We went to the opening, and were just treated like on of the family. The food served at the opening was fantastc and all the staff there were really friendly and helpful. Even giving suggestions on how to eat and with what... (the free alcohol whch we got was also good :) )
I took my 3 day/2 night Halong Bay tour with ODC Travel who are based in the Old Quarter in Hanoi. The junk that I spent an overnight stay on was called the Sun Cruise (see my accommodation tip). When we set off to Halong Bay, we first had lunch which was very luxurious of small prawns, potato croquettes, butterfish etc. After visiting some caves and an island we transferred back to the junk and had dinner of stuffed crabs, large fresh prawns hanging off the side of a wine glass, edible flower-shaped vegetables and fresh spring rolls on cocktail sticks stuffed in a pineapple. The food was stunning and much better than I ever anticipated.
If you so choose, your junk can stop by one of the floating fish farms and you can select what type of fish you wnat the crew to cook. For a nominal price you can purchase what ever you wish.
Favorite Dish: try the prawns
The food served on board the junk boat cruise of ODC travels which I joined was quite good and include a balanced meal with vegetables, meat and fresh seafood such as prawns and fish. This is included in the cost of the packaged tour (about US$40 for a 2 day 1 night trip), but you need to pay extra for food and drinks other than the normal meals.
Sun Flower One Hotel has a good restaurant that serves all types of Vietnamese cuisine. We at there during our 3-day guided tour. They had all 20 of us meet at a particular time, then served us family style, with large platters of various tasty dishes and plenty of rice and soup.
Do you know that what we eat on the boat that we considered boring are actually what the locals couldnt really afford to eat?
We have been complaining that we dont really eat seafood until we met the locals.
Fish cake is also considered our seafood dish for the day.
We sat in a all asian table and finish every dish that was served. We see that the rest of the non-asian table couldnt finish their food and wish that they would offer us their untouched food.
Overlooking Halong Bay, this restaurant exuded casual elegance and style in every way. From the colourful Vietnamese lanterns hanging from the ceiling (see pics) to the live
orchestra playing traditional Vietnamese instruments, dining at the Royal Restaurant was certainly a pleasant experience.
Favorite Dish: We had some sort of set menu as we were in a tour group. The dishes themselves ranged from average to good (and I would say that our expectations had been raised by the excellent food we had had in Hanoi) but none were actually bad. Certainly the servings were large, so we had plenty to eat.
I especially enjoyed the piquant beef salad with crushed peanut and lime and the tomato & shredded lettuce salad. The prawn fritters served with spicy chilli sauce on the side, were light & delicious.
Service was attentive and helpful at all times.
Toilets were clean and comfortable.
Your cruise ship will take you to a floating fishing village. The idea is to buy some additional seafood to enjoy for dinner or lunch.
The fisher people appear to live on the sea itself as the islands nearby are very rocky.
The structure we visited was a large raft- we climbed off our boat onto it to see the live
sea-food swimming there.
They had a number of exotic species: giant squid, some varieties of fish,several types of crabs, prawns, large shell-fish (including one as large as a dinner plate, with orange shell), and even a couple of man-of-wars.
Favorite Dish: Live Seven star Garoupa-US$50/- per kilo
(they were huge!)
Clams-US$9-12 per kilo
(lovely when steamed with garlic)
The cooks on board the Bai Tho Cuise served them up to us for dinner.
Dine in style at the ship's dining room. Done up in dark wood with large tables, comfortable sofa chairs done up in floral fabrics - the setting is reminiscent of the good old days when travelling on the Orient Express Railcar was all in rage!
We felt special and pampered.
Favorite Dish: Crabs-freshly caught and lightly steamed
Fried squid balls-chopped squid, rolled into balls and breaded on the outside, fried to perfection!
Accompanied by a lovely glass of Chianti or Reisling-aah, heaven!
Lunch, dinner and breakfast were included in our cruise.
While the younger counterparts smoke Camels, many older Vietnamese smokers use a DIEU CAY (water-pipe). It looks like a minature shisha and in northern Vietnam, loose tobacco and the use of communal water pipe are commonly offered free of charge to patrons of restaurants, noodle stands, and weary travellers...
Favorite Dish: After lunch in the small fishing village of VietHai ( Catba National Park ) , the guys were invited for a smoke on the Dieu Cay. Fascinating stuff, first our guide lit some tobacco with the help of a little flint and instructed the smoker to suck hard. As the smoker inhaled, the pot bubbled merrily.
It was powerful stuff!
After just one puff, our German friend's eyes just glazed over. As for my husband, he choked and spluttered. This was way too powerful for a social smoker! And as for me.. Rats, I wasn't included..click here... to find out why...
The weather is so cold in Northern Vietnam that potatoes are grown there. Since everything is organic there, everything tasted good!
Favorite Dish: For some reason, I remembered enjoying the floury potatoes in Viet Hai. The simple fare of rice and vegetables tasted good since everything was fresh.
The next time you're eating out in Vietnam, try "BA LA LOT" or grilled beef wrapped in betel leaf. The meat has a delicious smoky flavour to it with a hint of spice. Chances are, you'll be able to try this in a little restaurant in Ha Long City on your way back to Hanoi.
If you've noticed, food is served plentifully during our 3D2N trip to Ha Long Bay. Since it was a full board trip, we didn't have to pay for any of the meals. We only had to pay for our drinks. One of my favourite dishes was CHA GIO or fried spring rolls.
We are so well feed on board start from the moment we set sail until we landed. All meals provided and we have almost 9-10 simple but delicious dishes every meal.
I think I put on weight touring the Ha Long. ;-)
Drinks and beers are excluded from the tour fees. The prices for drinks on board are reasonable where a can of Tiger Beer cost VND15.000 (USD1).
Not a real restaurant, but was included with the tour of Ha Long Bay. But since it was a GREAT meal I thought I would include it.
Favorite Dish: The seafood was the best, since you were able to pick it fresh from one of the floating fish farms/market