|Fabulous view: While dining at the Eureka Coffee and Fastfood Shop, diners can witness a great sunset over West Lake and fresh evening air.
Looking for online dining-out specials, Khieu Thanh Ha
was attracted by a group offer to dine at a floating restaurant on West Lake. Ha was so happy with the choice, she went twice and plans another visit
Group coupon promotions have spread to restaurants and cafes in all corners of the city and I have been among those clicking on different sites every day to seek good deals.
Many people claim that service and products sold as coupons are not safe and that buyers may be cheated. Perhaps I am lucky because I have enjoyed many deals and all were okay, including a set menu of beef at the Eureka Coffee and Fastfood Shop.
When I visited the cafe I started wondering if the food would be as good as it looked in the advertisements because it was the first time I had had a dinner of this kind.
An uncomfortable route to the shop made me more worried but all my fears were allayed when I arrived at a floating restaurant with beautiful views of West Lake.
One voucher allowed me to select two of the six dishes available in the promotion but they all looked so delicious it was difficult to choose.
Finally, I opted for roast rolled-beef fillet stuffed with cheese and bacon, grilled garlic and fried vegetables and my favourite beefsteak with French fries.
While waiting for my dish to arrive, I looked around to find the restaurant looking warm, and the red decor gave me the impression the owner had spent a lot of money.
There were separate areas for customers with different tastes and while I chose to sit at a Korean-style table, others took their meals on sofas.
There was also a small stage that owner Tran Quang Hung said was for birthday parties and anniversary celebrations because he had many group and family bookings.
"We also have a projector and a big screen for films as well as free karaoke," Hung said.
The rolled beef was better than the pictures. It looked so delicious and mouth-watering that my five-year-old son who usually refuses to eat meat jumped to the table and asked for a bite.
I asked for his feelings and he repeated his catch phrase for everything he likes: "Unbelievable, it's amazing!"
|Experience the flavour: A grilled club dish of beef (top), a rolled beef stuffed with chess (centre) and stewed beef in red wine sauce (below) are highlights at the Eureka Coffee and Fastfood Shop. — VNS Photos
Eureka Coffee and Fastfood Shop.
Add: 4 Road surrounding West Lake, Ha Noi
Tel: (04) 66 586 393
Price: from VND39,000
Open time: 8am-11pm
Comment: Great lake view with outside seating and perfectly cooked beef with six choices.
He also recognised all the ingredients stuffed in the rolled beef and asked me to remember them so that I could cook it at home for him.
It was such a rare moment, I always have to force him to eat meat.
My discerning gourmand son had persuaded me to the quality of the dish and my friend agreed.
"It is tender, buttery and cheesy with the great fragrance of red wine and black pepper sauce," he said.
I was satisfied with the beefsteak which was moist and tender inside and perfectly medium rare.
But one thing that made me want to go back to the restaurant was a mystery sauce in an individual bowl, which I could only recognise as yellow mustard, pepper and mayonnaise.
Owner Hung said proudly: "It is a special sauce of our chef who took a lot of time to invent it. I know people love it and keep coming back to us because of it."
The second time I went to Eureka I had two vouchers and enjoyed all the other dishes, particularly the mix of roasted minced beef, sausages, omelette and veggies.
The decorated dish was also strongly recommended by the shop owner and in fact it tasted fabulous. The minced beef was tender and suitable for the kids at the age of my son, who also love to eat sausage and French fries with ketchup.
Another dish for four was stewed beef with red wine, cooked with potato and carrot.
For many years, I haven't stewed anything because I thought there would be nothing left after the meat cooked for hours. But this dish has changed my mind.
The beef was cut into bite-size pieces and I could experience the flavour of the spices and red wine.
"The sauce is a fantastic mix of meat and vegetable extract," my friend said.
I tried to identify what they had added but no way. It was so good that I finished my dinner with the sauce only and some slices of bread. If there had been no-one around I would have licked the dish clean.
"Eureka! we have found the place of beef!"
A dish named "Shaking Beef" was the only one I could not recommend. It was over-cooked, dry and tough, although the chef had tried to correct the mistake by adding more red wine sauce.
The last plate was three slices of roast beef fillet, which was similar to the beefsteak. It went with a mix of grains, such as corn and beans, plus olives and carrots, and was highly appreciated by my friend. It was one of the best beef dinners he had eaten for years, he said.
The dinner was too big for two adults and one child so we could not try the shop's ice-cream which, according to a waiter, was very popular.
But I promised myself I would return to the shop before the promotion ends next month and this time I'll choose a table outside on the deck to enjoy the fresh air.
I will also leave room for the ice-cream. — VNS