A new Vietnamese place on the North side??? Why yes, we will be team players and try them out for a nice Wednesday lunch. Halong Bay Noodle House is the latest to arrive and if you didn’t know, let me educate you about Halong Bay, one of the most amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world. If you go to Northern Vietnam, it’s a MUST. But quit distracting me, bro, let’s get back to it.
The interior is clean, bright and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes as they pay homage to the restaurant’s name with an enormous mural of Halong Bay and it’s jutting limestone islets. Super cool.
Sorry, it’s not pictured, you’ll just have to go and see it for yourself. I like the open air counter, with a view of the kitchen to boot if you’re interested in taking a peak.
Deep fried coconut shrimp (A3) ($12.50)
I was expecting succulent, large pieces of deep fried shrimp. Instead, we got 8 pieces of dinky little shrimplets. Sad face. Completely overpriced and not worth the steep $12.50 price tag. We couldn’t taste any coconut in the shrimp and the shrimp’s batter wasn’t fried enough in the deep fryer. Skip it.
Halong special noodle soup (P1) ($10.00 large)
My buddy went with their special noodle soup. Always a reliable choice to determine how well their broth is made. I didn’t have a taste but DBone devoured his bowl pretty quickly. He liked it but agreed that their broth is lacking.
Bun bo hue (H6) ($10.50)
Halong Bay’s take on BBH – their description on their menu is Hue style vermicelli spicy soup with beef and pork. The pork mash meatballs (think hot pot style) were satisfying, delicious balls of goodness. I’d take a whole bowl full of these next time! As for the broth, it was lacking that fragrant, spicy (it was sadly too mild), depth in flavour that I associated with Cô Dô Hue. They are still North side champs in my books.
Our other buddy ordered a simple chicken and mixed vegetable rice dish. Pretty standard as you can get this at any Asian restaurant but hey, at least you’re getting your daily veggie intake.
Halong Bay is a decent spot if you’re really far North side and looking for a quick, reasonable place to eat. I can’t pinpoint exactly what they are doing to set themselves apart from the rest of the bajillion other Vietnamese restaurants in town but you’ll have to go yourself to find out.
Halong Bay Noodle House