Ngon Villa Restaurant

The streetfood concept from three different regions of the country served up in a restaurant setting has proved popular for years. So, how well is it executed? Our mystery diner visits one of its main proponents — Ngon Villa.  Ngon Villa Restaurant is as much of a a walk-through history as it is a dining experience. The Vietnamese restaurant is housed in a restored colonial … Continue reading Ngon Villa Restaurant

Casa Italia Restaurant

Located in the former residence of the Italian ambassador, in the heart of Hanoi’s French quarter, Casa Italia is as authentic Italian food as you’ll find in the capital. The colonial mansion that houses the restaurant is still owned by the Italian embassy, and doubles up as the Italian Country Promotion Centre and a Vespa museum, meaning that you won’t necessarily find the romantic décor … Continue reading Casa Italia Restaurant

Electric Ticket Gates

Vietnam’s railways start to modernise Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City’s public transportation infrastructure is undergoing major developments, and while much of the story so far with the two metro systems has involved delays and skyrocketing costs, step by step these two projects trudge towards completion. A smaller-scale yet equally interesting project under way is the introduction of electric ticket barriers at major train stations … Continue reading Electric Ticket Gates

Zo Project – Working with Paper

Traditional Vietnamese paper made fashionable. So often we delight in the intricately designed crafts and artwork of different cultures, wondering what it reflects about the society that nourished its creation. Yet often we forget to ask ourselves what these things really mean — even the people making them have forgotten why those particular symbols and materials were used. Zo Project is an award-winning social enterprise … Continue reading Zo Project – Working with Paper

Chameleon City App

Local experts on demand With increasing numbers of young professionals living and working abroad, access to information is more essential than ever before, and insider knowledge about the best places to eat, shop or even just where to get drinking water in a foreign city can be hard to come by. Going online in September 2016, Chameleon City is an app run by a team of locals … Continue reading Chameleon City App

Tranquil: Coffee & Books

When Hanoi becomes too much an attack on the senses, sometimes it pays to forget it’s there. As its name suggests, Tranquil is not the place that you come to catch up with a large group of friends you haven’t seen since last spring; the tables are littered with laptops and sketchbooks. Tranquil is where you go to sip coffee and put those archived ideas … Continue reading Tranquil: Coffee & Books

Highway 4, Hanoi

In among the bustle of downtown Hoan Kiem lives Highway 4, an elegant yet laid-back setting with a knockout menu and an impressive selection of award-winning traditional rice liquors, all under the roof of a renovated French villa dating back to the 1950s; yellow brick with an inviting sign hanging over the door, nestled in green ivy. Once inside, Highway 4 offers multiple storeys of … Continue reading Highway 4, Hanoi

Chez Xuan, Tay Ho

Located in a secluded alley in Tay Ho, this is an excellent place to chill out on a sunny afternoon while enjoying a Moroccan tajine or French flammekueche and a Brazilian coffee. Chez Xuan was opened five years ago by current owner Pascal Baros and ever since, they’ve been offering a well-balanced fusion of culinary specialities, evening entertainment and a laid-back atmosphere. They already have … Continue reading Chez Xuan, Tay Ho