises much.
And the menu offers a range of choices that would satisfy most diner’s palates.
For our starters, we opted for the seared scallops served atop a delicate fresh garden salad of lettuce, herbs and avocado and a swiss chicken salad, rich and sweet with cheese, apple and a mayonnaise dressing. The portions, on teardrop shaped white plates, were perfectly sized which we appreciated later when our main courses arrived. A generous selection of breads, including some great salty pretzels, was served on the side. We probably ate too many of those.
From the grill we selected our main courses, which were served with potatoes and vegetables done to the customer’s liking. Accompanying the salmon was a neat stack of crumbed roasted vegetables and crispy potato rosti along with a ramekin of creamy lemon sauce. The stack of lamb cutlets got delivered on a flat raft of spring beans and came circled with halved new potatoes served face down. A herby mint sauce with a hint of chili finished the dish nicely. The kitchen staff should be commended for the timing, temperature and presentation of these meals, all of which were spot on.
Suitably impressed by this stage, there was little need nor room in the stomach for dessert. So we rested for a while to make room.
Room for big desserts with a distinctively European feel. A king size serve of apple strudel came with homemade vanilla ice-cream and cream while the vanilla soufflé contrasted with the raspberry coulis alongside it. Every single mouthful was savoured even though we were both full to bursting.
The Swiss do hospitality well, with the local staff representing them professionally with service that was warm, efficient and hardly noticeable. Movenpick’s venture in Hanoi appears on the way to success if our meal at their classy Mangosteen restaurant is any indication.