Nested in the world-class Sofitel Metropole Hanoi, Spices Garden Restaurant is known as one of the nicest hotel restaurants in the city. With the focus on Vietnamese cuisine, the restaurant has been delighting its international travelers with the finest of local offerings.
The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel, built in 1901, brilliantly survived both of the destroying Indochina Wars like a phoenix from the swamps. This colonial hotel is today referred as the first-class hotel with international standards and the French Sofitel touch, offering comfort and luxury preferred worldwide.
As personal guides having most of our clients stay at this hotel, we were often fortunate to be invited to have breakfast and dinner with them at their hotel’s restaurants – the Spices Garden and Le Beaulieu. Much of the reason why they chose to treat us a meal at their hotel is that; it’s luxury, and it’s convenient.
Reviewing a recent dinner we ate at the Spices Garden with our lovely travelers from Houston, Texas. It was a nice day in March, so we decided to sit outside, overlooking the charming garden and the beautiful swimming pool backed by the hotel’s Bamboo Bar.
From the moment we showed up at the entrance, a beautiful waitress greeted and walked us through the restaurant to reach our table, which was under the moonlight and patio. Like a renowned Sofitel’s property, the décor of the restaurant was nice and to global standards, that made us feel like we were in another world.
For our meal, we had beef with papaya salad and spring rolls appetizer plate, the Vietnamese spring rolls came nicely decorated but a bit weak in tastes – which should be exposed from different ingredients rolled inside. To our own palate, the beef papaya salad was too sweet and lack of spicy and sourness.
One of our clients ordered a piece of fillet beef steak, which arrived with French fries and vegetables. It looked very delicious, and she said it was possibly the most tender steak she had ever eaten for years. The two of us got prawns in coconut, sea bass, chicken, steamed vegetables, eggplant and mushroom cooked in clay pots. All washed down by bottles of premium Hanoi beer.
For desserts, we got creme brûlée and rice pudding. The creme brûlée was ordinary, rice pudding was good. If there were a world contest, the creme brûlée we got at the Spices Garden could easily win the prize for the world’s best. Obviously, it was such a nice way to finish the meal.
What could we say about the overall experience? While the general atmosphere in the hotel was fantastic, the Vietnamese food quality was honestly not brilliant but good. Nothing special or what you would expect from a five-star restaurant. And if we compare the price with other Vietnamese restaurants in town, the price-value ratio is about average.
We thought the Sofitel Metropole has a long history in Hanoi, so its Vietnamese cuisine restaurant should reflect the legacy of the establishment, particularly given the fact this is the flagship Vietnamese restaurant at the hotel. The Le Beaulieu Restaurant does meet the mark worthy of the hotel, but Spices Garden misses it. We hope that will change!
While the food, to us, was not extremely special but good, the service was impeccable – the staff were attentive, knowledgeable, and professional. Hence, we would certainly recommend Spices Garden, and its ambience is a great choice for a fine dining meal. It opens to outside dinners, no need to be staying at the hotel either.
Ask for a table outside. The interior was a bit hotelly and stuffy, but tables on the garden side are more relaxed and have some ambience (of cause, a fair-weather option only). Prices on the expensive side. Bring your credit card if you’re not staying at the hotel to charge to your room. Bon Appétit!
- Spices Garden Restaurant
- 59 Ly Thai Tho Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- 024 3826 6919
- 11h00 – 22h00
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