Adding to my quest of finding restaurants that serve authentic local Vietnamese food, I visited one of the most famous and centrally located restaurants in Old Quarter, Hanoi.
Cau Go restaurant is located in the building known to locals as Shark’s Jaw due to the shape of the building which resembles a shark’s jaw. Shark’s Jaw building is the quintessential centre of the Old Quarter because it’s located right by the famous Hoan Kiem lake and stands in the midst of one of the busiest junctions in town.
I went to Cau Go restaurant on New Years Eve with my boyfriend for the last meal of 2019 and countdown to 2020. We were lucky to have a table by the window on the rooftop because the restaurant was fully booked.
While there is an increasing number of new rooftop places popping up everywhere in the Old town, there’s not a place with quite a view like here. I had been to Cau Go restaurant before and other restaurants in the Shark’s Jaw building, and the view over Hoan Kiem lake is always mesmerising and surprisingly beautiful.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a dinner on the outdoor rooftop. The atmosphere was super cosy and romantic. Even with the slightly hectic activity going on with staff taking and serving orders and everyone’s excitement for the countdown, our table was at the corner, so we could enjoy some privacy as well as the stunning night view over the lake and crowd downstairs.
We ordered a bottle of wine to drink until the countdown and a variety of dishes – pan-fried shrimp with garlic, deep-fried seabass with passionfruit sauce, mixed seasonal vegetables and crispy tofu with lemongrass.
The dishes were served surprisingly fast and all at the same time, which I appreciated much especially because the restaurant was very busy. I really liked the crispy tofu with deep-fried lemongrass, but I was slightly disappointed with other dishes. The shrimps were quite bland and other two dishes were rather mediocre.
I think that’s because I’ve been to some other authentic and local Vietnamese restaurants that do so well with the flavours as well as plate presentation. So I’d say I have a high bar set for a restaurant of this concept.
Although the meal itself was slightly below my expectation, the view and the ambiance had it covered very well. So I’d recommend this place if you’re looking for one of the best views in Hanoi. The view won’t disappoint, for sure.
They have equally as cosy and great ambiance for indoor seats, but if you want to sit by the window for the view, I highly recommend making a reservation in advance. You can book a table on their website or ask your hotel or hostel to call for reservation.