Greetings from Vietnam! I’m currently on a super short trip to Hanoi the capital of the country and the city welcomes me with nice thin drizzles and perfect chilly weather. Lunar New Year’s holiday is officially over but it seems people here are still in the vacation mood, if all those complaints I’ve heard for the past few days are anything to go by. As you may know, I’ve totally neglected the blog for the past couple of weeks for a lot of reasons (most of which are me being lazy and easily distracted so to speak). For that I’m sorry (but I can’t promise it won’t ever happen again oh boy) and I’ll try to update more regularly!
A while ago my friend and I sorta fell into a food crisis where we couldn’t either find a proper restaurant that we both liked to try out or have an appetite for anything that was economically & financially unattractive. Desperate time calls for desperate measures, we decided to go for all-you-can-eat, in hope it would somehow satisfy our very different food cravings and chose Foreign Restaurant, which is the fancy name for a restaurant that serves Halal/Indian food.
Besides rice and noodles and things that will make you full with grease (read: fried fries) there weren’t many choices we can go for to begin with. Luckily, in a very limited range of foods I found some really good dishes.
My first plate was rather little as I carefully tasted different flavours. I was particularly fond of the egg soup but its chafing dish was nearly empty by the time I was on my way refilling the bowl for the second time ~.~.
First and foremost it’s the chicken tikka that wins over anything else. Chicken tikka is almost identical to tandoori chicken, only a bit smaller. The chicken was nicely grilled, seasoned and undeniably delicious.
Second it was the curries that kept us going back for more . The curries were more Malaysian than anywhere else based on the flavour and the cooking style. The soup was not as thick and the flavour was not as strong as that of Indian curry. The ingredients of the two dishes were thoroughly stewed until they were all moist and tender.
Chicken curry but it can very well be chicken soup.
Vegetable curry (sambar)
The naan was thick, warm and soft just the way I like. The problem is, those naans will make you full in a matter of minutes so you’d better be aware of your intake of naan or else you’ll end up eating dough for 19,000 KRW!! I’m very sensitive when it comes to money so. The spring rolls too were my favorite. Crunchy, tasty though it would have been even more delectable if it had been heated up.
The most disappointing dish must be vege pakora according to my friend aka Indian food expert. The pakora is supposed to be crunchy, hot, spicy and most importantly aromatic. The ones that we had though were dry, as hard as a rock, cold and almost unseasoned.
After tasting foods on our separate plates, we shared our second plate filled with our favourite ones including the two curries, the amazing egg soup, chicken tikka (ours were the very last pieces in the chafing dish wow see the service?), spring rolls, lots of veggies, nuts and beans.
The service was very slow on food refilling. There were like 30 people (tourists we supposed) going in just right after we settled in our table. Had we come a bit later we wouldn’t be able to get any decent food! Seeing that all tables had been reserved for those people plus casual customers like us were likely to come in anytime, the restaurant should have prepared enough food for everyone and expected to constantly watch out for empty trays and chafing dishes. I shouldn’t have been so petty about it but unfortunately I was and it made my experience at the restaurant a tad bit unpleasant.
The price is originally 19,000 KRW for dinner (13,000 KRW for lunch) but it seemed the deities up there heard my prayers as we only had to pay 13,000 KRW on that evening due to some reason that our server didn’t go into detail, summing it up by calling it a special day. Despite having a rather lame name (don’t you think so too???), the restaurant was quite a nice and cosy place. Although staffs couldn’t run tables very well and they were clearly inexperienced, all limbs and awkward and not so quick on dealing with customers, I could see they really tried their best and for that I gave them full credit.
Even though the restaurant did offer some really good dishes, I’m not going to spend 19,000 KRW eating in here based on the variety of foods, the quantity as well as the service professionalism. I’m not sure if the lunch menu is as diverse but in case you want to check this place out I advise you to go during lunch time so you could save the money for a cup of coffee.
Foreign Restaurant, Itaewon station exit 3
A bonus picture taken in Hanoi hehe