Directions: Near the petro stationPhone: 01222283388
Wait I've never written a review about CCCP???
Every time I go there I have a good time. The Vodka is now directly from Belarus and the food is still like from Ukraine but either the same price or cheaper than a Vietnamese restaurant.
Ok it hasn't got the professionalism or the fake authenticity that maybe some posher institutions in Tay Ho might have but it's got a homely feeling that can't be bought. Heck I shared 4 bottles of vodka tonight so maybe this is a drunken review but it's still a great place to go. Try it and see!
My new favorite place in Hanoi. The food is amazing and so cheap, best borscht I've ever had and the pelmeni dumplings are fantastic. The pickles that come with the vodka shots are great. I never went to the USSR but I imagine a cafe there would be like this one. The first night I went there were all kinds of strange characters, we felt like we were in a Jim Jarmusch film and it was amazing to see Ukranian people speaking Vietnamese -a reminder of Vietnam's ties with the old Soviet state.
We gave this place a try after seeing the reviews and getting some first hand information from our Russian neighbours upstairs.
First impression is that this is someone's living room with some tables thrown in to give the impression of a restaurant/cafe. The entire family holds court at the booth just inside the front door and I guess this is supposed to give one that 'homey' feeling. This probably could work except for the very loud conversations in Russian and the fact that when we arrived the mother who doubles as main cook, is not able to speak English or any language except her native Russian. Certainly 'traditional' and 'authentic' but generally non-productive. We were able to get ourselves sorted out only when the son arrived.
We started with two Russian beers, 500ml, 5.2% and quite tasty. Reminded me of German lager. The menu is only in Russian and Vietnamese so this was a bit of a challenge but the son was able to give us a play by play.
One of the problems noted in previous reviews was the fact that items are often not available despite it being a limited menu. Of five dishes we chose, only one was 'finished'.
We asked about the wine list (supposedly Ukrainian) but none of the 6 choices (3 red, 3 white) were available and we were offered a 'Hungarian' wine for the same price (220,000 dong per bottle). When it arrived my friend noticed that it was in fact Romanian and when the bill came it turned out to be 270,000 dong. Still, not a bad wine, dry and full and compared to the overpriced and ubiquitous Chilean wine on offer at most venues in town, not a bad price at all.
The food is home-cooked and prepared right down to their own sour cream. But beware, this is traditional Russian food and we had ordered far too much. It's not so much the portions (which were more than adequate) but the fact that this type of food (cutlet, dumplings, potatoes, borscht) is quite filling. We should have ordered one dish of each and shared them.
The other problem is that we were inundated with food as in a Vietnamese restaurant. Everything came within a few minutes so we had soups, starters and mains on the table at the same time.
Prices are, as previously reviewed, very good so it wouldn't be difficult to be filled up with food and drink for 100,000 dong per person or less, especially if you go for the sharing option.
Not being an expert on this kind of food I cannot make comparisons so I can only say that it was all quite tasty although the 'steak' (which I think is a pork cutlet) could have used some spicing for flavour.
Our bill cam to 665,000 which included all the food, the beer and the bottle of wine. Fair value except we wasted food due to our not being familiar with the food being so filling. I think this place is worth another go especially if you are in the mood for some plain and hearty home cooking.
It wouldn't be a great choice for a quiet and romantic interlude and the 'ambiance' was homely rather than homey. It has the cluttered look of a living space in which housekeeping does not seem to be a priority.
Three stars for the price and the food.
If you like Cafe CCCP...