Millenium Cafe des Arts – Hanoi, Vietnam

This little street Ngo Bao Khanh in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi is full of little wonders. A speakeasy bar, a hidden hole-in-the-wall drinking spot and of course, Millenium Cafe des Arts.

I mean as much as I love my phos and my bun chas, a large part of why I love Vietnam is the accessibility of affordable French fare. This lovely restaurant with a very reasonable a la carte selection and set menu.

I do not remember the set menu I picked but it came with an amuse bouche – smoked meat, fritatta and a shot glass of mushroom soup- and a fair execution of a Caprese salad with pesto to start.

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I’d have to admit the presentation was definitely not on par with the Green Tangerine, but I’m not too fussed about it.

What I’ve always lamented about French cuisine in SIN City is the lack of a good magret de canard- seared duck breast. Everyone like to do a duck confit, when all it takes is a magret.

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Behold, a wonderfully pan fried duck breast smothered in brown sauce and served with a side of spiced apples and sauteed vegetables. This is something that can only be found with ease in France or Vietnam, in my opinion. And it’s a crying shame! You hear that French restos in SIN City? Make this dish s’il vous plait!

Of course what’s a French meal sans dessert? Thus I picked a very classic creme brulee.

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I must say though it tasted fine, it was a little to watery below and almost too flan like instead of a cream.

Cafe des Arts is not the best French restaurant but it’s definitely passable.

After that make sure you check out the Impolite Pub and the Alley Bar next door.

Visit www.cafe-des-arts.com

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