The French may have left Vietnam over 50 years ago, but coffee and croissants are still almost as easy to find as rice paper rolls. Here, five of the best Vietnamese eateries to get your Francophile fix. By Alissa Jenkins
1. Green Tangerine, Hanoi
Set in a colonial villa in the city’s Old Quarter, here you can sit out in the cobbled courtyard, amongst vines and jazz music, while feasting on French-Vietnamese fusion cooking. The inventive menu changes every six months, featuring creations like chocolate truffle fritters with tamarind and red fruit flower sauce.
2. Le Rabelais, Dalat
Inside the ornate Dalat Palace Luxury Hotel & Golf Club, this is French at its finest. The menu is said to capture “nouveau French cuisine with a touch of Vietnamese delicacies,” meaning award-winning continental creations. Matching the food are the garden views, while the interior is adorned with chandeliers, a fireplace and piano, where live music is played every evening.
3. La Badiane, Hanoi
Set up by three French foodies, La Badiane (meaning star anise), is dedicated to French cuisine using international influences. Nestled amongst leafy greenery, guests can choose from the traditional menu or a five-course degustation. But with five-star dishes comes five-star prices (in Vietnam, anyway) – expect to pay $80 per person for the degustation.
4. La Villa French Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh City
As charming as provincial France itself, La Villa is tucked away in Thao Dien, a quiet hub of Ho Chi Minh City. Here diners can indulge in authentic French fare – both set and à la carte menus – in the cosy dining room, or outside beside gardens and a swimming pool. As well as a cheese trolley and an extensive French wine list, guests can lash out with a post-feast cigar… surprisingly not made in France, but Cuba.