Update 2022: After the Covid-19, the restaurant has lost its menu and the good chefs that it used to be famous for. Instead, it’s now offering Vietnamese hot pot and associated dishes.
Cau Go Restaurant is a Vietnamese cuisine restaurant in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, perched on the fifth and sixth floors of a six-storey building at the corner of Cau Go Street. Since its opening in 2014, Cau Go has gained its reputation as one of the most visited restaurants in the city.
Situated on the top of the central building, housing a number of Vietnamese café and restaurants including a beer bar, Cau Go offers not only contemporary Vietnamese food in a modern setting atmosphere, but also a wonderful view over the entire Hoan Kiem Lake and part of the French Quarter.
Recalling our most recent visit to Cau Go Restaurant. It was after the water puppet show in the late afternoon. Since it’s right around the corner, we did not have a long walk after a busy day touring Hanoi.
Though taking place in the prime location, the entrance to Cau Go is a bit confusing for many visitors. There are endless of shop fronts around the building, distracting customers from finding the right place. To find your way in, from the lake side entrance, you enter a Cantonese restaurant on the first floor and walk to the elevator, then hit the fifth-floor button.
From the moment stepping into the restaurant, we were welcome with a nice decor and lovely ambiance. Quickly, our partners (four in our party) were dazzled with the amazing views; stars came into line for us and beautiful view over the lake with lights shimmering on the water.
At first, we were seated at a sort of “high-top” area. Within a minute or two, one of the managers came over and asked if we might be able to wait for a better table, well of course! Within a couple of minutes, we were seated at a table next to the window and a small patio area. We loved it!
The first impression was that fantastic. A waitress then showed up giving us drink and food menus very promptly, even with the restaurant being seemingly full on a Monday night.
The restaurant offered set menu and a la cart. The dishes here were very much old-style Vietnamese. There were no bells and whistles or attempts at fusion, but down-home creations such as pork steamed in coconut, fried tofu with lemongrass, and shrimp in chili sauce were right on the menu.
We, with the helpfulness of the lovely waitress guiding us through the tempting dishes, went for a seafood based a la cart. We shared a crab meat soup as starter, then we enjoyed calamari with Vietnamese salad, prawn on fresh mustard green, and traditional deep fried spring roll appetizers. They were all flavorful and highly enjoyable, highlights were the spring rolls (the starters and mains came too early and somewhat was rushed though).
For the mains, we had prawns with tamarind sauce, chicken with lemongrass, fish stew in a cast iron pot, seabass cooked with passion fruit sauce, and mixed veggies. Rice came with the chicken and fish. The vegetables were fresh, the chicken meat was tender, and the fish flavors were extraordinary.
For the drink, though they had a surprising range of reasonably priced wines by the glass from across the world and they seemed decent in nature, we ordered cold Hanoi premium beers as it was a warm day. Finally, we got the grilled banana with honey and ice cream for dessert (it was great – go for this!).
The view set the night up on a high! We actually enjoyed every dish, especially the spring rolls and the fish dish. They delivered the standards. The employees were relatively conversant in English, which made communication easier for us. Staffs were also attentive and quite prompt.
In addition to those positive points, the place would be a perfect place for shared appetizers while enjoying views of Hoan Kiem Lake. Think when you’re done with street food but still want more Vietnamese food, or when you want to have rice dishes rather than the celebrated pho and popular bun, this restaurant it is!
Generally, its service was great at times, subpar at times. Our judgment for them, perhaps the manager should not solicit favorable comment on TripAdvisor. Also, the speed they served the dishes – it felt like a process rather than an experience. If you can get past that, the restaurant and view are great, well worth trying it out.
We admit that Cau Go is one of our favorite restaurants in Hanoi, and we’ve been there many times for lunch and dinner being local foodies. We’ll be heading to Cau Go Restaurant again.
For your visit, as often suggested, advanced reservation is highly recommended. If you can, check out the restaurant when you are there to pick the floor and location that might be best for you. It does accommodate vegan and vegetarian customers.
Note that the restaurant is not handicap accessible though, you have to walk up about 20 steps to get to the lift to reach the 5th floor, and to the spiral staircase for the roof view.
- Cau Go Restaurant
- 05th & 6th floor,
- Entrance 1: 73 Cau Go Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Entrance 2: No 9 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- 0243 926 0808
- 9h30 – 23h00
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