Culinary Journey

My First Pan-Asian Experience – Hanoi – Vietnamese Cuisine, Whitefield, Bengaluru.

March 10, 2015

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Highway on my Plate, Bangalore always organizes a meet up at top class restaurants. This time HOMP meet up was happened at “Hanoi” which is Phoenix Market City – Whitefield. Being a food critic and blogger I will never miss any opportunity to meet other bloggers and off course food. I covered most of the cuisines except Vietnamese. There are very few restaurants in the town that serves Vietnamese Cuisine and I have a perception that Vietnamese cuisine is more of Non Veg than Veg. That’s one of the reasons where I did not explore much about it.
When I got an Invite from one of the Admins to the HOMP 1K Meet up, I had a mixed feeling that to visit or not. Moreover it was organized on Friday; somehow I set my mind to visit. Phoenix Market city is very far from a place I live, so I started bit early to reach Venue on time. Well, it was organized at 7pm but ended up reaching by 8pm due to heavy traffic jam.
This was my first meet up with HOMPers and I know most of them through Social Networking but never interacted most of them. I was excited to meet the people who love food. Famous says “There is no sincerer love than the love of food”. I will definitely agree this statement.
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Phoenix Market City is the biggest shopping mall in Bangalore and very difficult to find any outlet without a guide which is placed every corner in the mall. I visited along with a foodie friend who is familiar with the place, hence personally I did not find difficult in pin-pointing Hanoi.
Hanoi is one of the beautiful restaurants in the Town with own style of décor inside and outside. Interiors of the restaurant are mind blowing with perfect inland scheming and a joyful feel of Vietnam.
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As soon as we entered inside there was a graceful music running which gave me immense feel and lighting of the restaurant is welcoming.
Most of the Vietnamese dishes will have Sour, Bitter, Sweet, Spicy and salty, that’s one of the reasons where I wanted to try. 75% of the restaurant was booked for HOMPers, so there were no concerns in choosing a table.
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A restaurant staff was very attentive in welcoming and makes us comfortable. This is one of the prime focusing areas for every restaurant and Hanoi got full marks in it. First impression is always a great impression.
Table was well decorated with a Flower Vase and customized “Homp 1K Menu” for all Hompers.
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I was totally hungry, badly craving to eat – I noticed a plate filled with fairy white papads & Peanut Sauce. This was my first experience to eat papad with a sauce. Tastes splendid!
I dig in ordering to the dishes mentioned in the menu. We had a set 3 course menus for this event, but with plentiful options in those courses. They had soups, appetizers, main course, mock tails & desserts.
Mocktails were fabulous and I should really Thank them for such a nice ones
1.Ginger Chilly Punch – Chilly flavored mock tail which contains tabasco sauce to give a real strength. Must try drink at Hanoi
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2.Caribbean Delight – It was more like a coconut thunder, flawless drink to kick a summer!
Here are some of the dishes I personally tried.
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1. Pho Sup – Soup was made with rice noodles & some fresh herbs. Highly nutritious and good for health. It was a unique experience to have!
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2. Banh Goi – Vietnamese Half Moon Dumplings – These dumplings filled with classic vegetables and it was served with Spicy sauce. Deep fried one with lot of innards inside and tastes enchanting with Red & peanut sauce. One of my beloved dishes in Hanoi!
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3. Hat de nuoc xao cay – Spicy Crispy Chestnut – I never heard about chestnut honestly, it gave me unique experience. Dish made along with capsicum & onions in spicy sauce. Tastes more like a crispy Manchurian and Chestnuts are cholesterol free and contains high Proteins. I guess this is the one among the fried dishes which served for Vegetarian’s like me.
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4. Nem Cuon – Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls – Dish made with Cucumber, Carrot, spring onion, coriander, mint and rice noodles wrapped in rice paper rolls. I tried this dish with Peanut sauce and some red colored sauce tastes akin to “Sushi”.
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6. Lau Nong – It was a main course, I did not enjoy the dish much although it tastes decent. I find something was wanting in it or may be it tastes like that. These dishes I tried for the first time, so I don’t judge.
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Desserts:
1.Che Thai – Vietnamese version is less sweet and used varieties of fruits that include jackfruit, pomegranate, coconut & coffee jelly – Well it was good but I felt extreme coconut flavor made the dessert bit down.
2.Cem – Home Made ice cream with local Vietnamese flavor!
This was again splendid one with rich flavors of Vietnam!
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Concept of the Hanoi Management is really good in serving food, hospitality, and service!
Pricing is slightly higher side, but ok to visit once in a while but their Buffet is quite reasonable and love to try if I get a chance!
After my visit here, I started loving Vietnamese and Pan Asian Food. My Overall experience was marvelous and love to visit again!
Overall:
Quality: 4.5/5
Taste: 4/5
Ambiance: 5/5
Service: 4.5/5

Here is the facebook page of Hanoi.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hanoi-Vietnamese-Cusine/1398369740434965

Address:1st Floor, Phoenix Market City Mall, Whitefield, Bangalore. Phone # 080 49652763

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