If you are living in Vietnam, more precisely in Hanoi, and you are looking for American food and an American-vibe restaurant, one place comes to mind quickly: The Moose and Roo.
What’s more American than smoked pork ribs, hamburgers, and macaroni and cheese? Maybe a sports bar with tons of beers and bourbon. This place name is reminiscent of moose, so perhaps Canada or North America, mixed with roo, so obviously Australia.
The Moose and Roo are located in Hai Ba Trung, very near Hoan Kiem Lake. It’s a very large open space. Actually, the space looks like a beach restaurant crossed with a sports center with a volleyball court and a soccer field.
We unfortunately have to come in the restaurant during lunch, but I am sure there are a lot of expats coming to this restaurant during the afternoon or evening to enjoy some beers, and why not have a bit of fun playing some sports with friends?
If you are also accompanied by children, there’s actually a place for them to have fun as well. This place is kind of the perfect spot to relax, chill, and have fun the American way with your entire family.
The menu at the Roose and Moo is, how shall I say it, very American, which is exactly what you want from this kind of joint. People should feel right at home while ordering in this restaurant, and they do.
The food menu is very concise and easy to read. You can easily find what you need, from classic starters to sandwiches and burgers to pasta and barbecued or, in this case, smoked meat.
Note that fixin’s or side dishes are included and are relatively large in portion compared to other places.
The drink menu is also very well designed and rich with everything you would need to accompany this type of rich food. The bar is very big and filled with bottles, so you’ll have many choices, and most of the things you are used to from home are probably there.
For example, I saw some bourbon bottles like Woodford Reserve and even some Blenheims. I may come back with some friends to get my old one; it’s been years since I had one.
This is an outdoor restaurant like they should be: spacious, with a lot of wood, some grass, and some barbecues. Really, this is the way to do it, especially since the weather in Vietnam is hot all year long. Being outside, enjoying the sunset, and breathing something other than air from the AC is a breeze for the mind.
For the entrance, we chose the classic Mexican starters that were very reminiscent of what I was having in the US: nachos with cheese and soft tacos.
I don’t know why, but Mexican food knows how to party, and whenever you eat this kind of food, it mixes so well with beers, especially Corona. Unfortunately, there is no Mexican beer here, but Belgian will do as well.
I ordered for my wife an apple cider, since women tend to like bubbles and sweetness in alcohol.
The tortillas and nachos were real, the cheese and garnish were exactly like what you would get in the US, and the meat was more than delicious since it was the one being smoked.
We ordered the half-rib, and it was more than enough for us in terms of portion, since we enjoyed 2 starters just before. The ribs came with two side dishes; the fries were delicious and perfectly cooked, but the macaroni and cheese was just about average. We had to add some more salt and pepper to get some taste out of it.
Now that the barbecued pork rib was delicious, we opted for the wet one, which was very, very, very smoked in terms of flavor, with a coating of the famous barbecue sauce. The meat was very tender, still juicy, and fatty.
The first bites were so delicious, but like most rich food from the US, it’s very in your face and can become really sickening real quick. Fortunately, we had some delicious pickles, mildly vinegared, to go with it. A bit like you would eat some ginger between two pieces of sushi to clean your palate.
7.9 out of 10
This place is definitely a great place for foreigners and expats to come to drink and have dinner at night in a large group or with family.
I think this is going to be my spot for when I want to enjoy some sports while having a beer. The location is just perfect: near the lake, very open and big, with some sports activities.
The food is delicious, and the menu and drinks are what you would expect from a place like this in the US. Forget the fake franchise in Aeon Mall; this is the real deal, a joint like you would find in America.
I can’t wait to come back with some friends to enjoy some quality time in a good atmosphere and place.
The Moose & Roo Smokehouse
Address : 21 P. Hai Bà Trưng, Hàng Bài, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Phone : 024 3939 2470
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/mooseandroosh/