Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dining Out - Cha Ca La Vong


Nga, one of my very old friends from Nha Trang, who lives in Saigon now came to Hanoi last week. It was one of the hottest days of the summer and I took her out for dinner with her friends at Cha Ca La Vong (grilled fish) but not the popular restaurant in Hang Ca Street. This one is in Nguyen Truong To street and is also quite popular for local people. We went there when the restaurant was full and we had to wait for a few minutes before sitting down. I was dripping in sweat just getting to the restaurant.

Cha Ca La Vong- Nguyen Truong To Street

Anyway, we got what we ordered. The fish is quite good here but its a pity about the service. Sorry to keep complaining about the crap service in Hanoi but it truly needs to improve.

passion fruit juice

This is one of the most popular dishes from Hanoi. It's quite an oily dish, though. The fish is already partly cooked before it arrives at the table and we only need to stir fry it again in a very hot pan and add some green onion, herbs, peanuts before eating it with fresh noodles, and smelly shrimp sauce. Yum, the sauce really makes the difference.

Cha Ca La Vong- Nguyen Truong To Street

We finished eating and decided to go to Highland Cafe on Westlake. We walked around out and in but we couldn't stand the heat so we decided to go to the Sofitel Plaza Hotel for a drink in air conditioned surroundings. We made it but we couldn't find a seat inside! While waiting outside for a table, there was not a bit of wind. It was so hot, even though we were on the top of a 20 floor hotel which is located between two huge lakes, Truc Bach Lake and Ho Tay(Westlake).

Cha Ca La Vong- Nguyen Truong To Street

My friends kept complaining about the heat and I had to wander around looking for a table. Finally, thank god, I found one right in front of the stage which meant we had to put up with the loud music. But we were so glad to be cool. The drinks are really good here, especially the Mai Tais and my favorite Mojito and the cold beer. We drank quite a few there before heading out home.

Anyway, been there, done that and had a good time.


GoingGlobal said...

This is my all time favorite Vietnamese dish! Your pictures are making me hungry!

Anonymous said...

It looks awesome! Do you know what kind of fish they use? Mudfish? We use salmon here in cananda because it's readily available all year round.

Service is hit and miss in Vietnam, you can get such quality services from one stall and unimaginably crappy ones at another stall that's literally next door. It's getting better though from what I heard =) Out of curiousity, what did they do to you and your friend besides making you guys wait for a table?

Sandy Hatcher-Wallace said...

What is in the glass? It looks alive.

It's been very hot here for several months...Sometimes too hot to be outside, but we go anyway and almost have heat exaustion.

Van Cong Tu said...

Abandoned in Pasadena, its passion fruit juice :)
Shoshauna, good dish huh :)
I am not really sue but I think it's snake headed fish but any firm white fish will be ok.
They didn't say anything or even giving us a nice greeting. Bad!

Anonymous said...

Cha Ca La Vong (grilled fish) *screamsssss* this is one of my favourite dish ... i don't mind rule service, as long as the food is good :)

btw, did you come to SG in july 2006?

Van Cong Tu said...

slurp! Our plan has delayed for few months and i will move down to Saigon for living at the end of the year. I will let you know if i ever go back Singapore.

Cergie said...

These dishes sounds so appetizing !
Why Vietnamese people are they so good cookers ?
Everybody in the whole world knows that.
Not only they are good cookers, they are good eaters too !

schiehallion said...

I have eaten there too!! 2 years ago, we have headed straight to the restaurant and had a great time. It makes me happy to see tha place is still as it used to be.....:-)

Anonymous said...

Heard it was quite good.

Van Cong Tu said...

schiehallion, Sometimes its too crowded and service is not really good

Anonymous said...

oh my god, this dish is so yummy. love it

viagra online said...

Vietnamese food always makes me hungry! it looks so delicious!

Anonymous said...

this is the fish:

Vietnam tours said...

I like Cha Ca La Vong.