Cha Ca La Vong is a restaurant in Hanoi famous for its grilled fish (Cha Ca) dish which was created some 130 years ago. The restaurant/dish is so famous that the street is named after it, and it’s featured in almost every single Hanoi’s travel guide.
There’s one problem though, as some other restaurants are riding on its fame with similar name and menu to take advantage of naive foreign travellers, and I was one of the fallen prey of the conspiracy during my Hanoi trip in July 2008…
I wasn’t sure if I was at the right (or wrong) place back then, as there were two similar restaurants nearby. The authentic Cha Ca La Vong is located at 14, Cha Ca Street… but I could only remember the road name and not the exact location.
Can’t remember why I picked this not-sure-what-name restaurant in the end; I only became really suspicious when they began serving the pan on an electronic stove instead of charcoal or gas stove, but it was a little too late to run away lol.
The consolations were that the meal wasn’t bad at all, and the waitress was really cute (oh, maybe that’s why ^)… it ended up being quite an enjoyable experience.
Basically it’s marinated fish pieces grilled/fried/simmered with green onions; the fish, along with the sizzling oil would then be mixed with rice vermicellis, some fish/prawn-paste/sauce, nuts, fresh chillies and herbs to complete the dish… and it was delicious.