Hanoi, JLT
Nominated for Best Budget
© ITP Images

Expect cafeteria-style dining at this JLT spot, which boasts perhaps the closest to a true Vietnamese culinary experience in the city. While the city’s Vietnamese-French fusion may rule when it comes to fine dining, it’s this tiny eatery that reigns in the arena of authenticity. Tuck into a huge steaming bowl of chicken pho to be transported east, and crunch salty, meaty spring rolls to rouse the palate – but watch out, they’re hot. Try a tongue-cooling Vietnamese salad, with liberal scatterings of fresh mint and a sweet, spicy dressing, and wash the whole thing down with a classic Vietnamese filter coffee. Staff have a tendency to think their memories are superior to the classic paper and pen approach to taking down an order, and this inevitably means some requests get lost along the way. But while the front of house approach may be lackadaisical, judging by the explosively tasty fare that does eventually turn up, the kitchen is certainly not guilty of the same trespasses.
Open daily 11am-11pm. Gold Crest Executive Building, Cluster C, JLT (04 431 3099).

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