This quaint little place opening it's doors from 6pm is instantly full with foodies trying to get their hands on some very tasty dishes.
Arriving on a raining Tuesday evening at 6:15 their was already a 25 minute wait on a table unless wanting to bare the outdoors. With large heating outside their was nothing to do but to accept the challenge of the cold winds undercover and heating overhead as our stomachs were churning for some dinner.
To start off the evening in true Vietnamese style their was no way around it but to order some fresh coconut water, served in a young coconut. Delicious and soothing is all I can say with it's fresh sweet taste I really felt like I was on some tropical island far far away.
A first round of some dishes to share and to get us in the true spirits of the cuisine were duck paper rolls, salmon and green mango paper rolls, salt and pepper school prawns and some pork belly sliders.
Both the paper rolls hand made and packed with flavour. The salmon delicately cures with the subtle hints of fresh mango combined with herbs was refreshing and cleansing, along with the duck which was a little richer in flavours and served with a Peking sauce hit the spot perfectly. Served in lots of 2 you can sweet talk your waiter and help you out for an additional if your a table of 3 like us.
The school prawns would be one of my favourite dishes that I had during the night. Bite sized salt and pepper coated prawns, crispy and tasteful. Seafood lovers would find it easy to eat a plateful on their own or difficult to share amongst friends. Succulent and delicious, bring on the summer days and you'd be treating yourself to this and perhaps one of their alcoholic ginger beers and you would be whisked away from city life and taken away on a brief holiday.
Pork Belly Sliders were although not so much traditional Vietnamese, more like an American trend with Vietnamese flavours were still pretty yummy. Bite sizes, well actually 2 -3 bite sized buns filled with pork belly pieces, fresh cucumber and a tasty sauce. I myself would have preferred the pork to not have been so well cooked as it made it slightly difficult to eat or bite through, however tasty tasty tasty.
With plates from the first round were cleared we continues in the sharing of things and grabbed a rare beef with a seeded cracker and some soft shell crab.
The salad was Amazing to say the least. Fresh lime coriander and a hint of chilli shone brightly through the raw salad mix and the rare beef tender at best and small pieces that hit amongst the combination. The crackers added depth of texture and spooning the salad onto the cracker then eating it really made it a little challenging at times but gorgeous. True flavours of Asian cuisine came through on this one.
The soft shell crab had a similar coating to the school prawn from earlier, but the sweetness of the crab changed the overall flavours. Perfectly cooked, crunchy like a potato chip and not destroying the sweet crab flavours. served with an accompanying sauce and some fresh lime. If you have never tried soft shell crab, it's pretty great. The ability to eat this little creature with each section having completely different flavours is pretty amazing.
To complete our evening we had to test out the Pho. This is the first time of having Pho and I was pretty excited to finally have one.
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup and served with Asian basil, lime, spring onions and bean shoots. Choosing the mixed mushroom Pho, this smooth delicate vegetable broth over flowing with rice noodles and jam packed with mushrooms was pretty fantastic.
Each of us tried each others between the Beef, chicken and mushroom and each of them are just as tasty as each other. An additional plate of bean sprouts, lemon and Asian basil was serves to allow you to add as you choose. We also grabbed some fresh chilli which added that kick of heat. But be careful not to add too much maybe 3-4 pieces is plenty any more and you take the chance of destroying something beautiful. Although this big ginormous bowl looks mainly full of stock, don't jump the gun and think it's not going to fill you, cause it will. The noodles and protein/ veg will fill you up just as quickly as the restaurant fills up.
Hanoi Hannah is a great place for tasty dishes and helps the budgets with it's more than reasonable prices. Worth the wait if you head there later in the evening, but hey if you have to wait they will call you if you choose to go for a walk and grab a beer or vino down the road. They are hospitable which adds to the pleasurable evening, and if your local and don't want to wait then grab take away and enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
180 High Street