Cha Ca La Vong: "Fried Fish Hot Pot" Top 5 Page for this destination Cha Ca La Vong Tip by bpacker

Cha Ca La Vong, Hanoi: 38 reviews and 40 photos

  Sizzling fish in a pan , Hanoi
by bpacker

This place is listed under Patricia Shultz's "1000 places to see before you die".

Since this place is highly touted by Shultz, it's supposed to be an instituition pretty much like the Pho Hua in the South. But sad to say, I won't give this place high points for the food though service is excellent. Nope dear reader, if you can, give this place a miss and try your Cha Ca at La Brique or Brother's cafe.

Favorite Dish: Ok, it wasn't the creaking windy staircase or walking around the choked arteries of the old quarters that made me debunk Shultz's recommendation.
It was the tumeric.
There was too much of it , making the dish more yellow than the Beetle's submarine. And like a fussy Chinese eater, I don't like the fact that my fish was frying the whole time I was eating! When that happens, the fish is stripped off the taste and moisture. Too bad, this was otherwise a fine place and service was par excellent.
How did I know? Well, after ordering the dish, I snared one the the waiters and asked in terrible vietnamese how to eat this darn thing. The next thing I knew, the proprietess intercepted the waiter.Guess she took pity on me. She broke into a cheerful prattle of motherly chuckles and threw in an ark of vegetables into a sizzling platter of oil and fish. Next, she threw in something here and there and voila! There was the dish ready for me to eat...

Here's a lesson on eating cha ca in case you look as daft as I did in the shop.

Eating Cha Ca 101
Attack the dill, parsley and assortment of vegetables like a crazed rabbit and throw in the lot into the simmering pan. Toss in some noodles too for good measure.Stir fry it for a while to kill unhappy e.coli in the vegetables.
Take out the concoction, sprinkle an odd peanut or two, drench it in sweet sauce and feast on the fish.

Address: 14 Cha Ca
Price Comparison: about average
Price: US$11-20
Rating: 3
Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 13, 2005
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