Experience Regional Vietnamese Specialities at a Renowned Restaurant in the Centre of Old Quarter with View over Hoan Kiem lake

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.

Shak's Jaw building - Hoan Kiem lake on the right and Old Quarter on the left (source: Travelhanoi.org)

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. 

Rooftop seats where you get this view
Entire horizon of Hoan Kiem lake

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. 

Everyone was trying to stand by the glass to take a photo of the lake
Lots of greens to boost up the cosy vibe

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.

Crispy tofu with lemongrass - perfect harmony between crispy and soft textures
Stir-fried mixed seasonal vegetables
Deep-fried seabass with passionfruit sauce
Pan-fried shrimps with garlic
This was the view we had

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. 

Indoor seats and there are balcony seats as well

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. 

Address: 7 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Opening Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 22:00

Website for reservation: https://www.caugorestaurant.com/

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