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A couple of weeks in Vietnam has provided lots of opportunities for eating fresh and sometimes fine fare. Seems a pity not to review it really – though the technology delivery didn’t quite coincide with the eating. Herewith some memorable ones.

Mangoes, mangoes everywhere, and quite a few to eat.

Green Mango Restaurant, 18 Hang Quat Street, Hanoi, in the Green Mango Hotel

Eating in the Old Quarter can be a bit hit and miss – lots of ordinary places abound, most displaying alarmingly similar menus. On our last night in Hanoi we hit on a gem with a bit of style. We opted to eat ‘outside’ – a beautifully lit and covered courtyard, dripping in lampshades and umbrellas and vertical green gardens, oozing chic and romance if that’s your bent. There’s lot of things you’d expect from a nice restaurant – heavy cutlery, big wine glasses, linen napkins. Food is good too, though we only tried a couple of dishes. Roasted sea bass cooked perfectly and chicken and coconut soup full of flavour,  though with a bit of chilli burn, and a refreshing tomato gazpatcho for an unexpected amuse bouche. Strange that the restaurant looks pretty ordinary, even grubby, on the outside of the building on upper levels (also a hotel) as inside it’s immaculate, and quite upmarket. Of course in Hanoi you can eat a lot cheaper, but Mr T and I felt the money was well spent.

Avoid the unnamed house red which even at happy hour prices was a bad choice and pretty undrinkable. We sent ours back and moved to better wine by the glass. The friendly manager (Adrian from Cuba) works the floor to say hello and see how you liked the place and didn’t charge for the house wine. Brand new bar area has opened right up the back in mid-October which is sleek and modern with plush lounges, set up for a DJ and with multiple staff in black ‘Save the Cat Ba monkey’ t-shirts milling around anticipating future crowds.

We liked it so much, we almost became Green Mango groupies- read on.

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