I was in Hanoi, Vietnam this Christmas.  Why?  Well, my mum decided to move there and work for a year or so, so I went over to spend Christmas with her (blog entry on the trip to come).

Anyway, she doesn’t really have much of a kitchen in her apartment, and neither of us were that keen on cooking Christmas dinner anyway, so we decided to pay a visit to one of Hanoi’s finest eating establishments, Restaurant Bobby Chinn.

Restaurant Bobby Chinn is located in Westlakes (it recently moved), an area very popular with expats living in Hanoi.

They had a special six course Christmas day degustation menu which we of course chose over the à la carte menu.

The meal started out with two glasses of Pol Roger Champagne, which I have not had previously.  It was very pleasant; however I’m not certain exactly which Pol Roger it was.

Shortly after the Champagne was served, came the natural compliment, caviar served on a pureed cauliflower bed sitting on a ceramic soup spoon.  This was also my first real caviar experience, it was great.  The caviar seemed to just melt on your tongue.  The cauliflower did seem to overpower the caviar somewhat however.  It was nonetheless a very nice start to the meal.

Next I think came some sort of crab bisque, I don’t remember the exact details but again it was quite tasty.

The next course was one of the highlights; Vietnamese style fried spring rolls, but filled with foie gras!  I’ve only had foie gras a few times in my life, and each time I have it I fall in love again!  It’s a shame the way it’s made is so cruel :(.  Anyway, it fused together perfectly with the taste of the fried outer spring roll.  My mum had never had foie gras before and also fell in love with it during this meal.

The fourth course was the first of two main courses that you could choose from two different options for each.  For this course, you could choose either a mushroom and truffle risotto, or a lobster risotto.  For those of you who don’t know, I love seafood so I went with the lobster option.  Mum chose the mushroom and truffle option.

They were both very good.  I enjoyed the taste of the lobster, however the truffle taste in mum’s I think gave it the edge and was superb.

We had finished our Champagne, and now ordered a bottle of French Red.  I have no idea what we ordered, but it was nice.  I finished most of the bottle myself :?

For the second main course, you could choose between filet mignon or turkey roulade.  I went with the filet mignon, and mum the turkey roulade.  I ordered the filet mignon rare, and it came cooked to perfection.  It was a very small cut of beef, due to the nature of degustation courses, and it was very nice.  The turkey roulade wasn’t really anything to write home about.  I won this course!

A crappy iPhone picture of the dessert platter, chocolate mousse, chocolate dumpling, crème brûlée and a sticky rice thing

Last up came a wonderful dessert tasting plate each.  It was divine!  It consisted of a rich chocolate mousse, a dumpling made of chocolate and filled with chocolate, a crème brûlée and some sort of coconutty sticky rice.  The mousse was delectable, the dumpling sublime, the crème brûlée was awesome (even though I don’t recall what flavour it was, I think it had an Asian flare to it though) and the coconutty sticky rice stuff was only mediocre.  I didn’t actually finish the sticky rice, it just wasn’t really my thing (and I like rice pudding).

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and quite a unique Christmas lunch.  My friends Jamie & Jen rave about this place as well.  If you’re ever in Hanoi, it’s definitely worth checking out.

The damage: US$147 for two six course degustation menus (including two glasses of Pol Roger) and a bottle of French Red.  Really worth it!

My rating: * * * * (five out of five)