Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hanoi - Restaurant Bobby Chinn

If not for Bobby Chinn's persistence and fixation with Vietnam, Hanoi probably would not have what can be international class dining in the heart of the city, by the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake.

His diverse racial and cultural lineage has allowed him to really understand the fundamentals of each and to bring them together in surprisingly good harmony. Never one for fusion, I do not want to label Bobby's cuisine as fusion. I must give it the credit that it is cuisine of high standard which brings together flavours from around the globe, true to his heritage. The simple combinations and excellent execution, makes for an enjoyable experience, added to the restaurant's eclectic decor - the red hues from the photos are not a function of the camera but of the whole restaurant, draped in red silk all over, with a collection of Bobby's Vietnamese art.

We started with the crab trio of crab cappucino, crab meat salad, and crab cake. All sounding pretty ordinary, but the infusion of local herbs and spices added to the fresh crab made the dish a resounding success.

My main of lamb shank with gnocchi was tender meat falling off the bone. Only complaint was that the gnocchi was a tad too soggy. Otherwise yummy, and definitely enough for 2 if you are only moderately hungry.

To end, the creme brulee trio was also pretty good. It wasn't as eggy as the one I had at Aqua but the variety of grand marnier, coffee and chocolate made for spoonfuls of different tastes, lifting the monotony.
Definitely synonymous with Hanoi's fine dining scene, it is a must-do for any Hanoi first-timer.

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