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

Tam Dao Bear Sanctuary – 14 bears – 10 bear bile farms – 4 days – 1 incredible rescue team

GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN VIETNAM

Vietnam Animal Asia Rescue Team CILEZVfWcAAhfkL

Nestled in the mountain jungles of Tam Dao national park is Animal Asia’s bear sanctuary. Here you can see the most beautiful Moon bears which are native to Vietnam. Each bear has a sad story tell, years and years kept in a tiny cage unable to move around, fed on gruel, and kept for bear bile extraction. Some bears are caged as cubs and never released, many are kept caged for up to 30 years. Most farmed bears are starved and dehydrated, and suffer from multiple diseases. Fortunately the Vietnamese government has outlawed bear farming and slowly the authorities are negotiating their release to Animal Asia’s sanctuary,

Animals Asia will begin the mass evacuation of captive bears from Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province – on Tuesday 23rd June, with at least 14 bears to be freed from the illegal bile trade.
The 14 moon bears are presently spread out over 10 farms in the region, which is home to World Heritage site Halong Bay. Animals Asia’s expects the rescue to continue for four days, concluding on Friday 26th.
Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said:
“We’ve been working since 2007 to end bear bile farming in Halong Bay – pushing year after year to educate tourists against the use of bear bile and working with the local authorities to build a relationship. That has intensified since late last year when we started pushing hard for a remit to rescue these long-suffering animals. We are relieved that the first large scale transfer of bears can now finally take place.

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TO THIS ourwor-endbearbilefarming-sanctuaries-vietnamesanctuarty-banner.cfc43686593cd03628122be418cfae13

You can follow the latest rescue live over the next 4 days http://bit.ly/h2hTimeline

You can visit the rescued bears living in bear paradise at the sanctuary https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/our-work/end-bear-bile-farming/what-we-do/bear-sanctuaries/vietnam-bear-sanctuary/vietnam-bear-sanctuary.html

Stand-up comedy in Hanoi

13TH May – STAND UP COMEDY

The House of Sơn Tinh continues to establish itself as the home of stand-up comedy in Hanoi. Next up, on WED 13TH MAY, is MARTIN MOR, a comic from Northern Ireland with a wit as sharp as the tips of his enormous moustache. Mor, a one-time circus performer, is certainly no stranger to the wild and raucous world of comedy — he’s spent nearly 25 years on stage, performing for everyone from the British Royal Family to a horde of Italian convicts.

Joining Mor on stage will be Thailand-based comic DELFIN SOLOMON who is inspired by Russell Peters, Chris Rock, Louis CK, and a bunch of other folk you’d be crazy not to like.

Further support will be provided by members of the blossoming HANOI COMEDY COLLECTIVE: on this occasion Jill Kester, Quang, Roddy Fraser & Magic Alex.

Tickets cost VND150K/person [on the door] and include a free glass of the award-winning Sơn Tinh liquor. [NOTE: In this summer heat we strongly recommend a glass of Sơn Tinh’s Apricot liquor on the rocks!]

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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…

 

Hanoi By The Glass – Darren Gall

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A review of some of the most delightful bars and restaurants in Hanoi where to have a glass of wine.

Published on Urban Flavours:

“In a city one thousand years old, everyone is a visitor.”

To see Darren’s quirky review visit Urban Flavours

http://www.urban-flavours.com/hanoi-by-the-glass/

The Tam Dao Bear Sanctuary – Meet Mausi

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MAUSI

Female
Mausi arrived at our Vietnam sanctuary in June 2007 after being discovered with two other tiny cubs in a secret compartment under a passenger bus – headed for a life of torture on a bile farm. Mausi thrived in her new environment and her excitement over anything new was a joy to watch. She has grown into a sweet-natured, playful young bear. She shares her den and outdoor enclosures with a large group of bears, mostly energetic juveniles but also a couple of mature bears. Mausi gets along famously with them all.

Spread over an area of 12 hectares, the sanctuary has over 10,000 square metres of seminatural outdoor enclosure space designed to stimulate the bears’ natural behaviour The Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre is about a two-hour drive from Hanoi. You can visit the bears on these dates:

 4 and 18 October
1, 15 and 29 November 13 and 20 December
To book your visit, please email info@animalsasia.org

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https://www.animalsasia.org//intl/our-work/end-bear-bile-farming/what-we-do/bear-sanctuaries/vietnam-bear-sanctuary/vietnam-bear-sanctuary.html

Italian Food Tour in Hanoi – This weeks menu

menu3Venetian cuisine is varied with many traditional recipes from the famous lagoons and the countryside close by. This week we have chosen some favourites and some of the lesser known but very highly prized dishes from the Veneto region.

Stracetti Al Radicchio, fine slivers of tender veal cooked with a chicory leaf marinate. Crostini Di Zucca In Saor, marinated pumpkin with sun-dried black olives.

Risotto Al Ragu Di Quaglia E Funghi, a delicious risotto with a quail and white mushroom ragu. Bigolli All’Anatra, fresh egg pasta with a duck ragu.

Agnello In Crema Di Asparagi, Lamb fillet with an asparagus cream. Fegato Alla Veneziana, finely sliced veal liver cooked in the venetian style with lemon and gently stewed onions.

Sorbetto Vino e Frutta, a sorbet of wine and fresh fruits. Crespelle con Fragole e Cioccolato, light crepes with a strawberry and chocolate garnish.

10609531_349188588565190_5960174740529984396_nCelebrating the Veneto region with many delicious dishes from Venice and Treviso.

Italian Food Tour in Hanoi – August – The Veneto Region

cucina_03cucina_07cucina_11Il Faro Italian Restaurant is celebrating the Veneto cuisine with a dedicated menu. Veneto is a rich region under many aspects, above all the gastronomic one. It’s easy to see why, given that Venice for centuries traded with distant lands in the East and the Venetians integrated the use of exotic spices into their recipes. The 4 key points are polenta, rice, cod and beans.

Some favourite Venetian Dishes: Sarde in Saor, sweet and sour sardines. Bigoli in Salsa, thick coarse spaghetti seasoned with a sardine and onion sauce. Risi e Bisi, risotto with beans and Bruscandoli, radicchio from Treviso which has many delicious varieties. Baccalà Mantecato, a creamy soft Cod mousse served with polenta. Fegato alla Veneziana, liver cooked with figs. Trotta in Gradela, delicately flavoured grilled trout, Filette di Coregone alla Gardesana, white fish baked with capers and anchovy fillets. Triglie al Cartoccio, reef mullets wrapped and coated with spices creating a heady burst of aromas. Frittelle, sweet fried dumplings and many more traditional Venetian dishes.

The dishes on offer each day will be subject to the fresh ingredients available locally in Hanoi.

A culinary tour of Italy here in Hanoi

 

From Liguria to Molise, from appetizers to dolce, Il Faro will take you on a sweeping gastronomic tour. The Culinary tour is a triumph of the most delicious traditional Italian recipes.

 

This month July 2014 Il Faro is celebrating 4 regions in Italy.

MENU SUMMER

 

LIGURIA

From the 7th to the 13th July.

SARDEGNA

From the 14th to the 20th July.

CAMPANIA

From the 21st to the 27th July.

MOLISE

From the 28th of July to the 3rd of August.

Sailing along the Perfume River on a Dragon Boat

images-2 Huè The Perfume River (Sông Hương), with its famed dragon boats

home1                                                                                                                                              Travel in any direction, along waterway or road, quickly leads to one of the Nguyen Imperial Tombs, or some other fascinating historical site. And the landscape of sun-drenched rivers winding among mountains that overlay like translucent layers of rice paper is majestic.

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http://hanoiscratchpad.blogspot.it/2010/08/hue-vietnams-heartland.html