One of the most notorious dishes in Hanoi is this delectable grilled fish called chả cá. Cha ca was born in Hanoi by Doan family over a century ago and has become a prominent Hanoian dish. It is one of the top must try dishes in town if you’re visiting here.
I have been to both the original restaurant, Cha Ca La Vong and another famous cha ca restaurant, Cha Ca Thang Long. And in my opinion, Cha Ca Thang Long is number one in town since the taste and ingredients are exactly the same in both restaurants. But the service at Thang Long exceeds La Vong. So Thang Long is my go-to place for cha ca in Hanoi.
On my most recent dinner at Cha Ca Thang Long, the two main blocks of the restaurant were all occupied, so we were asked to go to the new building across the street. And when I arrived at the new building, I was in pure amusement! Here’s why and the 2020 update on Thang Long’s brand new building, which is going to take your cha ca experience to another level!
Cha Ca Thang Long's New Building
When I arrived at the gate with Chinese characters and walked into that beautifully lit bamboo walkway, I was pretty confused. I literally thought we were not in the right place. Past the super stunning bamboo trees, I saw this fancy building and thought it must be a private house or another fancy restaurant. I honestly believed Cha Ca Thang Long rented a part of this building temporarily. So I even went past the entrance searching for another entrance.
But this WAS the actual building of Cha Ca Thang Long. After I saw everyone inside having grilled fish and only then I entered inside.
When I entered, I was again astonished with how elegant and luxurious everything looked. From the gorgeous tile floor to brand new high-quality chairs. It definitely is a whole new world from the original building on 21 Duong Thanh street. Hence, it was an amazing and pleasantly surprising beginning of dinner from the very entrance.
Upgraded Cha Ca Experience
Cha Ca Thang Long has never ever failed me and it is always a highly satisfying and delicious meal I love in Hanoi. The setting and ingredients served were exactly the same, but they came in these brand new turquoise clay dishes! I must say this fancy setting just made the dinner much more enjoyable.
One thing my boyfriend and I always praise about this restaurant is the service quality (on top of the amazing food). All the staff seem to work seamlessly together and therefore dining experience here is always perfectly smooth, quick and lovely. Now with the more elegant interior design and all those new dishes, the entire experience is upgraded to another level.
The manager said they opened this building around Lunar New Year this year. But I forgot to ask if they’re planning to completely move to this building or keep the original one on 21 Duong Thanh street. But from now on, I will always want to dine here instead of the original building. I hope that choice is mine to make.
So, cha ca is a must try in Hanoi and if you will try this dish, I highly recommend Cha Ca Thang Long. And if you do go to Thang Long restaurant, I really hope you’ll be able to dine at his beautiful new building for a much better experience!