Xupito your Mexican restaurant & Tequila Bar

535338_963264327074152_6016140457633925203_n“I leaned sidewise against the bar, which was on the same side of the room as the orchestra stand. I was turning a small glass of tequila around on the top of the bar…    The bartender leaned beside me, on his side of the bar…”Do you like that stuff straight,” he said, “or should I smooth it out for you?”  “Smooth it out with what?” I said. “You got a wood rasp handy?” He grinned. I drank a little more of the tequila and made a face. “Did somebody invent this stuff on purpose?”

From Finger Man by Raymond Chandler

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 14.38.07First let me say I love Tequila, it’s a liquor steeped in history and each brand of Tequila is unique. In his poem Tequila: Panegyric and Emblem, Alvaro Mutis wrote: Tequila is a pallid flame that passes through walls and soars over tile roofs to allay despair.  It is the pursuit of this pallid flame, of the crisp, clear fire it burns within us, that makes us lift the glass of tequila to our lips and to savour the rare fragrance it imparts. There are hundreds of flavours and aromas you can find in tequila, the 3 below are the most common.

3-types-of-tequilaBlanco: Agave nose and flavour should be foremost. Citrus, mint, spearmint, green beans, anise or licorice, freshly cut grass, freshly cut fruits like apple and pear. Peppery and sharp bite – the alcohol is more noticeable in the bite. Slightly oily finish. Should have the strongest vegetal or floral aromas and taste of all the types.
Reposado: Agave still present, although muted. Hints of vanilla, almond, oak, honey, sweet melon, slightly sweet butterscotch or brown sugar. Not too woody. Alcohol is present but less pronounced. Finish is less oily, more silky. Some hint of earthiness is allowed.
Añejo: Chocolate, caramel, stronger butterscotch, burnt honey, sweet potato (yam), vanilla. Sometimes tobacco or leather. Agave may be almost hidden. Alcohol is much less noticeable. Finish is long and silky smooth. Añejos can show off their complexities with pride, but the wood should not be overpowering.

6789_992441114156473_1765029212642725166_nPerhaps even more popular than the actual tequila is the worm crawling around the bottom of the bottle. But the worm, or gusano, actually originated with tequila’s cousin, mezcal, largely as a marketing ploy. The gusano is the larvae of a type of moth that lives on the agave plant.

Tequila, whose origin lies in the Indian civilisations of ancient Mexico, is the one liquor that for me has an aura of magic and mystery. Tequila’s ancestor, Pulque, an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant was first made by the Aztecs around 1200 BC, and was used by them as a ritual and ceremonial drink dedicated to the God Ometotchli.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 14.37.26The legend says Mayahuel, a farmers wife, was chasing rabbits from her agave fields, when she saw one dancing in circles and found the rabbit had been drinking the nectar from the heart of the agave. She and her husband discovered this nectar made people joyful, strong and fearless, and so Mayahuel was declared goddess of the agave, and was often pictured by Aztecs sitting in the middle of an agave, with a rabbit nearby. The transformation of Pulque into Tequila happened in the 1500s when the Spanish conquistadors ran out of brandy, they began to distill Pulque to make Mezcal wine which later evolved into what we now know as Tequila. Today Tequila is made only from the blue agave plant. Agave grows differently depending on the region. Blue agaves grown in the highlands Los Altos region are larger in size and sweeter in aroma and taste. Agaves harvested in the lowlands, on the other hand, have a more herbaceous fragrance and flavour.

23561641_1302626623216018_796562797797363533_nSince opening in January 2016 Xupito has become the most hallowed Mexican & Tequila bar in the city. Locals and tourists alike flock to the sprawling cantina in old quarter’s Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, to munch on antojitos (tacos, quesadillas, and more), and to enjoy Mexican mariachi music.  Of course, drinking tequila from the extensive list of producers—can only help for inspiration.

22279398_1268992299912784_5594093477937036953_nXupito has a vast selection of world class tequila, such as Herradura Anejo, Highly-regarded by aficionados worldwide, this wonderful anejo has a beautiful pale gold colour, and a deliciously smooth, sophisticated palate. Silver 1800 Tequila, named after the year it was created, made from pure, 100% blue agave grown on family owned ranches and bottled in Jalisco, Mexico. Each bottle is double-distilled and matured in French and American oak barrels, then rested for 15 days in ex-American whiskey barrels prior to bottling. And Don Julio one of the most respected producers in Mexico is rich, distinctive and wonderfully complex, this is a Tequila to savour. Xupito has a great range of Tequilas each with their own distinctive notes and aromas. You can also try their amazing cocktails like the classic Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, El Dablo and many more… There is also a range of soft drinks, fresh fruit juices and a good selection of beer and wines. 13043447_1030644133669504_7154538033532994212_n

1422381_964547663612485_4243665664268806047_nXupito has a blend of authentic and innovative Mexican food. All the dishes are cooked with fresh ingredients. Here are just a few dishes of appetisers and main courses from their extensive Mexican menu: Empanadas, Tostadas, Grilled chicken oven baked and marinated in Mexican spices, Gorditas, Potatoes Podupin, Mexican BBQ pork ribs, Smoked Buffalo, Tacos, Burritos, Chilli con Carne, Nachos, Quesadillas and so many more.

17862717_1524725237537999_4184716820985088386_nThey also offer a range of salads from Tacos salad, Caesar salad, Greek salad and more, Tex Mex finger food, Club sandwiches, Steak sandwiches, Onion rings, Fried Chicken Wings, Fried Calamari all hot and spicy, but if you’re feeling like something not quite Mexican, they have a range of oven fired pizzas and a menu of Asian dishes like Pho Mai Day, stir fry rice with chicken beef or sea food and snacks like deep fried spring rolls or Bun Cha Hanoi and fresh Nem Chua.

16472926_1884411265138676_9120621995321709902_n10639586_10153244604745843_5676626872876551189_nXupito’s brightly colored Mexican decor will transport you emotionally to the tequila region of Jalisco, this bar is inspired by old-school cantinas with a touch of hipster cool. The decor reflects the history of Tequila, with its mystical Mexican Indian art and the feel of a rustic Mexican cantina with it’s warmth and the party always in full swing.

12495069_1017795214954396_7032124151740462891_n12650943_10206722156316170_7366594434954010027_n12688360_982667521800499_6495746775957342605_n16106028_1209423249177004_5132694628867323142_n12932849_1017795118287739_610424297588674447_n14695436_1114700408648996_3714681668798608289_n14045723_601815046663452_2432960308229736583_nXUPITO TEQUILA BAR & MEXICAN RESTAURANT IS A CREATIVE COMBINATION OF ARRESTING DÉCOR, CULINARY ARTS, FINE TEQUILA AND CRAFT COCKTAILS

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Check it out for their exemplary cuisine, great service, and innovative cocktails.

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A New Oasis in Hanoi

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Always on the look out for new fun venues in Hanoi, the new West Lake Station in Tay Ho is one of the best with its garden oasis, pool table, great food by French chef, craft beer and wine, wood fired pizza oven and awesome music!!!

22728824_1993367560942475_1805190416122346124_nWest Lake Station is a new Bar-Pub-Bistro (just opened) located at 24 To Ngoc Van Tay Ho.

It has a peaceful cozy garden where you can relax and chill night and day and if you love having a drink with friends together with a good game of pool this is the perfect place.
WLS offers you a ‘casual-fine dining menu’ with daily specials…. Be curious, be adventurous as everyday they will change…. I’ve had some wonderful food here, it’s a great for lunch or dinner with every dish carefully prepared by their French female chef.
WLS also offers you fresh and tasty wood fired oven pizza, as well as weekly and monthly specials regularly updated on their restaurant standee or Facebook page.
I’d recommend enjoying a bottle of craft beer, great wines or spirits around the pool table or in the garden while listening to awesome music from the worldwide web radio station.
WLS could soon become your next FAV venue…

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VISIT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES AND EVENTS

WestLakeStation-Facebook

Hanoi’s Wine Scene

8343259A wine lover’s dream. Hanoi has a vibrant wine scene and here’s my list of some favorite bars and restaurants with great choices in wine and tasting notes. Whether it’s pairing wine with Vietnamese and Mediterranean food, or a glass of wine with friends at sunset overlooking Hanoi’s lakes, here are some of the best spots. The most amazing bottle of wine you have ever tasted might just be the next one, so never stop searching and never stop drinking. Cheers!

My Top Favourites

La Badiane Hanoi has many restaurants that celebrate the Vietnamese-French culture so If you want to know the definition of “real French” in the middle of Hanoi, go to La Badiane. A Fusion of local and regional ingredients blended into classical French cooking. A great selection of wines, my favourites here are the Beaujolais and Premier Cru from Joseph Drouhin and the Spanish Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro with (Sweet dark cherry overlying pure red fruit with appealing wood smoke and blackberry set among grippy tannins) The restaurant setting is elegant and you’re welcome to pass by for wine and an aperitif. The restaurant delivers interesting tasting menus, including one designed with the most discerning gourmands in mind. La Badiane’s vegetarian menu is as sophisticated as its Dégustation Menu: a four course feast, with authentic flavors, which will convert you into a lover of the French cuisine. 8265104

Avalon Cafe Lounge Refreshments with a view. First I love their amazing roof top terrace with views over the lake, this is one of my favourite spots to relax with friends over a glass of wine and some very delicious snacks. You can eat here too and they have good Vietnamese & Western cuisine. Their selection of wine is varied, I would like to recommend the Pascal Jolivet blanc from the Loire Valley and Spanish Hecula red wine with (plum, fig, berriesintense balsamic aromas) The lounge bar is open all day, till late and a glass of chilled wine on the roof top late afternoon is magical. If you like, top off the experience with a snack to go along with your drinks. Both their Vietnamese and Western dishes are prepared creatively with the freshest ingredients. Then sit back and enjoy the view of the lake while the sun goes down and the city lights start illuminating the night skies. 8344295

Salmonoid Elegant fusion cuisine: There’s a new aroma and a new concept in town and it’s called Salmonoid. The idea is to create a wide range of fusion cuisines all based on salmon. Located in a beautiful villa with terraces and balconies which are filled with exotic palms sets the mood for Wine & Fine dining. A really great selection of wines, my choices would be Chateau Haut Selve, Graves with (Morello cherry, cedar, vanilla toast and black fruit notes) paired with the Grilled lamb-rack & Salmon with ginger sauce or with the Grilled beef & Salmon on potatoe puree. Also try the delicious Salmon Symphony with a chilled white wine. 8344297

Au Lac House:  I love sitting here at sunset on the villa veranda with it’s majestic columns, the black and white tiled floor and the wooden shutters surounded by shady trees it feels like stepping back in time, it’s wonderfully French-Vietnamese, and to have in my hand a glass of Chateau Paveil or Pessac Leognan. The beauty of this villa with its great selection of French wines to pair with the delicious Vietnamese cuisine on offer makes this a wonderful spot for lunch or dinner. Though I love just passing an hour or two here drinking some seriously good wine. Don’t be fooled by the French name though – the restaurant specializes in traditional Vietnamese cuisine, serving all-time favorites such as fresh and fried spring rolls, and more extravagant dishes, like roasted duck in mandarin sauce. 8344380

Sunset Bar at InterContinental Hanoi Westlake. Champagne and sunsets : In a super location with a large terrace overlooking the lake, this is the place to sit and enjoy Hanoi’s amazing sunsets. With large cane and bamboo sofas and shady gazebos it doesn’t get more luxurious than this and if you feel like splurging they have a really good choice of different sparkling wines to enjoy such as Champagne, Prosecco, Cava and Cremant. This is the go to wine spot in Hanoi as they host a Vinoteca event each month with seriously good wine. They also have red & white wines imported from famous wineries around the world. 8344292

Vine Restaurant & Wine Bar Worldly wines & innovative plates. Located in the buzzing restaurant and bar area of Tay Ho, this has to be one of my favourite wine bars in Hanoi. They have a superb selection of wines, the decor has a luxurious ‘wine cellar’ style and if you’re looking for something special this is the place. I enjoyed a Turriga Isola Dei Nuraghi 2003 with two years aging in French barriques, Turriga has notes of Mediterranean herbs, roasted coffee, spices, and licorice with a generous core of black and red fruit.) they also have a good range of Tiganello and South African wines from the Winery of Good Hope. I’ll just add they have friendly staff and really good metierranean cuisine. 8344290.jpg

Local Bar Wines in a party atmosphere, 16 Ta Hien Hoan Kiem. Aimed at a younger generation of wine lovers, this party place serves wines such as light Italian roses and crisp French Sauvignon Blancs.  If you are feeling adventurous and want to go for something out of the ordinary, test their signature wine cocktails. Drop by with your friends in the evening and dance the night away to their cool tunes or come by during the day and sit and chill.  The wines on offer change each week as choices are aimed at good value for your ‘dong’. Local Bar is in the old quarter and has those cute Vietnamese cafe chairs and tables outside the bar where you can sit and watch the ever changing panorama of the French quarter. 8344291

Wines of the Month in Hanoi-Caliterra

caliterraFrom the Caliterra vineyard this Reserva Sauvignon Blanc is a high quality wine that reflects the nature of its terroir and fruit. It has a beautiful pale greenish yellow hue and a very bright Sauvignon Blanc. The nose is intensely aromatic, highlighting its great freshness and aromas of tropical fruits, mango and passion fruit. Also it stands for its citrus and mineral notes, and some hints of green pepper and tomato leaves. In the mouth it shows a pleasant acidity and a citrus feeling that make it an easy white wine to harmonize dishes. A modern and elegant wine which reflects the particular characteristics of the terroir. This is a distinctive and flavorful wine to be enjoyed on any occasion.

Vintage 2015: Gold Medal International Wine Challenge

Province: Casablanca Valley Chile

Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Food Pairing: Refreshingly herbal and grassy with some bright lime notes, it’s terrific for an aperitif or companion to European cuisine: fish, salads, seafood and shellfish. It pairs well with Spicy Vietnamese dishes & sauces too, like nuoc mam, it goes well with the spiciness of nuoc cham, with the sweetness of  shrimp and Banh Mi fillings and most dishes harmonise well with this wine which balances the palate perfectly.

14063739_1075130605868034_7723722721499363696_nThis is Wine of the month here in Hanoi at Jafa, an International restaurant in Tay Ho. They have a range of exquisite Vietnamese dishes such as: MUC BAO MIA, Minced pork and calamari formed around sugarcane skewers, grilled and served with sweet chilli sauce. Ideal as an appetizer. GOI BUOI TOM, A light, fragrant, hot, sweet and sour salad, with prawns, pomelo, chilli, mint, coriander, peanuts and MY VAN THAN, Home made pork & shrimp wontons, tender BBQ pork slices, prawns, quail egg, chives, herbs & egg noodles in a flavoursome broth. Beautifully cooked European cuisine: Fish dishes such as fresh Salmon in a creamy Mustard sauce with green beans and Garlic potatoes, or Salmon with Lemon Tarragon, Butter sauce, served with broccoli and potatoes & parsnip cakes. Braised Beef cheek, Claypot Cottage Pie and South East Asian dishes like Chicken and Prawn Laksa from Malaysia… and much more, Check out their facebook page

You can also find this wine at DaLoc Wine shops for more info visit their Facebook page DaLoc Wines.wom-jafa-8-2016-op-1

The Best Pizza in Hanoi you should try

If there’s a western dish loved in Vietnam as much as it is everywhere else, it’s pizza. You can find pizza in all corners of the world: deep-fried or deep-dish, flambéed, stuffed, sweet, and spicy…

This article is on one of my favourite blogs – ‘luxury restaurant and cuisine in vietnam’
FOOD GUIDE FOR GOURMET    Source: The Best Pizza in Hanoi you should try

Helping expats in Vietnam

This is a really great website and users forum for expats living in Vietnam, which is also super handy for travellers and tourists. On the Vietnam forum you can find discussions and advice for a wide range of topics from music clubs, sports, teaching part time, info on the Tet holiday and motorcycle trips. Also listed are housing rentals, jobs and much more from buying a bar or business, travel insurance to international money transfers and visas.

You can join, ask questions, post free listings and add your member profile and photos..addisoninhochiminhcity1-600x410

Best of all it’s a great way to meet new friends and hook up with others in your area where you can share the same hobbies like basketball, photography or yoga…. definitely worth a visit!!!

header-logo http://www.expat.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=219

 

Linguini Fini Hanoi

Hanoi’s first premium casual Italian restaurant rooted in New York culture. This means it’s not short of raw American passion with a distinct sense of style and attitude. But this is just on the surface. When you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover the essence of authentic Italian food. It’s fresh produce. It’s locally-sourced. And 100% home-made. Bringing to you homemade only pasta, signature 18″ New York style pizza and delicious Italian main dishes. Located in the trendy Tay Ho district on Xuan Dieu, the restaurant is spread over 3 floors with a brutalist concept architecture of glass and steel and yet furnished with Italian-Brooklyn style creating an ambience which is vibrant and exciting.

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Tomatoes, onions, garlic and cook it for hours. Simmer it some more and finish it with fistfuls of basil. This is the Red Sauce at Linguini Fini Hanoi

Vinny Lauria (left). Partner and Chef checking out Vietnam's finest organic produce.

At Linguini Fini we always support local organic farmers and provide a seasonal menu that is fresher and tastes better. We also believe in farmers, the guardians of our environment. foster a great appreciation for the flavors and soul of Northern Vietnamese cuisine. I am excited to embrace those flavors and ingredients and convey them through the menu …Vinny Lauria (left). Partner and Chef checking out Vietnam’s finest organic produce.

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Vinny remembers his Nonna’s ravioli. “These ravioli nourished me growing up when Id see my grandma and now I’m bringing them to Ha Noi”

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The linguini fini being made. The namesake dish of the restaurant means ‘fine little tongue’ because of its shape and delicate nature.

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The lone bartender AKA ” The Butcher ” is known to do his dance ritual at the end of every night. If you’re lucky you might just catch him doing it…

 

Linguini Fini Hanoi's fabulous Earl Grey Vodka

Linguini Fini Hanoi’s fabulous Earl Grey Vodka.

 

Ragù, a Meat Sauce Done Right at Linguini Fini Hanoi

Ragù, a Meat Sauce – Done Right at Linguini Fini Hanoi

Some say, that behind that baby smile.... is hidden the most advanced computerized brain that runs exclusively on beer. All we know is he’s called BIG EDDY, and he's the GM of Linguini Fini Hanoi.

Some say, that behind that baby smile….
is hidden the most advanced computerized brain that runs exclusively on beer.
All we know is he’s called BIG EDDY, and he’s the GM of Linguini Fini Hanoi.

 

Ladies and gentlemen we have the freshest pizzas in town... Fresh tomatoes, pesto and home made mozzarella. Ps bring some friends the pizza is big... 18 inches

Ladies and gentlemen the freshest pizzas in town…
Fresh tomatoes, pesto and home made mozzarella.
Ps bring some friends the pizza is big… 18 inches

 

Jess Andrenelli, the assistant manager, Lover of Apple Pie & Great wines, Wine training with the team

Jess Andrenelli, Assistant manager & marketing communications, A Lover of Apple Pie & Great Wines, having fun ‘Wine training’ with the team.

 

The best Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice-Cream & Fudge

The best Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice-Cream & Fudge

 

Every Friday Night !!!! Beat the clock happy hour!!!!

Every Friday Night !!!! Beat the clock happy hour!!!!

 

Their own In-House Sambuca, an Italian star anise liqueur.

Their own In-House Sambuca, an Italian anise liqueur.

An applause for the seafood linguini. Top most appreciated dish this Autumn.

An applause for the seafood linguini.
Top most appreciated dish this Autumn. Or the Truffled Mushroom Fettuccine, if you haven’t tried it yet…. Well what are you waiting for!!! Pass by anytime between 12 and 3pm or 5 and 10pm to try it. See you soon…

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Check out the amazing menu of starters and main dishes

Check out the amazing menu of starters and main dishes.

 

How Can You Resist?

How Can You Resist?

Waiting to welcome you. You can see their events, wine tastings, menus and more on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/linguinifinihanoi/?fref=photo

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An Bang Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam

an-bang-beach-hoi-an-08-600x400Everything you need to know about An Bang Beach and its wonderful Soul Kitchen Bar Restaurant.

“As I sit on the grass perched over the beach, staring out to sea, sated and listening to the vibes of the house blending in with the gentle roll of ocean onto sand, it occurs to me that if I turned to stone and sat here for a millennium or three, that would be perfectly alright with me. Frank’s marvelous, mystical kitchen has once again, saved my soul.” Read on…. http://www.urban-flavours.com/2015/03/soul-kitchen/

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Bun Cha with good company – Hanoi’s Cat Cafés

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In Asia, there’s a growing demand for quirky cat cafés where customers can enjoy coffee and cake while petting adorable kitties. Once considered a mainly Japanese phenomenon, Cat Cafes are now spreading across the globe. A number of feline-friendly cafes have opened in Europe and the U.S.

Lauren Pears – the founder of London’s first Cat Cafe – said demand is going to increase. “As cities become more densely populated – and the option to have a pet is less likely – of course cat cafes are going to be more popular,” “Cats have a very special relationship with humans, and if you can’t get that at home, people are going to look elsewhere.”

I’ve discovered a fabulous Cat Café here in Hanoi… Actually it’s more of a café cum restaurant in To Ngoc Van near the Sedona Suites… Here, it’s Bun Cha, which has what it takes to shake Pho off its perch as Vietnam’s most-loved dish.  Small, fragrant minced-pork patties grilled over charcoal, then delivered to your table with bowls of hot broth, round rice noodles (bun), loads of herbs, chopped chilli and garlic, and a platter of Nem Cua Be (crisp spring rolls stuffed with crab meat). You dip the pork and the spring rolls in the broth in a multi-textured frenzy of freshness, tang, smoke and scorch…Plus you get the sweet kitty as extra company, Ahh this Hanoi Cat Café is the best…

 

“A delightful piece of Italy in Vietnam”

“A delightful piece of Italy in Vietnam”
5 of 5 starsReviewed September 29, 2014 NEW
Our holiday this year was to Italy, and then to Vietnam. You may therefore understand the surprise I felt when we found this lovely Italian restaurant in Hanoi! We spent 2 nights in Hanoi on the way home from Halong Bay before we flew back home to Australia. My husband and I had just been talking about where we had been on our holiday and how wonderful all of it had been and – wow – we stumbled on this little place. It was the most perfect end to our holiday! The food was WONDERFUL. It was also wonderful italian food by italian standards – how do they do that in Vietnam?? You must go yourself and ask the lovely Italians who served us – Jess and Leonardo. They were friendly and answered all our questions, and we are happy to report that we had a lovely romantic Italian dinner in Hanoi on our last night on holidays! Thank you thank you thank you.

Visited September 2014
4 of 5 stars Value
5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
5 of 5 stars Service
5 of 5 stars Food

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d6219168-r231488271-Il_Faro_del_Mediterraneo_Restaurant-Hanoi.html#REVIEWS