|New and traditional: Paddy Restaurant provides customers with an open, cool space. — VNS Photos Nguyen Thi Nga
|Heavenly: Fried seafood rolls can be recommended.
|Enjoyable: Raw pomelos are enhanced by special ingredients.
Address: 24 Han Thuyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi
Tel: +844 22229988
Hours: 24 hours
Price: VND250,000-310,000 (US$12-15)
Comment: Gourmets can enjoy tastier Asian and European dishes.
Located near the Ha Noi Opera Theatre, Paddy Restaurant is the place to enjoy good food right in the centre of the bustling city. Ha Nguyen
reportsHa Noi is seriously hot these days. Sweating through the first heat wave we decided we needed an escape. Paddy Restaurant – known for its open-air dining room and fresh salads – seemed like just the place for a lunchtime respite from the heat.
We wanted to avoid the usual expat cop-out of air-conditioning and prove to ourselves that we could survive the sweltering months ahead without it.
What we got was the dining equivalent to a spa: refreshing dishes, attentive service and a peaceful environment.
As soon as we walked in, we were impressed by Paddy Restaurant's decor, both brand new and traditional. The setting provided a soothing backdrop to our meal, with shades of blue dominating – right down to the salt and pepper shakers and tablecloths.
In addition to enjoying the tasteful interior, guests at Paddy Restaurant, located on the second floor of the May de Ville Hotel, can visit the four-star hotel's rooftop on the 13th floor to admire a panoramic view of Ha Noi, captivating especially at sunset or nighttime.
Nguyen Tien Vuong, manager of the hotel, said its name wishes to bring visitors, particular from foreign countries, a luck and relaxation during their holiday in Viet Nam.
Glancing over the drinks menu, I noted a wide selection of international wines and beers, but I opted instead for an ice-cold lemon juice – true Vietnamese-style refreshment.
First, we were confused by the many different Asian and European dishes, all of which seemed equally attractive and delicious.
They included caesarean and chicken salad, crab and asparagus and vegetable soup, grilled chicken legs with lemon leaves, grilled beef with pepper sauce and many others.
My friend Hong Hanh told me that we should have a seat and then try the dishes we like first.
I agreed and began with fresh spring rolls with pork and shrimp and water dropwort cress with dry prawns while Hanh enjoyed a squid and pineapple as well as a vermicelli and prawn salad.
Next we moved on to the main course: grilled chicken with lemon leaves (US$8.0), chicken escalope with potato ($10), sweet and sour sautéed pork ($7) and deep fried squid ($15).
Others included shrimp steamed with coconut sauce ($15), grilled medium-sized edible snails ($15), fried seafood rolls ($12), rice covered in lotus leaves and dish made of raw pomelo and other special ingredients ($10).
Hanh told me to try the stir-fried prawns with baby corn and baked shrimp with mushroom and cheese. We agreed that the dish was tastier than the prawns we had tried at other restaurants.
Hanh's 12 years-old son Nguyen Van Duc said he liked the seafood fried rice ($6.5) and spaghetti with tomato and mushroom sauce.
"The spaghetti is the most tasty I have ever eaten before," Duc said, adding that he also liked the deep taro and minced pork.
Duc wanted to eat more, but we were all too full and pleased.
Despite staff standing at-the-ready, Duc said he himself was interested to serve us with the deserts we liked.
After several minutes, he brought us a platter heaped with fruit, including dragon fruit, papaya, rambuttan and watermelon.
Duc told us to try a banana cake that has a special taste and so delicious that we thought we have never eaten it before.
We were given heaps of condiments, our drinks were refilled 10 times over – all in all, the experience was soothing and pleasant, almost like an afternoon at a spa.
Coming to Paddy Restaurant you could sample a variety of Asian and European dishes as it caters to both local and foreign tastes. Though our limited appetites kept us from trying more items on the menu, the options were extensive, with flavours of the land and sea available in a variety of preparations.
The buffet is between VND250,000($12) and VND310,000 ($15)+ + per person. The hotel operates 24 hours a day, said manager Vuong.
During our visit, any culinary shortcomings were more than compensated for by the wide selection of menu options, serene atmosphere and friendly, attentive staff.
Located near the Ha Noi Opera Theatre in the city centre, Paddy Restaurant is an ideal place for you to enjoy its dishes and bustling city at night. The restaurant could serve 100 guests at the same time. — VNS