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Restaurant Bobby Chinn, Hanoi

Restaurant Bobby Chinn, Hanoi

I know what you’re thinking: “Bobby Chinn” sounds so familar! Can’t put your finger on it, but you know you’ve heard that name before. Go ahead, Google “Bobby Chinn” and continue reading…

OH YEAHH!! THAT annoying curly mo’fo from TV!

Yup, that’s the guy — an Egyptian-Chinese chef who made his name in Hanoi; host of “World Cafe Asia”, “Bobby Chinn Cooks Asia,” and  all-around annoying extraordinaire.  With the whole celebrity chef phenomenon1, we made it a point to visit his restaurant during our trip to Hanoi.

But, I’m not here to bash this place. Service is top notch! We made reservations via e-mail (or you can do it through their website) ahead of time and I have to say that their Marketing Department2 was beyond helpful. You can ask for the menu ahead of time, by the way.

Restaurant Bobby Chinn is dimly lit, has a good ambience, and it is fairly obvious a lot of thought was put into designing the place3. There are the newspaper clippings, magazine covers, pictures with famous dignitaries, and rose petals all over (even in the toilet!).

Clippings (Top Left), Rose Petals (Bottom Left), Toilet (R)

As if it can’t get any weirder, the menu comes with a magnifying glass and a flashlight. To start the meal, the customary bread and butter, and an semi-uncustomary (but complimentary) amuse bouche4 of Vietnamese Spring Rolls. We are in Vietnam after all. Bread was great, but loved the fried pork and vegetable spring rolls.  The standard fish sauce is infused into the roll.

Complimentary Bread (L), Spring Rolls (M), Butter (R)

I had the Set Menu, which came with a Moroccan Beet Salad made with hazelnut crusted goat cheese and house vinaigrette, Braised Lamb Shank, and a Trio of Desserts of dumpling-shaped chocolate, plain and lemon-flavored creme brulee, and coconut rice pudding.

Set Menu (205,000 VND or $10.25) of Braised Lamb Shank (L), Moroccan Beet Salad (Top Right), and Trio of Desserts (Bottom Right)

The beets and vinaigrette was a good combo, but I wasn’t too big a fan of goat cheese. Interesting, though. The lamb shank was OK, but nothing special. I will say, though, that execution was perfect; fall-off-the-bone tender-y goodness5. And the desserts were OK, but nothing special… again.

We did order other stuff. Soup de Jour, which was a beautifully plated and creamy pumpkin soup; Seafood Stew of different variety of fishes and shel fish served in a porcelain tajine; and a Grilled Lemon-Scented Poussin with cous cous, pinenuts, sultans, and red wine sauce.

Clock-wise from Top Left: Soup de Jour (102,000 VND or $5.00), Frozen Lemon Sherbet, Seafood Stew (274,000 or $13.00), and Grilled Lemon-Scented Poussin (320,000 or $16.00)

A Frozen Lemon Sherbert was served before the main courses arrived to cleanse the palate enough to say that the Seafood Stew was too pungent and too fishy6.  The poussin (chicken) was easily the best.

I don’t know why we went for dessert, but we did. First, a Trio of Creme Brulee (which wasn’t unlike the Set Menu’s Dessert Threesome) and a Tiramisu.  Again, nothing special; something you can get at any coffee shop.

Top: Trio of Creme Brulee (111,000 VND or $5.50); Bottom: Tiramisu (122,000 VND or $6.00)

It’s really a fusion type of place, with Asian ingredients, Moroccan/Middle Eastern influence, with French techniques — which is basically Bobby.  The food was mediocre by fine dining / chef-y standards and a bit overrated IMHO, but the overall experience was great.  In a country like Vietnam, where food is dirt cheap, a meal here is quite costly. If you compare it to the fine dining scene globally, then this is probably a bargain.

address-overlay 77 Xuan Dieu St., Tay Ho District, Hanoi, Vietnam

email-overlay info@bobbychinn.com

web-overlay http://www.bobbychinn.com

icon_facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurant-Bobby-Chinn/65322215355

phone-overlay +84 (0) 43-719-2460

know what you’re thinking: “Bobby Chinn” sounds so familar! Can’t put your finger on it, but you know you’ve heard that name before. Go ahead, Google “Bobby Chinn” and continue reading… OH YEAHH!! THAT annoying curly mo’fo from TV! Yup, that’s the guy — an Egyptian-Chinese chef who made his name in Hanoi; host of …

Review Overview

Food
Value for Money
Service

Overall Experience

Summary : Average food, at best. Great service. Expensive, relative to Vietnam food cost; Cheap, relative to world fine dining standards.

70

About Lester

Lester likes red meat, white meat, and is allergic to vegetables. He thinks PETA is for pussies, and his favorite basketball player is Robert Jaworski.

2 comments

  1. Hey Les, I’d realy like to try this place when I visit Vietnam!

    • Hi Achi Nat,

      Yeah, definitely! Ahia Jeff and Ahia Obe both recommended I visit his place when I was planning my itinerary. Abang mo pag andyan siya. The meal is not that expensive, considering a chef of his caliber / fame.

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