Press Club Hanoi – a Distinguished French Restaurant & Lounge Bar


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Located in the vague line between Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the French Quarter, Press Club Hanoi accommodates an upscale mixture of restaurant and a lounge bar. The club is the next building from Capella Hanoi Hotel, across the street from the Sofitel Metropole, and just one block away from the Opera House.

Founded in 1997 by the Vietnamese Journalist Association and French investors, Press Club Hanoi has gained its reputation as a distinguished fine dining venue, where business men, dignitaries, and travelers meet up for nice meals in a comfortable and elegant setting in the city center of Hanoi. 

Press Club Hanoi

We recently took a group of food bloggers on a private Flavors of Hanoi’s French Quarter food tour, and got invited back to have diner with them at Press Club Hanoi. From the experience, this blog post is reviewing the restaurant to help future visitors imagine what its service is like.

When entering the address, a partner commended the venue its self was a bit unusual, as he felt like he was entering an office building. Nonetheless, we took the lift to La Plume Bar for the famous Pho cocktail before eating, the bar was truly the place to be after a hard day at work. Its atmosphere was really pleasant and cheerful.

La Plume Bar

If you haven’t tried Pho cocktail yet, the drink draws on the appearance and flavors of the pho noodle soup. It’s twisted by pouring flaming Gin and Cointreau through a three tiered contraption, designed to mimic the cooking of real pho broth. The cocktail is then accompanied by typical pho’s herbs and spices, including fresh red chili cuts. 

La Plume is one of the best bars in Hanoi to enjoy the unique taste of the Pho cocktail, as it will be perfected by its creators – the award-winning mixologist Pham Tien Tiep. Even if you’re not a fan of cocktail, sitting by the bar counter to watch the passionate bartenders making the cocktail, which looks a mechanical flaming waterfall, will be great fun!

A side from the stylist presentation, our partners enjoyed the drink itself. “Though the taste was very distinct from pho, it was just as delicious and worth its name”, said John. But Ben shot for a Vodka and Diet Coke, which turned out very watery and didn’t taste like it had a lot of vodka in it. Ha ha.

Drinks came with some lovely olives and rice crackers, and we took our time before heading to its restaurant – La Table du Chef – for dining. The dining scene is posh, and it has a fine wood interior with many dividing sections giving a more private experience. The six of us were seated in a private and intimate area.

la table du chef

La table du chef restaurant

The restaurant was less than half full on a Thursday night. Its menu offered a chef’s selection and à la carte, while the food is almost fusion between Vietnamese and French. Since a 2-star Michelin chef from Paris, Alain Dutournier, personifying the soul of La Table du Chef, we went for an à la carte.

Chef Alain Dutournier

Every course was perfectly prepared and presented (haute French restaurant), and we switched back and forth between seafood and meat. The in-house breads were first class, especially the small dark brown crispy rolls – well done the baker. The lovely salted French butter given with the bread was also lovely, and we loved that.

The amazingly creative delicious cold appetiser caviar tartare oyster did impress us. The entree bouillabaisse had a wonderful broth and tender fish, and it was appealing to look at. The lamb chop was cooked perfectly – the medium rare, and the sauce was packed of flavors.

seafood dish

Other course was oyster crepinette with truffle sauce, in which the oyster was covered in a charred crepe served with a brown tasty sauce. Our caviar with sturgeon was a real hit, the serving of caviar was very generous (it’s a nice act, isn’t it). The monkfish wrapped with bacon was worth mentioning. Finally, the beef Tournedos Rossini and the foie gras were also surprisingly good!

The veggie wrapped lamb roll with beans was also amazing, and we really enjoyed the beany texture and flavor. One dish that we were not a fan was the Turbot fish though, the flavors promised in the description such as the truffle brandade and champagne sauce were totally absent.

beef rossini at Press club Hanoi

monkfish press club Hanoi

The wine list was extensive but it was pretty expensive, may be because it was all imported, but here we at least felt that it was nice wine. The sommelier was very helpful in guiding us through the wine list, his recommended wines were wonderful. Our meal was perfectly washed down with two bottles of French’s Pomerol.

For desserts, their homemade sorbet was awesome. The mango ginger flavor really helped to clean the palate. However, the coconut chocolate mousse was too much, finally we got full, the first bit was awesome but it got really heavy after a few bits. 

Staffs were very professional and friendly. As former trained hospitality managers, we would give the service 5/5, and the food was definitely 8/10. Our bill showed six entrees, mains, two bottles of wine, and desserts, totals more than US $800.

While the place is definitely more on the high-end side and an expensive restaurant by Vietnamese standards, the food and wine were totally worth the price. It was well worth it, especially for business meals. Overall, we enjoyed our experience. We would highly recommend Press Club Hanoi

  • Press Club Hanoi
  • 12 Ly Dao Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • 0243 934 0888
  • 08h30 – 22h00

If you are in town for only a couple of days, there are many other local Vietnamese restaurants for your consideration.

Join Flavors of Hanoi’s peronal foodie tour guide on our daily walking Hanoi food tourand explore the best of what the city has to offer. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep updated on what’s new and what’s interesting in Hanoi.


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