Places to eat in Hanoi – Quan Nuong Cay Sung
The food here can be best described as“ Finger Lickin’ Good”. Now, I know that used to be the slogan for KFC (known in Vietnam as Gà Rán Kentucky), but it is also the best description of Hanoi Food, Hanoi BBQ Restaurant, Hanoi Xe Om Tour the food at this place I can think of. After a meal at this restaurant, you really do feel like you have had a great night out. The food is fresh, tasty and truly “Finger Lickin’ Good”, and the atmosphere is simply one of a place where people come to relax, have fun and eat …very, very well.
Shopping in Hanoi, Vietnam is an article you might be interested in while you are in Hanoi.
To find the Cay Sung Restaurant, you follow the railway line and travel south along Giai Phong street and then turn left into Kim Dong street – the restaurant is just half-way down Lane (Ngo) number 24. It is not hard to find it when you immediately spot the huge group of their customer’s motorbikes parked on the footpath opposite. Out the front of the restaurant are four massive steel barbeques – growling, wood-fired and glowing like the furnace on a steam train. They are stoked and cared for lovingly by the BBQ chefs who load up the racks in front of the glowing coals with an array of meats and seafood. The delicious aroma from the barbecue welcomes you to the front door and its smoky magic follows you inside.
Don’t expect clean, white tablecloths and quiet waiters tiptoeing around here… this place is all about the serious (and often noisy) business of happy people eating great food and enjoying themselves. The atmosphere and décor is pure Hanoi street style– low tables, plastic chairs, ice-cold beer… and…..aaahhh… that mouth-watering smell of a great barbecue! This is definitely not a place for those afraid of meat or anyone allergic to having a good time.
It is best to ring ahead and book, and unless you (or your friends) speak good Vietnamese . You should call the owner Mrs Tram Anh (pronounced “Cham Ang”) personally because she speaks great English, she will take your booking, and also help you choose from the menu. She is a delightful lady and a charming host. If you detect a slight Aussie accent in her English it is because she studied at the University in Wollongong. Luckily for all of us, her uni studies somehow mysteriously led her back to Hanoi to open up this great barbecue restaurant. She will take your order to make sure that the food arrives promptly when you and your friends arrived.
We were accompanied there by some close friends and we all were in the mood for a great meal. I had followed Mrs Tram Anh’s advice and ordered Sausage, Chicken, Fish and Pork Spareribs…. oh and some veggies and fried rice as a passing homage to a balanced meal (although I have always considered beer as one of the major food groups).
Our table was reserved and waiting for us, but we asked if we could be re-seated outside in the restaurant garden (unless it is raining I think this is the best spot). The staff happily moved us and before we had even got our little boy settled down to his first soft drink, our first round of icy-cold beers arrived.
Just as we were clinking a toast of Chuc Suc Khoe! (Good Health!) they began to slip the food in under our glasses and quickly loaded up the table with food and condiments. The sausages here are real sausages-fresh pork and garlic and spices all loaded up into real pork casings and grilled to perfection. Eaten with a sprinkle of salt, a splash of lime juice and a mouthful of fresh Vietnamese herbs, these crispy little mouthfuls could make a dedicated Vegan think twice about converting. The spareribs are simply succulent – not too fatty and with plenty of smoky charcoal-flavoured meat to gnaw on happily like a Neanderthal. The chicken was done to perfection with golden crispy skin that crackles on your teeth…but the flesh was still juicy and tender.
However, to be honest, my favourite was the whole fish (Ca Ro Phi or Tilapia). This was a pretty decent-sized freshwater fish that arrived with crunchy grilled skin which simply pulled back with a fork – giving off a puff of heavenly steam, scented with fresh dill, and revealing juicy white flesh that just flaked off the bone. Like I said, we rounded off the table with some stir-fried green veggies with garlic (Water-Morning Glory or Rau Muong) and a way-better-than-usual Fried Rice chock full of egg and crab and golden specks of fried onion.
It was a great meal… and fantastic value around $40 – $50 for five of us (including a fair bit of beer). What is also great is the atmosphere – the place is full of fellow diners noticeably enjoying the great food and hospitality of Mrs Tram Anh and her staff. What is even better is that every time we go back there it is reliably every good as bit as the last time. For my money, they continually get my vote as ‘Best Barbecue Place in Hanoi’.
Restaurant: Quan Nuong (BBQ Restaurant) CAY SUNG
Address : No 45, Ngo (Lane) 24 Kim Dong st
Hoang Mai District, Hanoi
Phone: 04 36642392 (for Vietnamese speakers)
0904119088 (For English speakers to speak in person with the wonderful Mrs Tram Anh)
Dis-claimer: All of the content in this blog is based on my own personal experience. However, I have included some links that you might find useful – and I do make a little money if you use them.