As planned, we visited the famous non profit KOTO (Know One Teach One) Restaurant on the last day in Hanoi. First, to show support for it’s youth program and second for the food of course *wakaka!
KOTO is located opposite of Temple of Literature on Van Mieu Street. It’s hard to miss the restaurant, it being the corner building among the whole row of old vintage-like shops on that street. Here’s another easy tip to find the restaurant. Try looking for the building with flocks of foreigners, coming in and out.The restaurant is medium sized but modern and comfortable. Very much like a western cafe. It’s packed with customers most of the time, mostly foreigners. We were lucky to found a table for lunch. Ironically, we were the only Asian patrons in the shop.
It was a very lively place filled with chatters of patrons especially backpackers discussing their day’s adventure in Hanoi. It would have been a nice place to sit and chit chat over meals if the place is not so packed and the table so close to each other.
The service was excellent even though the restaurant was crowded. The staffs were young kid i would guess in their teens who speaks fluent English. The program trained them well. We were seated immediately and our food came soon after.
I had the hot ginger with lemon grass tea to settle the cold weather while EatAllYouCanShung ordered tonic water. The tea was served with honey in a separate jar. I find the tea too spicy compared to the ones i had on Princess Junk.
For the appetizer i absolutely had to have some Banh Goi. I had been dying to get my hands on them since i saw a lady selling it beside the street the day before. Looks delicious right?
Banh Goi is something like fried dumpling with shredded mushroom, onions and chicken. Dip it into the pickled mango sauce for taste. It looks like our curry puffs but with the skin is thinner and crunchier. Different peddlers or shops sell different types of Banh Goi in Hanoi. Some are with pork fillings.
I was quite disappointed with the food at KOTO. The presentation was great but the food… lack in quality. The fried noodle with vegetable was more vegetable than noodle. It was good but not great. I had better at the street market. I liked the noodle for it’s crunchiness though.
The fried rice wasn’t to my liking at all. Cooked with green mustard, it’s a little spicy and tasted a bit weird. The portion was really big but the rice was very very very *that’s x3! dry. Even the slices of omelets were dry. I had a hard time swallowing it.
However, i must say that this is totally according to my taste and there might be some other delicious dishes on the menu worth a try. *the French couple beside us was gobbling up the spring rolls and beef noodle! Overall, i still think it’s a great place to relax and fill the tummy… just pick something else to eat LOL.
Ginger & Lemon Grass Tea – VND20,000
Tonic Water – VND15,000
Banh Goi – VND40,000
My Xao Bao (Fried Noodle) – VND65,000
Com Rang Vietnam (Fried Rice) – VND50,000
Total – VND190,000 / USD11.88
*Note: USD1 = VND16,000
59 Van Mieu St.,
Dong Da District,
Hanoi, Vietnam (opposite the Temple of Literature)
Tel: (84 4) 747 0337, (84 4) 747 0338