Viet Nam News
By Hà Nguyễn
We were invited to the Mangosteen Restaurant at the Movenpick Hotel, Hà Nội, to enjoy new dishes and health juices prepared by new young head chef Hoàng Nguyên who has spent more than a decade at five-star hotels in Việt Nam and abroad.
The Mangosteen offers Vietnamese, Swiss and other European foods. The hotel is located at 83A Lý Thường Kiệt Street in Hoàn Kiếm District. It is a serene, boutique-style location that caters to discerning corporate and leisure travellers. Quán Sứ Temple is just around the corner. Hà Nội’s famed Opera House, the Old Quarter shopping streets, a myriad embassies and the Central Train Station are only five-minutes away by a taxi.
The interior of the restaurant is distinct with subtle white, brown and purple tones reflected in contemporary pieces of furniture, wall art pieces and table settings. The restaurant serves up a cuisine that is an innovative mix of Vietnamese flavour and international classics. Guests can select delicacies from a creative à la carte menu available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The restaurant is a breath of fresh air, with a brightly lit interior and airy atmosphere. I was impressed by the juice which Nguyên combined from American green apples, cucumbers and a little of celery, a tasty mix that helped to cool the heat.
Nguyên said the juice was also good for lung and heart and prevented the skin from growing older. My friend chose juice made from oranges and carrots, said to be a good supply of vitamins C and E for the heart and bones.
The first main dish was a vanilla lime shrimp salad (VNĐ200,000), which included shrimps boiled with onion, celery and citronella, small tomatoes, French beans, avocado, green oranges, cucumber, cress, fish eggs and coriandrum sativum.
Tasty greens: Vanilla lime shrimp salad is so fresh and nutty that it tempts most diners.
I’ve had eaten many sorts of salad before, but this was the first time I enjoyed such an aromatic and nutty flavour. I particularly enjoyed the fragrance of vanilla seed, lime fruit, olive oil and yellow mustard. The shrimp was crispy and was flavoured with onion, celery and citronella. This dish should be enough for two people, but I finished it off by myself because it was so fresh and healthy.
Next up was Norwegian cod with miso and asparagus (VNĐ830,000) which was designed with rocket, broccoli and cress. We were surprised that the cod did not have any fishy smell, but was soft but crispy and tasty.
Asked about his cooking secrets, Nguyên said he learned techniques from Japan and during his career as chef. He said the dish helped prevent weight gain and stabilised blood pressure.
Nguyên graduated from the Hà Nội Tourism College in 2004, he first worked at the Melia Hotel and later at the Royal Mirage Hotel, Dubai. In 2012, he returned to Việt Nam and honed his skills well by working as sous chef for the Horizon Hotel (now Pullman). He later became executive chef at the Hilton Garden Inn, Vinpearl Nha Trang Bay Resort & Village and FLC Sầm Sơn Beach & Golf Resort, prior to assuming his position at the Movenpick Hotel Hà Nội.
We then downed a big plate of pumpkin soup (VNĐ160,000) in which cresses were again used. It was a pleasant dish of beautiful yellow.
The meal didn’t stop there as our waiter brought out Swiss dark chocolate mousse (VNĐ150,000) for each of us. Despite being full, I still quickly finished it off because the cake is my most favourite one.
If you fancy a calming respite from city noise or wish to enjoy quality dishes, such as Zurich-style Veal (VNĐ450,000), the succulent veal in a mouth-watering cream and mushroom sauce, served with a traditional crispy rosti, a quintessential Swiss dish; Ris Casimir (VNĐ350,000), the curry and tropical fruit flavour suggest an exotic origin, yet, the dish was invented since 1952 by the hotel founder, the legendary Ueli Prager; or grilled Nha Trang cuttle fish with special sauce (VNĐ150,000), smoked buffalo from Điện Biên (VNĐ150.000) and many others, Movenpick Hotel Hà Nội’s Mangosteen Restaurant comes highly recommended.-- VNS
Address: 2nd floor, Movenpick Hotel Hanoi, 83A Lý Thường Kiệt Str, Hoàn Kiếm Dist.
Tel: +84 24 38 22 28 00
Opening hours: 6am-11pm
Comments: One of the best international restaurants in Hà Nội. Fresh and imported ingredients are used with many dishes from Switzerland.