Hanoi Naturally: A taste of Vietnam
A few years ago, my husband and I visited Vietnam (Halong Bay is a must visit) and at that time I was very chary of trying the Vietnamese food – I did not know whether I would get what I ordered because of the language barrier. However, my husband was adventurous and tried it all – and loved it.
A few years on, a little more food-friendly I decided to visit a Vietnamese restaurant in Dubai which claimed to serve authentic Vietnamese food. I was also rest assured that my servers would speak English and I would get what I asked for. So off we went to Hanoi Naturally tucked away in JLT.
From the outside, Hanoi Naturally is not much to look at. Step inside and you will find clean white with splashes of orange and green with leafy green plants (fake ones unfortunately) and wooden benches in a chilled out vibe.
For our starters we ordered Goi Cuon (fresh summer rolls) which comes stuffed in rice paper roles filled with prawns, rice noodles and julienne strips of fresh, crunchy veggies. The order consisted of 2 fairly large rolls and a dip sauce and was quite authentic to the flavours we had had in Vietnam. For our second starter we ordered the Cua Farci (stuffed crab shell with chicken and crab). I enjoyed this, but had to add some chilli sauce for a bit more spice.
For our mains I ordered the Ga Sa Ot (pan-fried marinated chicken with lemongrass chilli served with steam rice). I relished this and besides adding a bit of salt (I know that is a complete no-no in the world of food review) I devoured the dish. The server mentioned that that the portions were large and could be shared and she was right. My companion ordered the Vit Ran (crispy fried duck with tangy spicy sauce served with steamed rice). With the food disappearing off both our plates at a record pace, I can safely say that the choices we made were just right.
With no chocolate on the menu, I passed and so did my companion.
All in all, if you’re a fan of Vietnamese or fancy a change from your usual run of the mill Asian choices, Hanoi Naturally is a hidden gem well worth seeking out.
Location: Gold Crest Executive building, Sector C, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT); (If using the Metro, get off at the Dubai Marina Mall Metro stop and cross over to the JLT side. As soon as you leave the station, go to the Cluster on your right ‘C’ and walk to the lake level just under Carrefour). If you are going by car, parking is free for 3 hours. Open from 12noon – 11pm Tel: +971 4 4313099