Chả cá Hàng Sơn is a restaurant chain specialized in one dish : the famous Hanoïan dish Chả cá more precisely chả cá Lã Vọng.
A simple but delicious dish composed of cat fish and some fresh herbs cooking in a pan. This was my first time trying the dish and I have to say it was delicious but did it worth the money ?
The first time i’ve seen this dish was near Tong Duy Tan, there was a restaurant named Chả Cá Thăng Long. It was the first time I saw people gathering up to eat this dish and I have to say the smell was simply amazing.
To try chả cá Lã Vọng we opted for the restaurant Chả cá Hàng Sơn which is a chain which one of the restaurant is located in Aeon Mall Long Bien. We chose this location cause it was convenient for us carrying a baby.
We could do the groceries, play a bit and have new experience dinner over there. Usually in malls restaurants have more space than in the city. When you have a kid you don’t want to be stuck in a table for two people.
The location is really nice, very upscale compared to the traditional Vietnamese restaurant. I believe since it’s a franchise, the restaurant looks better than the typical Chả cá restaurant.
Chả cá Lã Vọng is already an expensive dish by Vietnamese standard. Fish and seafood in Vietnam is almost as expensive as in Europe so eating a good fish will not be cheap by any means. Thus the location is very classy with beautiful tables, chairs with paintings on the wall.
The tables are very modern and clean with brand new induction heaters and an aspiration systems. Honestly the place looks and feel great. Being a franchise present in Aeon Mall you can expect a minimum standard.
One thing I particularly like in this restaurant is that the menu is simple. The menu have probably 4 pages with tones of empty space. The restaurant is specialized in one thing at it is Chả cá. It means all their attention is focus to make this dish as good as they can and the rest is just supporting this dish.
The basic dish is composed of what you can see in the picture above : a pan with pieces of fish and intestine if you chose some with herbs, some peanuts, some bun (vermicelli) and some sauce : nuoc mam or mam tom.
On thing good to know is that one portion of fish is barely 4-5 pieces of fish so for two people you’ll have to order 2 portion minimum. We ended up ordering 2 times the fish and 1 time the intestine with some french fries and it was just enough for the 3 of us.
Like I said before, the restaurant is specialized in one dish and seems to know exactly what fits with it in terms of side dishes, drinks or alcohol. It’s fair to say that you can’t go wrong with your choice going into the restaurant as everything is well-honed.
The experience was overall good. Going in there with only two people and ordering 5-6 items made the table feel very empty.
We were absolutely surprised by the scarce amount of fish for a 145,000 vnd portion, especially after having seen a lot of video on Youtube.
The bright side is that the dish came very quick and a waitress cooked it for us for around 5 minutes. So basically you just have to sit down and relax and enjoy your meal.
It was the first time I tried Chả cá and I have to say it taste amazing. It’s a very refined dish in my opinion. They use some cumin, ginger and other things like fish sauce to marinate the fish and they cook it with the herbs, mainly dill and scalions.
A drizzle of oil will go out of the fish while cooking with all this concentrate of herbs and spices will create a smell is absolutely mesmerizing. The taste is also very refined, mixed with the bun, peanuts and mam tom the dish is simply exquisite.
It’s the kind of dish which would make a foreigner fall in love with Vietnamese cuisine refinement.
The drinks were delicious as well, we ordered Trà mía lá nếp which is a sugarcane tea and the taste was original and matching the main dish to perfection.
For desert we were offered some Jelly from a plant, something very similar to the Thach An Jelly from Cao Bang you can get in Vinmart but stronger and homemade. It was delicious even if I think it won’t be to the taste of everybody.
7.8 out of 10
I think Chả cá Hàng Sơn is definitely a safe place for people wanting to eat Chả cá Lã Vọng. I don’t know if it’s the best in town but it’s a solid option for people willing to try the dish.
I believe foreigners should try this dish at least once. Especially the foreigners who not scared to try new gustative experiences.
Eating fish, with cumin, herbs is also a good way to keep up with your healthy diet. You won’t feel thirsty like after eating bad sushi or lethargic and guilty after eating some fatty meat.
Chả Cá Hàng Sơn
Address : 3rd floor Aeon Mall Long Bien, 27 Đ. Cổ Linh, Long Biên, Hà Nội
Phone : 024 6680 6189
Website : https://chacahangson.vn
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/chacahangson