Corner Commerce and Galway Streets
(09) 3023 478
Monday - Saturday
12pm - late
5pm - late
This airy Vietnamese wonderland is concealed behind a bright red door on the ground floor of the Excelsior Building in Britomart. Café Hanoi is a clean and open space, with bare concrete walls and giant paper lanterns that glow like warm origami suns. The décor is somehow feng shui meets industrial minimalism, and it’s a pleasant surprise for the senses, created by the visionaries at Cheshire Architects.
The staff at Café Hanoi are absolute pros; even when the place is absolutely packed you’ll still feel as if the level of your water glass is their top priority. For that reason, I never order from the menu, instead just asking them to feed me and sitting back to see what wonders appear. The menu is seasonal – chef Jason von Dorsten is inspired both by the seasons and the fresh herbaceous flavours that Vietnamese cuisine is famous for. Colours leap off the plate and flavours from sweet to punchy explode across your tastebuds.
Café Hanoi opened in late 2010 and its been consistently great ever since. The restaurant is alway busys and they don’t take bookings, so you may find yourself waiting a little while for a table. Don’t give up though, it’ll be worth the wait. Besides, it’s a great excuse to pop across the road to the delightful Xuxu, a Vietnamese cocktail bar from the same owners, for a pre-dinner drink.