Good Eats

Hương Việt @ Hanoi

Another meal within walking distance of JW Marriott Hanoi. But this would be a seafood restaurant with food prepared in typical Vietnamese style.

Hương Việt is located in a typical Hanoi mansion. The building has been refurbished, but the architecture has been left intact.

As you walked through the main gate, you would notice the live tanks on one side of the courtyards. My hosts have already ordered dinner and they promised it would an evening of really fresh seafood.

Rau luộc | Boiled vegetable

Rau luộc. | Boiled vegetable

I have never eaten so much boiled vegetable before I came to Vietnam. Very good for digestion, but no taste.

Nộm hoa chuối tai lợn | Pork salad with banana flower

Nộm hoa chuối tai lợn | Pork salad with banana flower

Banana flower (Bap Chuoi) salad is an authentic Hanoi dish. It is made with banana blossoms, flavored with lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and roasted sesame seeds.

Tai heo | Pork ear

Here, pig’s ear (tai heo) has been added to give more crunch and the satisfaction of meat (and fats) to the salad.

Khoai môn lệ phố | Le Pho’s Taro

Khoai môn lệ phố | Le Pho’s Taro

Deep fried yam balls, they tasted like savoury orh nee that have been deep fried. Yummy appetiser.

Mực ống hấp hành gừng | Steamed squid with onions and ginger

Mực ống hấp hành gừng | Steamed squid with onions and ginger

With squid this fresh, there’s no need for any other cooking techniques except to simply steam them with spring onions and ginger. The ginger and spring onion were there to remove any remaining fishiness with squid. The natural sweetness and umami of fresh seafood came through immensely.

Cá song nướng riềng mẻ | Grilled sea bass with galangal

Cá song | Grouper

Grouper (Cá song) is a popular fish with very rich source of nutrients including protein and vitamins for the body, especially for the digestive and cardiovascular systems; Omega 3 in the fish helps prevent the risk of blood clots; DHA from this fish supports the development of brain cells, helping to enhance memory and intelligence. And you can get them from 3kg up in this restaurant, which they will cook in three different ways as per your requests.

Cá song nướng riềng mẻ | Grilled sea bass with galangal

When my guests were in Singapore, I brought them to Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew and I ordered the ruby grouper. On the return visit in Hanoi, they promised to give me a surprise and it was this 3.5kg grouper. And the first method was to grill the body and tail with galangal.

You take some of the fish and wrap it with vegetable and vermicelli using the rice paper. Then you dip the roll into any of the sauces provided.

Condiments for the rice paper wrapped fish

There’s a fish sauce with chilli, the sriracha sauce and a basil and lime chilli sauce.

Cá song hấp nước tương | Steamed grouper with soy sauce

Cá song hấp nước tương | Steamed grouper with soy sauce

The second method was steaming with soy sauce. This is the usual method that I would use for a really fresh fish and you can taste the sweetness from the flesh. The perfect size would bey 1.2-1.5kg. Here, only the head and belly were steamed with soy sauce. The belly is the best part of the fish but you need to aware of some bones.

Cá song nấu cháo đậu xanh | Grouper cooked with green bean porridge

Cá song nấu cháo đậu xanh | Grouper cooked with green bean porridge

And the final method was to cook the remaining fish with a green bean porridge. The sweetness of the fish will be imparted to the porridge to give a gruel that is full of umami.

Afterthoughts

I had to leave towards the end to take a conference call, but I tried all the main courses. The seafood was really fresh, and thankfully we had locals with us, we manage to navigate through the dinner without any issues.

The food was competently prepared, and I especially loved the grilled grouper with galangal. It would be perfect if there were more shellfish and crustaceans. I guessed in a business dinner, we were trying to avoid making a mess of ourselves. Would come back again to try the rest.

Hương Việt Restaurant (Nhà hàng Hải Sản Hương Việt)
22 Đỗ Đức Dục, Mễ Trì, Từ Liêm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Tel : +84 90 330 31 15

Visited by Jul 2022

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