We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Only one choice: fish!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cha Ca La Vong

Cha Ca La Vong
14 Pho Cha Ca, Hanoi, Vietnam
Update restaurant details
Ranked #307 of 770 restaurants in Hanoi
Price range: $5 - $10
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Description: Visit this street after a long day of sight-seeing for a traditional dish of fish fried tableside with herbs, spices, onions, peanuts, and rice noodles.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Only one choice: fish!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

This restaurant in the Old Quarter of Hanoi is well-known and popular with locals and tourists. You eat what is served, and you help cook it. First rice noodles, greens, cilantro, lime wedges, and fish sauce arrive at the table, along with a laminated card telling you there is only one choice (grilled fish) and giving the price. Next comes a little gas hot plate with a skillet in which pieces of fish are already sizzling in oil (not "grilled"). The greens are added and stirred in. We threw the cilantro in, too. You cook this concoction until you think it is done. Then you layer in your small bowl cold noodles, hot fish and greens, fish sauce, and chopped peanuts. The waitress came by when we had taken all the fish and greens out of the skillet. She poured off the extra oil, tossed in the noodles we hadn't eaten and some fish sauce--a noodle dish was ready in a few minutes..
Enjoyable experience--no frills, yummy fish (no bones). Give it a try.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

454 reviews from our community

44% Recommend
    87
    115
    103
    79
    70
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Disappointed!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013 via mobile

I doubt if 1/2 of the price is the admission ticket of visiting a heritage restaurant, we pay 170000 per head, but each of us can only share 3 little piece(9V battery size) of fried fish, some veggie and a bundle of noodle. All 5 of us need to top up a load of baguette at the bakery at the opposite road. Taste is OK. You can have a seafood noodle in a nice decorated restaurant with just 105000 here. So I will not go again & won't recommend it to friends.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Amazing...I want to go back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

I read about this restaurant in an in-flight magazine, and decided to check it out. Thank goodness I did! The food is amazing!

The good: promptness, fish, veggies, noodles, beer, value

The not-so-good: I dined solo and was placed at a table with a couple, who clearly didn't want me to join them. They asked to be moved, and this happened again with another couple. I know this is done because the place is so popular and gets crowded, but maybe put solo diners at one table...would save some awkward moments.

Overall, this was one of my favorite dining experiences ever!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Good experience in Hanoi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Ordering this Hanoi favorite here is so easy since they only serve one dish. Beware though it is deep fried and not grilled as the menu suggests. They are very generous with the delicious greens and refill if you eat up. The extra herbs made up for the oily fish. Definitely a favorite with local families.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bali, Indonesia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Cha Cai Fish is pretty delicious but oily...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We are Balinese and Chinese foodies so we were really excited to try this Hanoi institution. Overall, we did like the flavours of the fish especially the fresh dill, but we did not try the sauce. Even though we regular cook with shrimp paste in Bali, the consistency, smell and colour of the sauce was a real turn-off. Totally agree that service was horrendous. The only thing I was happy as that it inspired me to make a dish like this back a home, without the pool of oil!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cha Ca La Vong also viewed

 

Been to Cha Ca La Vong? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Cha Ca La Vong, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

You added Cha Ca La Vong to your Saves list