Who needs real waiters when a robot will do instead? judgment Day is upon us, only instead of a T-1000, Hanoi’s tech-induced apocalypse is beginning with a robot waiter called Mortar. The robot is the newest employee at Robo Café and has been drawing in customers due to his charming pre-programmed voice clips, and his resemblance to something out of a 1960s sci-fi movie. The robot’s … Continue reading ROBO Cafe

The Vietnam Amateur Comedy Competition

In early January, Heart of Darkness brewery sponsored the heats of the third annual Vietnam Amateur Comedy Competition. For the wider comedy scene, this year’s tournament marked a watershed. Words by Billy Gray and Nick Ross   When Vietnamese comedian Uy Le came first in the 2018 Ho Chi Minh City heats of the Vietnam Amateur Comedy Competition in early January, there was a sense of jubilation. Uy … Continue reading The Vietnam Amateur Comedy Competition

Bun Cha Obama

Thanks to the attentions of a certain former American president, one bun cha joint has got itself a reputation. So Billy Gray decided to try it out for himself. It’s a rip-off, but you were expecting that. Still, it’s a good bun cha. If only the incumbent president had such capable chopstick skills. Obama chowing on a bun cha with Anthony Bourdain during his 2016 state visit to Vietnam brought … Continue reading Bun Cha Obama

Street Portrait: Thanh Nien

Running between two of Hanoi’s most iconic lakes, Thanh Nien is one of the most attractive streets in the city. There’s a whole list of ancient streets in Hanoi, most of them located in and around the city’s Old Quarter. Thanh Nien, or the ‘land bridge’ as some have taken to calling it, sits in the middle of West Lake and Truc Bach Lake, acting … Continue reading Street Portrait: Thanh Nien

Lutulata Dessert Café

Hanoi has restaurants aplenty. As it moves ever closer to being a culinary hub, the choice of where to eat on a Friday or Saturday night gets bigger by the day. Yet we thought we’d try something different this month, something to add a different angle on where you eat. Vietnamese che desserts are popular in Vietnam, yet hardly ever make the menu in a proper sit-down … Continue reading Lutulata Dessert Café

Westlake Station

From the people who brought you Rockstore, Craft Beer Pub, and more, comes Westlake Station. This latest addition to Hanoi’s weekend roster is far from subtle. Situated at the top of To Ngoc Van, the towering yellow villa has been kitted out with a bar, a pool table, an electronic dart board, a spacious outdoor area, and a restaurant dining area. In other words, they’ve got … Continue reading Westlake Station

Kem Dua – Coconut Ice Cream

It’s the summer. It’s hot. So what better way to cool you down than a Vietnamese favourite — coconut ice-cream? This month’s street snacker was carried out in the record-breaking heat wave that Hanoi experienced last month, and so naturally, we went for kem dua, which takes two of the best things in life, coconuts and ice cream, and puts them together to make a refreshing … Continue reading Kem Dua – Coconut Ice Cream

Two Wheels are Good – Street Vendors in Vietnam

THIS ARTICLE WAS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN BILLY GRAY (HANOI) AND BRIDGET GRIFFIN (HO CHI MINH CITY)  Street vendors on bicycles can be found the length and breadth of Vietnam. We speak to four two-wheeled vendors to find out more about their lives and why they do what they do. Described as Vietnam’s version of the ice-cream truck, people selling a range products from their bicycles … Continue reading Two Wheels are Good – Street Vendors in Vietnam