First on our list of grubs for the night is the Cha Nuong. Cha Nuong is a combination of ground pork barbeque, served with lettuce, basil, rice noodles, wrapped in rice paper. You can have the Hanoi staff do the wrapping for you but that would be boring. We had it the fun way. We each grabbed out choice of rice paper, dipped it on water to soften it, then piled onto it our choice of filling, rolled it gently, and dipped it in its sauce, and stuffed it to our hungry mouths. It was burst of fresh and crisp vegetables, that blended well with the barbeque flavor, and blandness of the rice noodles.
Then, we enjoyed the Fried Spring Rolls, Pomelo with Shrimps Salad, and the Beef Noodle Soup Special. The spring rolls were crispy and not oily. It tasted as spring rolls are supposed to taste. The pomelo salad was a delight. It was sweet, and citrusy, with the shrimps providing a nice contrast to the fruity flavors. The soup, was a bit bland for my taste but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Needless to say, the dish everyone was anticipating was the Butter and Garlic Crabs. The crabs were gigantic, cooked perfectly with toasted garlic, and made sinful by the liberal amounts of butter it was cooked and served in. YUMMY! We also had my all-time favorite in Hanoi, Beef Tenderloin with Tomatoes, and Lapu-Lapu in Vermicelli with Mushroom & Vegetables. The beef was very tender and very flavorful. The tomatoes it was cooked with were not overcooked, and were very juicy. The lapu-lapu was served with what seemed like a soy sauce-based sauce, which complemented the lapu-lapu meta, and flavored well the noodles and the shitake mushrooms in the dish.
Hanoi is located along Camus Street (near the People’s Park), beside Casa Leticia and Tsuru, in Davao City.