Traditional recipes

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Appoints New Chef

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Appoints New Chef

The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, home to Le Beaulieu, one of The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World, has appointed Olivier Piganiol as its new executive chef.

Piganiol will oversee operations at the French restaurant Le Beaulieu, Vietnamese restaurant Spices Garden, and Italian restaurant Angelina, as well as the culinary offerings at the hotel’s three bars, Le Club, La Terrasse, and the new Bamboo Bar.

Piganiol, who has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants Bernard Loiseau and Pierre Gagnaire, has spent the last five years at The Dharmawangsa in Jakarta. Piganiol made the move to Hanoi because it is close to his heart — he is the grandson of a colonial French family that lived in Vietnam during the 1940s — and he admires the hotel’s history. The historic 364-room hotel has hosted such notable guests as Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham, and Graham Greene, each of whom have suites named for them at the property.

Piganiol plans to make the Metropole Hotel a top culinary destination in Asia. His plans for Le Beaulieu include serving traditional French brasserie food using imported products like foie gras, turbot fish, game, and farm cheeses. The dishes will be served in cast-iron pots, on carving boards, and presented on trolleys to enhance the dining experience.

"The architecture of the building decides what you do in the kitchen because, in many ways, the architecture of the building decides what kind of guest checks in," said Piganiol. "The splendor of the hotel must be evident in the splendor of the dish."

His plan for Spices Garden includes introducing diners to unique products, such as black Sapa pork, blue water prawns, and herbs and spices from Vietnam’s northern mountains. Family-style dishes are prepared using traditional methods, such as cooking signature dishes in clay and bamboo pots. Piganiol also wants to cook some dishes in front of diners to enhance interaction.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.


Paul Smart

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has named Australian Paul Smart as the hotel’s new executive chef. Prior to joining the landmark Hanoi property, Smart was the executive chef at SO Sofitel Bangkok for five years, where he was crowned winner of the Iron Chef Thailand TV program in 2012 and 2013. As the hotel’s new executive chef, Smart will oversee operations at the French restaurant, Le Beaulieu Vietnamese restaurant, Spices Garden Italian eatery, Angelina and in the hotel’s three bars, Bamboo Bar, La Terasse, and at the newly revamped, Le Club. The Adelaide-native, who has worked in some of the world’s top kitchens on three continents, brings more than two decades of culinary experience to the historical property.Smart began his career at Stamford Plaza Hotel in Australia, spending nearly eight years learning and developing within the group. In 2005, he moved to the UK to earn his chef stripes at The Ritz London, where he worked alongside Michelin-starred executive chef John Williams and head chef Fred Forrester. During his time in the UK, Smart cooked for HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and won the UK Commis Chef of the Year award at the Academy of Culinary Arts in 2007. He also worked with the acclaimed chefs of El Bulli, which was voted Best Restaurant in the World, from 2006 until 2009. In 2007, Smart moved back to Australia to work as chef de cuisine at Sofitel Gold Coast, where he played a pivotal role in the multi-award-winning restaurant Room 81. While at Sofitel Gold Coast, he took home the gold medal no less than three times for the Gold Box Restaurant Challenge — in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2012, Smart relocated to Asia to command the kitchens at SO Sofitel Bangkok, where he was also featured twice, as a winning challenger on Iron Chef Thailand, in 2012 and 2013.

Accor

Accor is a world-leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,000 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing luxury and premium brands, midscale and economy offerings, unique lifestyle concepts, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Vietnam

A 25-year veteran of the luxury hotel management business, Mr William Haandrikman started his career with AccorHotels in 1992. Since joining the French hotel chain, Mr Haandrikman has held senior management positions in Amsterdam, Brussels, New York and Moscow, as well as with the Sofitel brand in The Hague, Paris, Vienna, Shanghai and most recently, Bangkok. He also serves as the Area General Manager of AccorHotels North Vietnam.

Hotel Positioning

Development strategy

To maintain a market leading position in the luxury hospitality segment in Vietnam – to continue to be the ultimate luxury destination for travelers to Hanoi. The hotel is one of six ultra-luxury Sofitel Legend hotels in the world.

History & Story

The hotel has been a prominent fixture in the heart of Hanoi since 1901 when it opened as the first official luxury residence and hotel in the city during the French colonial period. The hotel continued to serve as the primary venue to accommodate visiting dignitaries under government management from 1954 through 1988 when foreign involvement and private ownership was not possible. The Hotel Metropole Hanoi housed various embassies and consular missions during the conflict years. Accor was brought in to manage the hotel in 1988 and oversaw the construction of the new wing and other facilities over the years. The hotel has operated under the Sofitel brand name since 1992 and became the first Sofitel Legend property in 2009. The hotel therefore has a long tradition as a luxury venue for prestigious events and as a popular rendezvous for prominent travelersincluding playwrights, ambassadors and heads of state. Three of the Legendary Suites are named after Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene all of whom stayed at the hotel. The recipient of numerous international awards for its fine service, this legendary landmark has contributed very much to the social fabric of Hanoi.

Date Renewal

The most recent room renovation was in 2009 – all restaurants and some public areas have been refurbished since 2008 and many areas are touched up annually. A new Spa was opened in 2009.

Date added extensions

The Opera wing was completed in 1996 to complement the Metropole (historical) wing. The new Spa was built in 2009 and a new function room was added in 2010.

Main Strengths, Special Touch

1. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, is today, and has been since 1901 the only true luxury address in Hanoi. The hotel has a unique historical feel and a French colonial design which is truly special – the hotel provides a mix of intense character, romance and history. Many famous stories have been written here and there have been many historically significant events held at the hotel.
2. The hotel is surrounded by colonial buildings giving a special ambience and is located next to the Old Quarter. The location is second to none for visitors.
3. The hotel offers some of the best culinary and cultural experiences in Hanoi – there are three fine restaurants – French, Vietnamese and rustic & art inspired cuisine – and the infamous Bamboo Bar. The award winning Le Spa du Metropole is also exceptional and the concierge team highly trained.

Location

The Hotel Metropole Hanoi is adjacent to the Old Quarter known as the “36 streets and guilds,” and is a short walking distance from many historical and cultural landmarks including Hoan Kiem lake. The area is adjacent to the Opera House and is the cultural centre of the city.

Key sites/activities in the area

Hanoi Opera House, History Museum, Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Memorial. Lenin Park.

Fun Facts

There are parks in the area where you can join the locals for ballroom dancing or other activities including badminton , Tai Chi, and aerobics. There are also many colorful coffee shops and restaurants near the hotel.

Children’s Corner

There are no restrictions on Children. The hotel offers services related to children which include – babysitting service, Le Petit Prince children’s amenity program, a heated swimming pool , children’s menus and a children’s corner for sunday brunch

Accommodation

Total Room Count: 364 units in two wings – Metropole (historical) Wing built in 1901 and the Opera (newer neo-classical) Wing completed in 1996.

Metropole Wing:
• Luxury room (queen bed) – 60 units
• Grand Luxury room (queen bed) – 46 units
• Legendary Suite (king bed) – 3 suite units (comes with Le Club Metropole benefits)

Neo-classical Opera wing:
• Premium room (queen bed or twin bed) – 151 units
• Premium room Patio (queen bed or twin bed) – 12 units
• Grand Premium room (king bed) – 74 units (comes with Le Club Metropole benefits)
• Prestige Suite (king bed) – 18 suite units (comes with Le Club Metropole benefits)
• Grand Prestige Suite (king bed) – 1 suite (comes with Le Club Metropole benefits)

Restaurants & Bars

The Metropole restaurants and bars are all famous dining venues, each offering a different exotic experience: Le Beaulieu has the best French fare in this corner of the world Spices Garden offers the ultimate in Vietnamese gastronomy Angelina, Cocktail Bar, Whisky Lounge and Restaurant, is the capital’s latest hotspot La Terrasse brings Parisian-style to the sidewalks of Hanoi Le Club Bar treats guests to its famous chocolate buffet and cool jazz performances and, finally, Bamboo Bar brings poolside lounging to the next level.

Le Beaulieu
More than 100 years old. Many have frequented this restaurant, including politicians, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and war correspondents – like Graham Greene and Lucien Bodart. Directed today by Executive Chef Paul Smart and Executive Sous Chef Raphael Kinimo, Le Beaulieu is especially known for its extravagant brunch, which is the Sunday rendezvous for Hanoi.

angelina – Cocktail Bar, Whisky Lounge and Restaurant
angelina is where the very best from Europe and the New World comes in perfect measure, where we mix classic and modern cocktails, shaken or stirred, and pour expertly chosen wines. The world-class whisky collection is unparalleled. The Angelina kitchen uses the finest ingredients to serve rustic food with a handmade touch. Our menu reflects the seasons and the chef’s creativity offering locals and travellers imaginative comfort food with a fresh attitude. European and New World recipes inspire the dishes that you will want to share.

Wellness

Located in the centre of the hotel, Le Spa du Metropole blends in very well with a pleasant 400-square meter space overlooking the charming garden courtyard and pool. Each massage area is private, allowing guests to meditate, recharge, and make the most of the spa experience. Using top products, such as Clarins, Ytsara and Laurent Severac, Le Spa has diverse facilities including seven treatment rooms, a foot massage area, as well as steam room and sauna facilities. At the rooftop garden balcony Le Balcon, the Metropole is delighted to offer Yoga (Mondays and Wednesdays) and Tai Chi (Tuesdays and Thursdays) classes from 7:00 am to 8:00 am – the perfect way to stay in shape and relax the spirit. Please reserve your space by 6PM the day before.

Extra Notable Features

– The Metropole Path of History & Bomb Shelter Tour – Providing shelter for hotel guests including famous visitors Joan Baez and Jane Fonda during the American War (1964-1974), the bomb shelter was discovered by chance during the hotel renovation in 2011. Daily tours of Metropole’s Path of History and the bomb shelter with Ambassador of History are offered, exclusively for guests staying at the hotel.


Metropole Hanoi to host Korean Culinary Experience

Le Club at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is kicking off a two-week celebration of modern Korean gastronomy on September 25 with a special lunch and dinner menu, available à la carte or as a five-course set, featuring exclusive recipes from two-Michelin-star Chef Sung-Jae Anh.

Dishes served as part of the special culinary event include tiger shrimp and pine nut muchim a halibut hoe ssam cup with traditional ssamjang dipping sauce an abalone and beef brisket jjim, marinated in a flavorful sauce before being steamed ginseng galbi gui, the famous South Korean-style BBQ ribs and persimmon bavarois served with lemon sorbet.

“South Korea has one of the most vibrant food cultures in the world, and Chef Anh is part of a new generation of chefs gaining recognition for elevating the cuisine. His popular dishes will bring highlights of the country’s exquisite food culture to Hanoi,” said Metropole Hanoi’s General Manager William Haandrikman.

The Korean gastronomy weeks will begin with an exclusive, invite-only kick-off event on Friday, September 25 from 11am to 3pm. The opening day will be limited to 100 persons and will feature cocktails at Thang Long Hall, the largest of Metropole Hanoi’s reception rooms, along with canapes and two live cooking stations with special Korean dishes.

The à la carte and five-course set menus will then be served for lunch and dinner in Le Club through October 11.

Chef Sung-Jae Anh is the owner of the two-Michelin-star Mosu Seoul (and previously the one-Michelin-star Mosu San Francisco). In their review of Mosu Seoul, Michelin judges remark that “Anh continues to do what he does best, highlighting the subtle nuances of seasonal produce on a plate.”

Due to ongoing travel restrictions, Chef Anh will be unable to personally prepare the meals at Le Club, but Metropole Hanoi’s Executive Sous Chef Raphael Kinimo and Culinary Guide So Yeon Kim will present the food strictly following Chef Anh’s exclusive recipe and procedures.


Smart appointed executive chef at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has named Australian Paul Smart as the hotel’s new executive chef.

Prior to joining the Hanoi property, Smart was the executive chef at SO Sofitel Bangkok for five years, where he was crowned winner of the Iron Chef Thailand TV program.

As the hotel’s new executive chef, Smart will oversee operations at the French restaurant, Le Beaulieu Vietnamese restaurant, Spices Garden Italian eatery, Angelina and in the hotel’s three bars, Bamboo Bar, La Terasse, and at the newly revamped, Le Club.

The Adelaide-native, who has worked in some of the world’s top kitchens on three continents, brings more than two decades of culinary experience to the historical property.

“Food is not only my career, it’s my passion,” said 37-year-old Smart, who succeeds Nicholas Shadbolt as executive chef of the 364-room French colonial-style property.

“I look forward to continuing my journey at the Metropole and collaborating with the team here to take the hotel’s cuisine to new heights.”
Smart began his career at Stamford Plaza Hotel in Australia, spending nearly eight years learning and developing within the group.

In 2005, he moved to the UK to earn his chef stripes at The Ritz London, where he worked alongside Michelin-starred executive chef John Williams and head chef Fred Forrester.

During his time in the UK, Smart cooked for HRH Queen Elizabeth II, while he has also worked with the acclaimed chefs of El Bulli.

In 2012, Smart relocated to Asia to command the kitchens at SO Sofitel Bangkok, where he was also featured twice, as a winning challenger on Iron Chef Thailand, in 2012 and 2013.


Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Appoints New Chef - Recipes

Released at: 14:11, 07/11/2018

Photo: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Mr. Raphael Kinimo to help oversee culinary team at Le Beaulieu French restaurant.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has named Mr. Raphael Kinimo as the hotel&rsquos new Executive Sous Chef. The French national has worked in some of the world&rsquos top kitchens and hotels and brings more than two decades of culinary experience to Vietnam&rsquos most storied hotel.

In his role as Executive Sous Chef, Mr. Kinimo will help oversee the culinary team, under the helm of Executive Chef Paul Smart, at the hotel&rsquos iconic upscale French restaurant Le Beaulieu.

Mr. Kinimo began his career at the three Michelin-starred Paul Bocuse restaurant in Lyon before continuing his apprenticeship in a number of award-winning restaurants around France, including Jour de Marche in Lyon and The Yoann Conte Restaurant (or L&rsquoAuberge de l&rsquoEridan) by Marc Veryat in Annecy.


In 2006, Mr. Kinimo moved to London where he worked under master chef Joel Robuchon at the three Michelin-starred l&rsquoAtelier de Robuchon in Covent Garden before relocating to Dubai to work as Head Chef for La Maison.

In 2009, he moved to Thailand to work as the Executive Head Chef at the French fine-dining establishment, Artur, which was named &ldquoBest Restaurant in Bangkok&rdquo by Thailand Tatler in 2011 and 2012. He was previously also Chef Patron at Brasserie 9 in Bangkok.

Most recently, Mr. Kinimo worked as Chef de Cuisine at the Ritz Carlton Café in Macau where he specialized in classic French fare with a modern twist and fresh seafood.


Two-Michelin-Star Chef Sung-Jae Anh’s recipes in the limelight from Sept. 25-Oct. 11

HANOI (September 17, 2020) — Le Club at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is kicking off a two-week celebration of modern Korean gastronomy on September 25 with a special lunch and dinner menu, available à la carte or as a five-course set, featuring exclusive recipes from two-Michelin-star Chef Sung-Jae Anh.

Dishes served as part of the special culinary event include tiger shrimp and pine nut muchim a halibut hoe ssam cup with traditional ssamjang dipping sauce an abalone and beef brisket jjim, marinated in a flavorful sauce before being steamed ginseng galbi gui, the famous South Korean-style BBQ ribs and persimmon bavarois served with lemon sorbet.

“South Korea has one of the most vibrant food cultures in the world, and Chef Anh is part of a new generation of chefs gaining recognition for elevating the cuisine. His popular dishes will bring highlights of the country’s exquisite food culture to Hanoi,” said Metropole Hanoi’s General Manager William Haandrikman.

The Korean gastronomy weeks will begin with an exclusive, invite-only kick-off event on Friday, September 25 from 11am to 3pm. The opening day will be limited to 100 persons and will feature cocktails at Thang Long Hall, the largest of Metropole Hanoi’s reception rooms, along with canapes and two live cooking stations with special Korean dishes.

The à la carte and five-course set menus will then be served for lunch and dinner in Le Club through October 11.

Chef Sung-Jae Anh is the owner of the two-Michelin-star Mosu Seoul (and previously the one-Michelin-star Mosu San Francisco). In their review of Mosu Seoul, Michelin judges remark that “Anh continues to do what he does best, highlighting the subtle nuances of seasonal produce on a plate.”


Hanoi Retains Its Traditional Charms

TO THE UNTRAINED EYE, Hanoi appears to move at a slower pace than its neighboring Asian capital cities. People spend mornings practicing tai chi around the many calm lakes of the city while man-powered rickshaws share the roadways peaceably with motorbikes. Locals walk to work along roads filled with street vendors who pride themselves on making every dish entirely from scratch. Despite the appearance of calm and joie de vivre, this former French colony is actually one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia … and it’s about to get even faster.

In 2020 Hanoi will become home to the Hanoi Motor Sport Circuit, a track that will host the Vietnam Grand Prix, the country’s first-ever Formula 1 race and the first new event to be added to the F1 calendar since Liberty Media took over the company at the beginning of 2017. Formula 1, the elite class of single-seat auto racing sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, features speeds of more than 200 mph. The Vietnamese Grand Prix will join an exclusive calendar that includes Monaco, Singapore and Azerbaijan. The event will surely bring increased international exposure to this already booming capital city.

Experiencing substantial economic growth over the past few decades, Hanoi grew nearly 7 percent in the first quarter of 2019 alone, according to the city’s Department of Planning and Investment. The city has been on an upward cycle of growth since 1996, when the country normalized relations with the United States by joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Although Vietnam remains a one-party state ruled by the Communist Party of Vietnam, the country’s emphasis on international relations and central planning gave rise to a profitable market-based economic system while decreasing the number of state-owned businesses.

Many businesswomen and businessmen have made the move to Hanoi in recent years to take advantage of the fast-moving economy and diversify their operations away from China. Although Vietnamese is the national language, many in business circles speak English, making it easy to navigate this growing market. The past 24 years brought on an increase in liberal economic reforms, allowing for foreign investment to thrive and decreasing the poverty statistics in this capital city of more than 8 million people (and growing).

The largest business in the city, Samsung employs nearly 100,000 people, and LG in nearby Haiphong proves another major player. Software developers thrive in the Hanoi market due to the city’s heavy focus on technology in schools. A recent finding from Google software engineer Neil Fraser revealed a group of 11th-grade students studying in Vietnam would easily pass parts of the famously challenging Google interview process with flying colors. Apple (Foxconn) operates a significant project out of the city, as does Mobase. Nike, Adidas, The North Face and many other garment industry executives find Hanoi a welcoming environment for business with such a skilled (and plentiful) workforce. Meanwhile, Piaggio and Honda have become essential businesses in the city alongside other motorbike manufacturing and assembly companies. Surprisingly, the agricultural sector remains vital to the economy. Vietnam ranks among the leaders in exporting shrimp, with many exporters and businesses operating out of Hanoi. The country set a goal earlier this year to export $10.5 billion in seafood in 2019 and is on track to do just that.

The city’s infrastructure is changing dramatically as city planners make room for the growing international markets by offering policies to promote new construction and modernized methods of transportation. A new airport terminal and highway opened in January 2016 make access to the city much easier from cities around the world. Hanoi recently completed a much-anticipated metro project, receiving its first air train in early 2019 for a project expected to continue to grow until 2021.

Tree in autumn at Hoàn Kiếm Lake © VINH DAO – DREAMSTIME.COM

The excitement of the Formula 1 competition coming in April 2020 inspired city leaders to move more quickly to get the city ready for such a world-class arena, proving once again development will only assist business and create more development opportunities in the near future. Despite this rapid change, the city maintains its historic charm and healthy work/life balance. No matter how much the city grows, a regular crowd will continue to practice the slow art form of tai chi in the early morning hours around Hoàn Kiếm Lake. The city’s storied past and rich traditions blend with a bright future to create a vibrant economy on the fast track for growth and expansion in the years to come.

CHECKING IN WITH ANTHONY PETER SLEWKA-ARMFELT

Director of Sales and Marketing, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, and Director of Business Development, Accor Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

What were your initial thoughts about moving to Hanoi?
Essentially, I was assigned to Hanoi by the company. Prior to moving I was not so keen to live in Hanoi, as during my many short visits the city appeared a bit chaotic and the weather somewhat overcast. However, I quickly began to really like Hanoi and was soon totally immersed. There are many reasons for this, even apart from the special beauty of where I work at the Metropole, but the main ones are the amazing close-knit and eclectic expatriate community, the nature of the Vietnamese people, the charm and authenticity of the small streets and old buildings, and the measured tempo of the apparent traffic mayhem.

Is WiFi access ever an issue?
WiFi is good almost everywhere, and I am not aware of any current restrictions on social media.

What time of day would you arrange a business meeting with someone local?
Power breakfasts are uniquely American so are not at all popular here (I never liked them either). Business lunches, however, are popular, and we see them often. Evenings are more for entertaining. I would say for the best outcome, plan business meetings for late morning in a meeting room followed by lunch.

Where are some of your favorite off-site restaurants?
As I am based in Hanoi, I tend to go for something other than Vietnamese food. Authentic Vietnamese restaurants tend to specialize in specific dishes, but for restaurants offering a large selection I recommend Cao Go, overlooking Hoàn Kiếm Lake and Ưu Đàm Chay for vegetarian. There is also Madam Hien, run by former chef Didier Corlou of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Home Hanoi Restaurant at 34 Châu Long is also good, and I really like an eclectic Japanese expat restaurant that serves mainly Western food but Japanese-style, called PéPé La Poule in the Xuan Dieu area. La Badiane is a nice French restaurant, and Cousins To Ngoc Van is an expat favorite. For burgers, try either Sun Katz or Chops. For Italian we have Da Paulo Dragoncello and Cucini. And Maison De Tet Décor, a healthy Western restaurant close to the InterContinental Westlake, serves great salads, carrot cake and smoothies.

Any surprising finds in the city?
Actually, the golf situation is a hidden treasure, with many great courses nearby — more than in central Vietnamese resort cities.

Things to Do in Hanoi

In the same way businesses thrive on the growing streets of Hanoi, the streets themselves continue to thrive with the steady hum of Hanoi’s famous street vendors. The street food in Hanoi is often regarded as some of the best in the world, where vendors prepare decadent dishes of phở, bun cha and bánh cuốn on tiny makeshift stoves following centuries-old recipes, often rivaling the complex flavor profiles of the world’s finest restaurants. The street chefs behind Phở Gia Truyền Bát Đàn (one of the most famous phở vendors in Hanoi) begin preparing phở in the early hours of the day. They sell it to a hungry crowd of locals and in-the-know tourists. It is so popular, they only serve it until they run out, typically around 10 a.m.

Phở from Phở Gia Truyền Bát Đàn © NPHỞ GIA TRUYỀN BÁT ĐÀN

Visitors can join street food tours at all hours of the day to get a taste of the best Hanoi flavors without the hassle of navigating the labyrinthine back streets. Many tours operate by rickshaw, whisking hungry patrons past the tai chi-practicing locals along Hoàn Kiếm Lake before heading to Hanoi’s Old Quarter to sample delicacies at places like Café Duy Trí or shop the stalls at Dong Xuan Market. For a little extra, many tour operators help arrange for a visit to the city’s beloved Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre or include a stop at the Tran Quoc Pagoda.

The excellence in the street food industry elevated the restaurant game in the city as well, and many new restaurants opened to feature favorite dishes prepared in upscale settings and with ingredients deemed safe for Western palates (vegetables washed with bottled water, for example). Home Hanoi Restaurant in the Truc Bach neighborhood sits inside a former French residence and offers truly authentic versions of traditional Hanoi favorites. Its chả cá (turmeric fish with noodles) competes with the original recipes of the old city, while the ambience invites guests to slow down and enjoy a meal with friends in a cozy dining room setting.

The most iconic property in Hanoi just happens to house many of the city’s most beloved sites, where countless novels and songs were born within steps of Hanoi’s first-ever French restaurant, Le Beaulieu. The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi opened in 1901 and has been an icon in the city ever since. It served as a honeymoon hideout for Charlie Chaplin in 1936 as well as a place of shelter for artist Joan Baez when she was in town during the Christmas bombing of 1972. Baez went on to write “Where Are You Now, My Son?” during the raid, and visitors today can listen to the recording, air raid sirens and dropping bombs and all, while touring the recently discovered bomb shelter on the property.

Hanoi Info to Go

Noi Bai International Airport lies roughly 28 miles north of the city center and is the largest airport in Northern Vietnam. A metered taxi ride into the city center — normally about 30 minutes, depending on traffic — typically costs less than $14.

Hanoi: Just the Facts

Time zone: GMT +7
Phone code: Country code: 84 City code: 4
Currency: Vietnamese dong
Key industries: Garment and textile, agricultural products and food processing, mechanical manufacturing, electronics and telecommunications, information technology

COMING AND GOING
Upon entering Vietnam, U.S. citizens must present a valid passport good for at least six months after arrival date and a tourist visa. You can apply for an e-Visa online good for a single-entry visit and valid for 30 days it costs $25 and takes three working days to process.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Vietnamese

Where to Stay in Hanoi

HANOI LA SIESTA CENTRAL HOTEL This elegant Old Quarter hotel features 27 guestrooms and a rooftop bar offering the perfect perch for watching the sun set over Hoàn Kiếm Lake. 1 Cầu Gỗ, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm $$

LOTTE HOTEL HANOI Sandwiched between the New Business District and the Old Quarter, this 318- room high-rise occupies the upper portion of the 65-floor Lotte Center. 54 Liễu Giai, Cống Vị, Ba Đình $

SOFITEL LEGEND METROPOLE HANOI HOTEL The 364 rooms and suites of this grand dame hotel are spread throughout two wings, the historically colonial Metropole Wing and the newer, Neoclassical Opera Wing. 15 Phố Ngô Quyền, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm $$

Restaurants in Hanoi

LE BEAULIEU This elegant French haute brasserie inside the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel puts on its French Colonial charm each Sunday for its famous afternoon brunch. 15 Lương Ngọc Quyến, French Quarter, Hoàn Kiếm $$

CHẢ CÁ LÃ VỌNG This 100-year-old restaurant is known for its namesake dish: chả cá lã vọng, a savory fish dish served with turmeric and dill in a DIY assembly style. 14 Chả Cá St., Hàng Bỗ, Hoàn Kiếm and 107 Nguyen Truong To St. $

HOME HANOI RESTAURANT The ambience sets the stage for the delicious Vietnamese home-cooked recipes at this charming restaurant. 34 Châu Long, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình $


The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi heralds the dawn of the New Lunar Year with a host of unique events, including a traditional Vietnamese market, a dragon dance, and a delicious Tet-inspired menu at Spices Garden.

The three-day Cho Que (country market in Vietnamese) will see the hotel’s open-air courtyard transformed into a bustling Vietnamese “street” market. Some 20 vendors will be dressed in traditional garb, selling special Tet holiday foods and local handicrafts such as conical hats, colourful silks and woven baskets. The market will be gratuit and open to the public from Jan. 19 to 21.

A dragon dance troupe will kick off celebrations on the opening day of the market, while Quan Ho, Vietnamese folk singers, will welcome guests with live musical performances. Along the walkway bordering one side of the hotel, food vendors will serve traditional Vietnamese foods including steaming bowls of pho, bun cha and sweet sugar cane juice.

Over the weekend, visitors will compete to see who will be crowned the best banh chung (traditional sticky rice cake) or top tò he (toy figurines made from glutinous rice powder) maker in town. Competitions for basket weaving and fruit carving will also be held. The winners will be presented with vouchers for the hotel’s delicatessen, L’epicerie du Metropole.

This year, children will also have the chance to learn how to play Vietnamese games including Ô ăn quan (Mandarin squares) and choi chuyen (bamboo jacks), or to have their portraits painted by local artists.

Tet is the most important festival in the Vietnamese calendar, marking the arrival of spring and new beginnings. During the seven-day celebration locals practice an array of customs including cooking traditional foods, cleaning out their homes, donning new clothes, visiting relatives, and giving li xi or lucky money to children.

In keeping with tradition, the Metropole will present guests with lucky red envelopes on Jan. 28, the first day of the Lunar New Year. Throughout Tet, the hotel lobby will be adorned with pink peach blossoms, red paper lanterns, and potted shrubs of kumquats, believed to bring good fortune. Moreover, the handicrafts and art of the mystical highland town of Sapa will be on display throughout the holiday.

A special Tet menu, inspired by authentic Vietnamese family holiday recipes, will be served at Spices Garden from Jan. 16 to 27. Guests can look forward to savouring such seasonal delicacies as Hue rice cakes and pan-fried mini banh chung as well as gourmet imports including Australian veal tenderloin. The set dinner will cost 1.2 million VND.

Visitors should not miss the hotel’s delectable Tet Eve dinner on Jan. 27 for 2.3 million VND, with a vegetarian option also available for 1.55 million VND.

For additional pricing and more information, please contact +84 (0) 4 38266919 or email [email protected] .


Bún chả (Hanoi grilled pork with rice vermicelli)

Fire up the barbecue for this popular north Vietnamese dish. It's smoky with charred pork, crunchy with a refreshing noodle salad, and comforting with a light, sweet broth.

Ingredients

  • 300 gm skinless, boneless pork belly, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • 400 gm minced pork
  • 250 gm rice vermicelli
  • 1 butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 bunch each Thai basil leaves, coriander leaves and Vietnamese mint leaves
  • 200 gm bean sprouts
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 150 gm green papaya (see note), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 100 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp raw caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 golden shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 600 ml chicken stock or water
  • 100 ml fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 100 ml lime juice or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Method

Notes

Green papaya is available from select greengrocers. If it's unavailable, substitute with daikon.
Drink suggestion: Zesty, off-dry riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.


Watch the video: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi (January 2022).