Venue Image
Corner Commerce and Galway Streets,
Auckland Central

(09) 302 3478

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byBrett Atkinson17/01/2011

Zen-cool with distressed concrete walls and studded with funky red chairs and bamboo dividers. Café Hanoi gets enjoyably and energetically noisy on Friday and Saturday nights.

Relaxed and knowledgeable, especially when it comes to explaining a few less familiar items on the menu. They even let us mix and match different components from a couple of desserts. Coffee and cardamom ice cream with a hot cinnamon doughnut if you’re wondering…

Smallish array of NZ, Australian and international wines, with an excellent selection of Asian food-friendly aromatic wines like Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. Singapore’s Tiger beer on tap – of course – and excellent cocktails. Try the Tamarind Margarita. Sweet or savoury? Who cares when it’s this damn tasty?

Café Hanoi specialises in the food of northern Vietnam, and they deliver authentic and rustic versions across smaller, shared plates with the option of adding side dishes of vegetables. Favourites on the night were the robust hotpot of caramelised pork belly with morning glory ($23.50), delicate shrimp open wontons with dill ($8.50) and braised eggplant studded with whole cloves of garlic ($10.50). The poached chicken and papaya salad ($16.50) with carrot, mint and salted peanuts was a tad pedestrian, but once lime juice, fish sauce and fresh chilli were added it was much tastier.

Most Surprising Dish
Grilled minced beef with lemongrass wrapped in perilla (a Chinese variety of mint) with a ginger and peanut sauce ($12). Tender flavour-packed parcels of goodness.

The Bottom Line
An excellent mini-splurge quite different to Auckland’s other Vietnamese restaurants. Just the ticket before or after a southeast Asian sojourn to the real thing.

A Reason to Return
The opportunity to go with a larger group and enjoy dishes like chargrilled five spice poussin with bok choy and a lime salt dip, Crystal Bay prawns with sweet tamarind and papaya, and peppered soy shaking beef with red onion and watercress.

Does this review have you salivating? You can now make a reservation here!

Cafe Hanoi has been reviewed by 24 users

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