|Pick and choose: One side of a vast spread at the Kitchen BBQ Buffet restaurant in Ha Noi. — VNS Photos Hoang Ha.
To enjoy looking out at the Hoan Kiem Lake while relishing a wide range of Korean and other Asian dishes, including desserts, is a treat not to be missed in the heart of the capital city, Ha Nguyen asserts.
My friend Phan Thi Thuan from Germany invited us to the Kitchen BBQ buffet in the heart of the capital city of Ha Noi.
We entered the simply designed Korean and Asian buffet house, located on the French colonial building's fifth floor. The buffet house overlooks the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake that Thuan misses the most, as she has been living far away for nearly 30 years.
We chose a table next to a large window to enjoy the beautiful and crowded street. Many of the people on the street were foreign visitors.
A server came up, gave us several menu books and then brought a dish of cabbage kim chi and mango panchan.
Thuan told the server to bring hot rural Vietnamese chicken soup before the BBQ dishes.
Thuan said that the soup is quite different from its German counterpart because the chicken is tasty. "I missed this tasty dish a lot," she added.
I read the menus, which offered Korean cuisine with other Asian food, ranging from banchan starters, kim chi and bulgogi to barbecues, sushi, sashimi and Vietnamese delights, besides several other dishes.
Two servers came to help us grill pork belly, beef belly with Korean sauce, live oysters and large prawns. We enjoyed the meat and seafood a lot because they were fresh and carefully infused with special spices imported from South Korea.
|Hot and fresh: Meat grilled with Korean sauce.
My friend Phuong Ha ordered imported US beef tendons with Korean sauce, sea eels with teriyaki sauce and octopus with spicy sauce, while another friend Hong Van ordered tuna sushi and red crab eggs sushi.
I cannot ever forget the soft and delicious beef and the special flavour of the octopus, which I sometimes cook at home.
Thuan ordered duck meat with Korean sauce and fried rice with kim chi first, and then beef with seaweed broth.
"Despite feeling full, the hot broth tasted so sweet and delicious. I wanted one more bowl of it," she told us.
|Accompaniments: Ingredients kept ready for cooking and serving
The Kitchen BBQ buffet
Address: 3B Le Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi
Opening hours: 11am-22pm
Price range: VND229,000-299,000 (US$11-15)
Comment: Delicious Vietnamese and Korean cuisine. Reasonable prices.
We then turned to desserts. They included water melons, guavas, oranges and banana besides Nha Trang mango, but all of us were interested in sweet puddings such as of longan lotus seeds, taro, sweet corn and green young rice, as well as cendol, black glutinous rice, red beans and a three-colour jelly.
We were all feeling full, but the pudding was so attractive that we had to try it.
Thuan said that what she liked the most were the longan lotus seed pudding and taro pudding, but I was more interested in the black glutinous rice pudding and sweet corn pudding.
We all were pleased with our seating, the view, the food and the way food was served.
The iconic rooftop panoramic view area has 130 seats, including two large and cosy private rooms for special parties, which cater to a cosmopolitan clientele. It's a convenient place to dine with family and close friends at reasonable prices.
Leaving the BBQ buffet, we went downstairs to the Coffee Club Restaurant on the fourth floor to enjoy unique flavours of Viet Nam and other Asian countries. — VNS