The craziness of a Saturday night in District 1 is just a murmur eight floors below, as we take our seats in Acacia’s recently remodelled indoor/outdoor dining area. Gentle pockets of light illuminate cosy nooks of rattan and bamboo. Cool grey hues contrast with tropical greenery. I’m picking up a contemporary Malibu-beachside vibe. It is intimate yet casual; formal, but without the formalities.
There were whispers of excitement when the Moose & Roo Pub and Grill opened its doors on Ma May Street in 2013. Tourists flocked there after reading emphatic TripAdvisor recommendations, while locals quickly spread word about the restaurant’s tasty cuisine.
The best way to overcome the March winter blues in Hanoi is heading indoors and diving into a big bowl of homemade tomato soup — accompanied by a crusty baguette, of course.
When hitting the buffet, I have a method. A light plate at first; some sushi, some charcuterie, maybe some oysters. Some coffee somewhere in there. No Bloody Mary yet.
Alongside Cuc Gach Quan and May Cloud, Temple Club is one of the best places to take visitors when one wants to show them the grandeur of old-time Saigon.
There was a touch of poetic irony on the day we headed to Hanoi’s first authentic French creperie. The weather was cold, the skies were grey and it was pouring with rain. While not exactly the ideal conditions for zipping around town on a scooter, it gave us an appreciation for why the people of Brittany, an area renowned for its bitterly overcast weather, first invented the crepe.
Imagine a slice of Vietnam lifted out of its tiny plastic chair and taken around the world. It picks up a taste for wine and some culinary finesse in Paris, it scours the vintage vinyl stores of Brixton, Kingston and Harlem for its tunes, and kicks back over brunch in a trendy Brooklyn diner. This is how I imagine Propaganda was born.