While the famous Vietnamese dishes such as pho and bun cha are certainly prominent parts of local life and centre of local dining in Vietnam, there’s nothing more local and authentic than a meal at home of Vietnamese people.
My favourite local experience is visiting my Vietnamese friends’ homes and trying all kinds of original and regional specialities. Nothing can compare to enjoying a feast of various dishes along with families and friends especially in the countryside.
But as I live in Hanoi’s city centre, I sometimes crave and long for those times at my friends’ hometowns. So I search for restaurants in Hanoi to get a similar experience and try down-to-earth genuine local dishes in the city.
So far, I’ve found quite a few of such restaurants with beautiful concepts and today, I’d like to introduce you to my new discovery of a great gem!
The restaurant is called Mâm Cơm Việt restaurant. Mâm is the name of round platter on which dishes were served and put on the floor as a table and cơm means rice or meal. As the name suggests, this restaurant’s concept is about bringing local dining experience to foreigners.
The restaurant is on the 8th floor of a hotel and staff at the restaurant welcomed me and my boyfriend in a warm and professional manner. Luckily, we were able to sit by the window from which we could enjoy the rooftop view of the Old Quarter.
There was a piece of paper on the table with “11 subtle tips for joining Vietnamese meals”. It was super interesting to read it through and find some real insights and tips of what a typical local dining experience is like and some useful etiquettes to beware of. It is a really nice touch to be introduced to Vietnamese culture.
They have several different set menus, which are perfect for those who want to try a great variety of dishes and they also have lots of a la carte menus. We ordered from a la carte options as we weren’t confident that we could finish all dishes from the set menus.
We were served a plate of shrimp crackers as a complimentary appetiser before our dishes, which pumped up our appetite to before the meal. Then our orders were all served seamlessly and the waiter offered a brief introduction to each dish.
We ordered claypot braised pork belly with quail eggs and coconut meat, grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves and bok choi with shiitake mushroom. We enjoyed every dish and they were a good harmony. My favourite was the grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves because it was so tender and fragrant.
On top of the delectable cuisine, the ambiance was quite romantic, cosy and relaxing. They deliver original Vietnamese cuisine in a more upscale ambiance without overtaking it. So it was a really satisfying meal for me and I would recommend this restaurant to you if you’re looking for an authentic Vietnamese lunch or dinner.
Oh and after dinner, we headed upstairs for the rooftop bar and we had a truly wonderful time enjoying the rooftop view over the Old Quarter. So this restaurant is a great choice with a perfect combination of delicious Vietnamese cuisine and bar with one of the best views in town!