30 2014 Nov

Knowing Your Neighborhood

Hanoi, VietnamTagged food, hanoi, hoan kiem lake, old quarter, scooters, traffic, west lake

A $15USD cab ride took me from the airport to my hotel. The driver was enthused to get money in U.S. dollars rather than Vietnam Dong. It’s a thing you’ll notice in the major cities. Tricky part was to get change which would be in Vietnamese Dong. But that’s pretty trivial. anyways, my hotel was situated in the south east corner of the Old Quarter. It was just a block away from Hoan Kiem Lake, the home of Turtle Tower. You can read about the stories of The Lake of the Returned Sword. It’s similar to Excalibur but there’s local renditions that bring it a little closer to reality. I do like mythical version so I’ll leave it up to you to find your own local guide and hear their version.

So wandering around my area, I noticed one thing, besides all the tasty looking for shops, it’s busy and crowded. I found myself walking on the streets most of the time since the side walks were made for parking one’s scooter. Pretty nerve racking as vehicles zoom by announcing their existence with a sharp honk. If you wanted a nice peaceful stroll, the Old Quarter isn’t a place for you. I kinda like the life but what got to me was the result, exhaust fumes. They were everywhere. After a half an hour of waddling through the streets, I stumbled back to my hotel like a fish out of water. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but my head was clear.

My friends arrived in the evening and I headed over to their area around West Lake. Much less chaotic. And even though we found myself walking in the streets at times, it wasn’t a constant stream of cars. It almost felt peaceful in comparison. We looked up a place to eat called Dieu’s Cuisine. A place where they pride themselves in making a home cooked meal using only organic ingredients. It’s nestled right up next to the lake and you won’t be able to find it from the main street. It’s actually below in a walk area along the water. It made for a quaint and relaxing dinner.

Dieu’s Cuisine
25 Xuan Dieu
Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 987346843

Verdict: I’ll recommend it, but it’s not a place I’ll seek out when I’m back in Hanoi, unless I become organic conscious.

Ginger Fish @Dieu's Cuisine

A lightly braised dish with the fish of the day. I didn't understand the type of fish but it was of a local fresh water variety. Pretty tasty nonetheless. The dill was an interesting touch since I haven't seen that used in any Vietnamese cuisine until now. It did add a different flavor profile when combined with the fish. Though I really think it's for aesthetics. Beware of the large cuts of ginger, unless of course, you're a big fan of ginger. 80,000VND

Ox Impressions: 

Caramelized Pork @Dieu's Cuisine

The tastiest dish of the night. It so happens to be my favorite dish. If there was more of the sauce, I'd pour it over my rice. The cuts here were rather generous and not overly fatty. Nice touch Dieu. 60,000VND

Ox Impressions: 

Sweet and Sour Soup @Dieu's Cuisine

What goes with the savory sweetness of caramelized pork? Well, it's canh chua. A good addition to our dishes. I like to pour this over my rice while I eat. A bit like eating rice porridge. 115,000VND

Ox Impressions: 

The Bar @Dieu's Cuisine

With an open area, the place makes for a nice place to enjoy the cool breeze from the lake. Tables are pretty roomy and kept quite clean.

Turtle Tower

A view of Turtle Tower at night. It's a little lonely in the middle of the lake around the hustle and bustle of the city streets. You have the posh French Corridor to the south and the backpacker coalition to the north. And there you are Turtle Tower, sitting in between, watching them both.

The OxPosted November 30, 2014 By the hungry ox

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