We had really worked up an appetite by the time we walked into Hanoi’s La Badiane restaurant around 9 pm. Lunch had involved much slamming and crushing of crabs – an affair that generally leaves me exhausted and invariably still hungry. So entering the upstairs spacious dining room of the French colonial building we quickly settled down to examining the menu.
There wasn’t much there for vegetarians but luckily it wasn’t all about goats scrotum, pigs offal and horse trotters either. You know how notoriously unsavoury French cuisine can sound.
Between the three of us we tried to order different things so that we could sample as many flavours as possible. Here you see my Crab “remoulade” in mustard, beetroot Carpaccio, raspberry dressing in ginger with a black and white sesame biscuit on top. The sesame was packed too tightly in that biscuit for my liking and I donated it happily to the others.
This Dalat green asparagus “mimosa” style with Curacao cream and orange flavour was another delight. The cream had a distinct hint of wasabi but I could just be showing off the sophistication of my palate here.
I managed one picture of one of the main courses before giving up on the camera to concentrate on the food…the crab and mushroom lasagne singed in cognac, vegetable brunoise and Provence perfume.
I ordered a mint Crème Brulee which was also very good but should’ve been served in smaller portions so you don’t feel like you’re experiencing memory loss about the rest of your meal with every spoon of mint.
French Chef Benjamin Rascalou whose creations these are says, “I use very simple ingredients from different regions of the world and combine them in a new way. From a mix of universal ingredients most unexpected dishes can be made.”
See the rest of the menu on their website and if you’re in Hanoi make sure you keep one evening free to eat here.