Photo by Kyle Phanroy 

Unless you were craving Korean food, there haven’t been many reasons to dine down in District 7. However, in the last few months, a high-quality Italian restaurant has slowly made local converts and is poised to gain wider attention.

A new restaurant in District 3 is offering an alternative dining location for anyone who wants to go French. Words by Owen Salisbury. Photos by Kyle Phanroy

As French chef Didier Corlou leads me through Porte d’Annam, I feel as though I’m on a tour of his childhood home. With one prized possession and anecdotal photograph after the next — 19th-century maps of Hanoi here, cherished paintings of Uncle Ho there — Porte d’Annam’s interior is homey yet grand.

Matsuzakaya’s story is that of a cool Japanese restaurant which stands at a corner in one of the alleys of Le Thanh Ton and perfumes its intense magic all around. This is an original and cosy joint in which to enjoy a seriously good ramen, among other assorted Japanese fare.

Down an alley off Co Giang in District 1, a cosy taqueria sticks out from the neighbouring Vietnamese eateries.

I’d heard there was an Egyptian restaurant in town, so one lunchtime I thought it would be a good idea to check out what were sure to be some new and different flavours. When I arrived at the restaurant’s front door, I was a little confused, as the single small sign with the place’s name was practically hidden.

Having eaten several burgers in the service of Word readers, I feel somewhat qualified to declare a ‘short-list’ of sorts. It’s not necessary, because there’s no official competition going on, but when it comes to food wars, let's face it, the battle of the burger is never over.

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