Have you ever been in any situation when you are just lost for words? (of course in a happy way). I did, yesterday, a super duper humid day in Hanoi. On the occasion of my mom got back from Thailand, we went on a lunch date, just daughter and mother kind of lunch. What a coincidence when La Badiane – a famous French restaurant in Hanoi just switch to a whole new different menu after 5 years since 2008. 3 French friends: Minh Spielmann, Anthony Balenci, and Benjamin Rascalou, who all have professional skills in the kitchen gathered in 2008 and created La Badiane. Located in a old French mansion in Nam Ngư Street, La Badiane however is decorated in an Eastern style with palm trees and other leaf plants.
The restaurant is indeed very simple, calm, which brings joy and relaxation to the customers. La Badiane gives you the choice to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather or sit inside to have a more private space.
Rated #1 and also the winner of Certificated of Excellence 2013 by TripAdvisor, a worldwide travel website, La Badiane is more famous to a lot of foreigners and tourists, but not many local people. There must be a reason it is ranked number 1 over other 200 restaurants in Hanoi and it can only be La Bandiane’s food.
I didn’t have chance to try La Bandiane’s old menu but oh my godness, the new menu is like heaven on earth. For me, food culture requires more than the taste, but also the look. The more beautiful the plate looks, the more people want to eat it. Plating is like art, it needs patience, creativity, and neat. When I look at La Badiane’s food, I see the passion of the chef on it, stunning and original.
We first started with the starter, I got Australian beef tarta, poached egg & tarta sauce. Put the perfectly done poached egg on top of the beef tarta then cut through the egg, the egg yolk runs through the tarta and brings all the flavors together. At first, the tarta tastes a little bit like “pâté” but then it tastes like nothing I have ever tasted before, so unique. The dill of the salad makes the dish more familiar with my Vietnamese’s sense.
My mom, in another hand, totally went for seafood when I only got my eyes on meat. The first thing that came up in my mind while looking at her amazing dish is Alice in Wonderland. It looks like a huge giant mushroom in the middle of the mysterious forest. Crab “remoulade” in ginger essential oil, beetroot Carpaccio & Dalat asparagus. The crab meat was so “sweet” and fresh, the bitterness of the beetroot was gone. You know, everything on the dish must be there for a reason, you should combine all of them to create a perfect mouthful of deliciousness.
Moving on to the main courses, I ordered up a Duck leg “confit” served with ” Salardaises” potatoes, mixed mushroom sauce. Duck confit is one of the most tradition dish in France, basically the chef cook the duck meat in its own fat, very similar to maceration. There is no excuse if you go into a French restaurant and have not tried duck confit, it’s like going to Asia without eating rice. I was very impressed with the potatoes and the sauce.
Pan-fried scallops, braised leeks in coriander & orange, squid ink pasta, white wine curacao emulsion is what my mom got. Once again, the dish represents itself. With the sour blue, creamy white, and sweet yellow sauce, the dish draws a picture of an afternoon on the beach with the sunny sky, blue ocean, and white sand. The scallops were perfectly seared both side, crispy outside and tender inside. The squid ink pasta is handmade from scratch. This is definitely the must-have dish in La Badiane.
Because of the new menu, chef Benjamin Rascalou and the manager walked themselves into the restaurant and asked the customers about the food. The waiter, the chef, the manager, they were all really friendly and helpful. The menu is only made in English and French but don’t worry, they will help you out.
My mom is not a dessert person but she loves the chocolate mousse. And if you eat the pink sorbet with a tiny piece of mint leave, you can taste summer in your mouth. The pink sorbet is sour to balance the sweetness of the raisins chocolate mousse. We finished strong!
What a meal that day, we left La Badiane without feeling bloating. My mom even whispered in my ear that we have to come back here soon.
Location: 8/10 Delivery: No
Service: 8/10 Take out: No
Food: 10/10 Price: $$$$
Until next time, stay freaky.