Kathleen Brown, her husband John and their two adopted children, Peter Quang and Claire Xuan, are touring around Vietnam during their Christmas holiday. Kathleen is a long-time television producer and /media consultant for humanitarian agencies and her husband, John, a professional photographer. Every couple of days, they will post a story along with photos on their travels and adventures.
Club Opera Novel – A Diva of a Restaurant, Yet Without Pretense
If you are searching for an intimate and refined meal in a lovely French colonial home make your first stop in Hanoi to Club Opera Novel for a simply divine meal. It is located steps away from the Hanoi Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake, along a boulevard lined with Jimmy Choo and Versace boutiques.
We indulged in everything from traditional Vietnamese to Western food and enjoyed the fresh flavorings, herbs and attention to detail in presentation such as flowering carrots and a hollowed out pineapple serving as a lantern with a flaming tea light inside and fried Hanoi-style spring rolls riding on skewers on its rind.
This unique touch was a foreshadowing of both good things to come on our plates and during our visit to Hanoi.
Here you will find everything-- from brasserie sandwiches to baguettes, international and Vietnamese appetizers, salads, pastas and a sinful collection of desserts from crème caramel to warm apple tart with New Zealand ice cream.
My family chose well: with both east and west represented on the table. Claire insisted on the bacon cheese burger while Peter, the seafood fried rice. I decided on the Bún Chả Hanoi and my husband, John, chose the braised seafood in caramelized sauce. Aunt Anne likely photographed her food – so I will ask her to provide her choice in full color!
Club Opera Novel’s menu even offers fixed price menus reflecting the settings of Tonkin, Brasserie, Old Quarter and Opera for between 290,000 VND and 490,000 VND per person.
These multi-course offerings take one deep into the periods of colonial and postcolonial Vietnamese food history and offer yet another way to tour this amazing country – on its tables and bar counters along with its boulevards and streets.
Happy touring at Club Opera Novel’s gracious and novel place from my family to yours.