This is a cool little cafe, overlooking the corner of Phan Boi Chau. Neo Indeed, this place is an extremely rare find in Hanoi. Ubercool, it would be a fantastic place to stop for a few pre dinner drinks or cocktail hour. Impressive.
As you step inside it feels modern, all the elegance and style of an extremely well designed bar. Upstairs, the room is floor to ceiling windows down two sides, a definite benefit of having a corner location and it's a great view out over the street too. The glass gives the illusion of spaciousness, the room has an airy and open feel. Various species of sub tropical plantlife are scattered around and the crowd inside seems to be Hanoi's young well heeled set, sipping on their blended juices and yoghurts, tapping on their mobile phones while adjusting their designer clothes.
We sink into the soft white vinyl lounges, a burnt orange cushion in the small of our backs. Looking up there are small lights set into the ceiling, in a swirling pattern, not one thing has been left to chance here. The lounges are grouped together in various comfortable arrangements and there's a small bar and bar stools lining one wall. One set of lounges is even gathered around an extremely authentic looking Turkish hubbly bubbly. Cone anyone?
Unfortunately it's just a bit too early for us to tuck into cocktails, we have just dropped in for a quick bite. Thai style Fried rice is the meal of choice and it is delivered to the table promptly, the rice deliciously moist and well tossed with small prawns, calamari, pineapple, spring onion and Vietnam's answer to the potato, the white onion. A couple of cokes complete the experience before we hit the road.
It's unfortunate that we weren't more hungry but we'll be back to try more things on the menu and could easily be persauded to slip back and have a drink or two in this smooth establishment. It's a great meeting place for an evening out,and would start off a night in style. Hanoi is moving on up and doing it at such a rapid pace that I'm getting dizzy.
Thai style seafood fried rice, 2 cokes - 60,000VND (USD$3.77, AUD$5.13)
48 Phan boi Chau