Thursday, October 22 2020


Treat yourself to a VIP meal at Cau Go

Update: November, 29/2015 - 18:45

Mix of flavours: Goi buoi tron cha bong tom (colourful pomelo and dried prawn salad. — VNS Photos Thuy Hang


Gift basket: Nem chay chien (deep-fried vegetable spring rolls).

Cau Go Vietnamese Cuisine

Address: Level 5-6, Building No 7, Dinh Tien Hoang St,

Opening time: 10am-11pm

Tel: +84 4 39260808

Comment: Very nice view, elegant decor, delicious food

Cau Go Vietnamese Cuisine is a quiet balcony oasis removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. Small design touches and subtle flavours make a dinner there worth the splurge. Thuy Hang reports.

Located on the fifth and sixth floor of a building in the heart of downtown Ha Noi, Cau Go Vietnamese Cuisine seems detached from the noisy, busy street.

Here, in this balcony oasis, where your ears aren't bothered by motorbike horns or the chants of street vendors, all you need to do is look out of the glass doors at the busy street below or see the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake with Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge mirrored in the shimmering water.

The restaurant, of course, offers more than its stunning view.

Its elegant decor reflects a harmony of Oriental and Western features. While the antique fans, black-and-white photos of old Ha Noi, or the old wooden windows give a sense of the past, the comfortable couches and contemporary wooden ceiling offer a modern twist.

The menu, printed on poonah paper, features a variety of dishes from Viet Nam's three main cuisines originating from Ha Noi, Hue and Sai Gon (now HCM City).

The restaurant's top chef Dao Thi Bay – a woman from the southern region who headed the kitchens of some popular Vietnamese restaurants in HCM City before arriving at Cau Go in Ha Noi – said she had always maintained an authentic and simple cooking style, which helps the natural flavour of food ingredients to stand out.

She is also ultra-careful in selecting her sources of food.

Considering the variety of delicious dishes that Cau Go Vietnamese Cuisine offers, it is understandable why all the tables are always occupied, most of diners being foreigners. Among the VIPs who have visited the restaurant are New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and former Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko.

Being very curious, we wished to taste exactly what New Zealand PM John Key recently had at the restaurant.

Our culinary tour of the country's specialities started with Ha Noi's nom du du (sweet and sour green papaya and dried beef salad, priced at VND115,000), and the southern-style goi buoi tron cha bong tom (colourful pomelo and dried prawn salad, priced at VND115,000). Both seduced our taste buds with their fresh ingredients and sauce, which was a perfect combination of sour, spicy, salty and sweet flavours.

Nem chay chien (deep-fried vegetable spring rolls), made of yam bean, maize, and assorted mushrooms, impressed us not only with its healthy flavours, but also its lovely presentation. The rolls were placed inside a small bamboo basket, which was a tiny replica of quang ganh, a traditional tool carried on the shoulder by many street vendors in Ha Noi.

Pho cuon thit nuong (rolled fresh rice paper with BBQ pork belly) has white rolls tied with the leaf of a spring onion like a lovely gift parcel, and comes with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. While eating it, I understood why BBQ is loved by everyone. The seductive flavour of the BBQ meat can lift the level of any simple dish.

Our culinary journey continued with main courses from Hue, comprising suon heo rim tieu (caramelised pork ribs with black pepper, priced at VND135,000), ga xao sa ot (wok-fried chicken with lemon grass and onions, priced at VND145,000), and the Sai Gon dish nam kho to (assorted caramelised mushrooms with black pepper, priced at VND125,000). All of them were served with steamed rice.

From the sea: Ca vuoc sot chanh day (deep-fried sea bass with passion fruit sauce).

The tender and juicy pork rib was quite good, although it was a bit too salty for my taste. The aromatic flavour of the wok-fried chicken was created by "companions" such as minced lemongrass, sliced red chilli, onions and spring onions.

As one who loves mushrooms, how can I say anything negative about the healthy and delicious nam kho to?

The steamed rice was not plain steamed rice. It was teamed up with scattered yellow maize, which not only added a bold taste, but looked good too.

Meat within: Pho cuon thit nuong (rolled fresh rice paper with BBQ pork belly).

We also tasted one of the chef's specials, ca vuoc sot chanh day (deep-fried sea bass with passion fruit sauce, priced at VND120,000). Bathed in sweet, sour and spicy passion fruit sauce, the cube-size and crispy outer sea bass was softer than I thought. The honey-thick dish was so delicious that I couldn't stop myself from eating it all. However, this dish should be tasted while it is still hot or warm, as the sauce turns thicker as it cools.

As the large lunch came to the end, it was hard to leave the lovely oasis. But we knew that we definitely would return to see the gorgeous Hoan Kiem Lake, and to treat ourselves to delicious specialities. — VNS

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