Vallila’s Vietnamese bistro does not offer fast food, but an intimate atmosphere and thoughtful flavors.
H’noi Vietnamese Bistro
Where? Hämeentie 94
When? Mon – Fri 11–22, Sat 14–22 (opening hours should be checked).
How much? Doses 7–12.80 e.
First it happened to pizzas, then tacos and now finally Asian food. Specialization.
We no longer just go for “pizza”, but first we choose whether we want Neapolitan, Roman or sour-baked pizza this time. In the same way, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean restaurants in Helsinki have begun to stand out in recent years and boldly invest in different styles.
Today, we have little cups specializing in handmade noodles, all-vegan Thai places, and bubble tea cafes favored by youth. Food enthusiasts argue about where to get the best pho soup and where to get the tastiest bánh mì baguette.
The greater part Asian restaurants have in the past focused on providing lunch or otherwise just inexpensive, quick-to-enjoy food.
A gratifying exception among these is Vallila’s new Vietnamese bistro, H’noi. It’s at its best in the evening, when cocktails made from fresh ingredients are enjoyed at the tables, trend pop rings and the colors of an even smaller disco ball in a tiny restaurant are reflected from the ceiling.
For the ambiance, H’noi is perfect for intimate dating. If the date goes well, the cocktail list offers the opportunity for additional flirting – what would a drink called Thai Me Down sound like? At least in terms of aroma, it’s worth a try, as the rum-based drink balances nicely between the tart, fiery and fruity world of flavors.
Many the portions of the tiny H’noi bistro are already familiar: here too there are summer rolls, papaya salad and pho soup. However, two slightly more exotic doses deserve the strongest recommendation. Banh Hoi is a traditional Vietnamese food that is often served in special festive occasions such as weddings, as it requires both time and skill to prepare.
In Banh Hoi, thin rice noodles are wrapped in dumplings, a bit like a tiny ball of yarn. They are served with crispy garlic or spring onion sprouts in oil and a dipping sauce. In addition, crispy pork, chicken or even tofu – H’no has all these options. The whole is enjoyed wrapped in a small salad leaf, and I emphasize the word enjoyed here.
Perhaps an even more satisfying taste is offered by the menu fusion option, i.e. a Korean-influenced, modern gimbap variant. It combines steamed sushi rice (also served in a salad roll) with fresh vegetables, grilled seaweed, pink canned ginger and chili mayonnaise. Even for this dose, you can choose the protein yourself. Although the small roll is a bit messy to eat, the combination of different textures and flavors is so satisfying that the diner licks his fingers with satisfaction, perhaps even the fingers of the companion.
In terms of opening conditions, H’noi has acted irregularly. The place has often been closed, even though it should have been open according to the opening hours.