A new Northern Vietnamese spot, Hanoi Old Quarter Restaurant, opened up along Victoria Drive. It’s run by the same owners as Mr. Red Cafe. It’s close to Kalvin’s Szechuan but Cafe Dang Anh is also nearby.
The inside is modern and clean with about 9-10 tables (about 34 seats).
They have chili oil, sriracha sauce and pickled peppers & garlic slices on the table as condiments. Same as what you’ll find at Mr. Red Cafe.
Service was good the first visit then mediocre second time around. Wish they would bring you out a pot of tea and waters without you having to ask every time for a refill.
The menu is one page consisting of appetizers, gin an (steam rice rolls), entrees, rice dishes and desserts.
We dropped in on a Wednesday evening (around 6:30pm) to find the place half full.
Grilled pork patties and pork & prawn spring rolls.
Spring rolls were delightful; light, crispy and stuffed with a delicious filling.
Pork patties were tasty but a tad salty.
The steamed rice rolls, topped with fried shallots, were fresh and homey.
Bun doc mung bat dan ($13.00)
Pork hock, meatballs and doc mung (taro stem). The broth was super clean with an underlying depth to it. The doc mung was interesting; neutral in taste but added some texture.
The meatballs were the most interesting aspect of this noodle bowl.
You can get this at a couple other Vietnamese spots (Au Petit Cafe comes to mind). Broth was tasty and came with tender beef and chunks of carrots.
The banh mi didn’t leave a lasting impression on me.
We dropped in on a Friday evening (around 7:00pm) and just missed the rush.
The sauce was an interesting; creamy with the slightest under lying layer of heat.
This included a platter of vermicelli noodles, chips, fresh herbs (mint, cilantro and perilla), crushed peanuts and mam nem (a fermented shrimp paste sauce).
The mam nem was very distinct with it’s own musky, funky aroma but in a good way.
I was super excited for the fish but it was a complete miss. Salty to the extreme. Very, very disappointing.
The pieces of duck were tender but still retained a satisfying chewy bite. Broth was flavourful with depth.
Only complaint is that I wish there was a bit more meat given. Felt like it was half bone and half meat.
Best thing on this platter was the Vietnamese sausage. Reminded me of blood sausage.
Deep fried tofu was standard.
I enjoyed the pork hock more from my first trip (in the bun doc dish) than plain and cold on it’s own.
Always enjoy places that try to bring something different to the table. HOQ does just that but beware of the smaller portions and higher price point. Cash or debit only.
Hanoi Old Quarter Restaurant
5207 Victoria Drive