Located in a restored French colonial-era villa in a quiet hem between the corner of Hai Ba Trung and Dien Bien Phu, the entrance to My Place resembles a quasi botanical-cum-Zen garden with ferns, coleus, devil’s ivy, bamboo and lotus leaves sprouting out around a short wooden track that gives way to an under-glass fishpond walkway.
Ministry Of Food (MOF) Japanese Sweets & Cafe is an unlikely choice for our Mystery Diner review because it’s known more for cakes, ice creams and beverages than its savoury offerings.
Having established itself as one of Hanoi’s most popular restaurants since the opening of its flagship eatery in 2003, Highway4 has expanded into a successful franchise with five outlets now scattered across the capital, one in Ho Chi Minh City, and another due to open soon in Hoi An.
Taking its title from the former name of the boulevard on which the restaurant is situated, Charner Café aims to bring a touch of refined Parisian gentility to Saigon’s downtown dining scene.
Traders is an unassuming addition to the scene. Located on the fringes of the central business district, this stylish, Gaelic restobar is better known for its martinis and beer-friendly shish kebabs than it is for French cuisine.
Arriving via elevator at the first floor of Vicki’s five-storey building, we enter the VIP room. Small (seating a maximum of 10), dark and sleekly designed, a feeling of contemporary Asian luxury dining abounds.
Framed sepia-toned pictures of the ‘old country’ adorn the walls of this quaint and surprisingly lengthy restaurant. The concave ceiling made up of exposed brick is strangely reminiscent of the London Underground’s Baker Street tube station and a pre-20th century European wine cellar. It’s comforting and wholly conducive to the relaxing yet chatty ambience.