Hanoi n u…

I thought they were really daring, opening up this place…

…at the height of the pandemic but thankfully, they have survived and are obviously doing really well. We did drop by once before we entered the endemic stage but it was packed with customers sitting at the tables on the pavement outside on a very hot afternoon. In the end, we decided to go some place else and come back here another day.

Finally, at long last, we managed to do that last Sunday and we were indeed lucky to be able to get a table inside…

The group that went in after us wanted to take the table behind us were told that it was reserved and the other vacant tables as well.

Of course, we must order the gỏi cuốn or those Vietnamese rice paper rolls (RM22.00)…

…and we sure were glad we did.

The other Vietnamese dish that we had in mind was the Phở bò, the Vietnamese beef noodle soup (RM22.00)…

…and yes, it was great!

We enjoyed both dishes but they did not come across as all that exotic. They did not seem to have any of those herbs and leaves like the daun kesum (Vietnamese coriander), Thai basil leaves, sawtooth coriander or daun ketumbar, bunga kantan – all those one would find in Vietnamese (or Thai cuisine), bringing the taste of their dishes to a whole new level. Maybe they are being cautious here just in case the locals are not so into these things.

For one thing, they do not have a menu here. You need to scan their QR Code to download it on your smartphone to see what they have via WeChat. I do not have that app but the sweet and pretty waitress let us use her smartphone to do that. In the end, my girl picked this crispy pork & spring rolls with Vietnamese noodles combo (RM20.00)…

…into which we poured in the chili sauce (something like those Thai ones) and tossed…

I tried the pork – I think we have better ones at our siew yoke (roast pork) stalls and shops in town but I loved the deep fried spring rolls. I sure would want to order that as a dish on its own the next time we drop by here. On the whole, it all tasted very good together.

I was not too comfortable scrolling down the menu on the smartphone so I logged into their Facebook page to see what I could find. A few dishes caught my eye like one that looks like ngor hiang to me and another dish of stewed eggs but the problem was they were all not labelled and the waitress did not seem all that familiar with every dish.

There was one with one giant freshwater prawn and she said it was a noodle soup dish (for 2-4 persons) and we could have a choice of yellow noodles, kway teow or bihun and therein lies the problem here – every dish seems to be a set by itself with noodles or rice by the side and you cannot order them without those. If we look at what we ordered, out of the three, two had bihun in them and one had kway teow.

I did see a group at another table enjoying something in a BIG tray and I asked the waitress what that was and she said it was tom yam. Perhaps we will come back here in a group on some special occasion and we can order that then.

Service was excellent, very efficient, very prompt and the very pleasant girl who waited at our table could converse fluently in English, no problem at all. We certainly would not mind dropping by there again and see what else we could have and enjoy.

HANOI PHO SIBU (2.307225, 111.848102) is located at No. 29, Ground Floor, Lorong Sena 8.