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“A great evening”

Nguyen Van Duc Snake Restaurant
Ranked #1,428 of 2,295 Restaurants in Hanoi
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Restaurant details
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“A great evening”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

A bit difficult to find since it is way east of Hanoi, but this is a beautiful place and the food, well what it is about, is very well prepared and can be enjoyed by everyone (including the young girl that was with us).

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Krsto57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Vietnamese first
  • Any
English first
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A Must-Do in Hanoi”
Reviewed September 16, 2012

An awesome experience that you probably won't be able to do in many other places. The restaurant is one of the nicer restaurant buildings I saw in Vietnam - although i was travelling on a budget! Our cobra was pretty big and cost about 1,500,000, which is probably well overpriced but it was still only what I would pay for a normal meal back home, anyway! You can negotiate the price. Snake is an expensive delicacy in Vietnam, so its very expensive in relation to other food in Vietnam.

The snake was made into 14 'unique' dishes which I shared with my girlfriend. We had way too much and although we tried them all, I think snake is an acquired taste!

For me it was a bucket list activity I had to do in Vietnam. I recommend it to anyone going to SE Asia, where else in the world can you drink the (still beating) heart of a cobra? - Plus it supposedly gives you super powers, although for me, these are yet to materialise!

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
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3 Thank JoeRipp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience but take your time”
Reviewed June 4, 2012

We ended up at Nguyen Van Duc Snack Restaurant after inquiring at our guesthouse. There are so many around Le Mat St. and the area is quite hard to find so we were happy someone could point us in the right direction. The ride should be about 110-130,000 depending on the traffic but make sure the cabbie knows where he's going... Ours said he did and got completely lost.

We arrived in a sketchy looking alley, known as Le Mat Street in Long Bien district (other side of the bridge). People and signs directed us down a series of smaller alleys until we got to Nguyen Van Duc. There are two entrance ways but the way we were shown in was directly to the killing floor. A row of cages sat behind a wet tiled floor, while workers cleaned some type of poultry nearby. Our host for the evening introduced himself, asked what snake we wanted $800,000 for the Bamboo or $1.2 million for the Cobra. Hey if you're going to have a live snake killed and freshly prepared into a 10 course meal, why not go big.

The whole experience with the snake selection happened way quicker than I was expecting. The guy asked how many of us were eating the snake, out of 5, 3 of us were game. The snake handler pulled a cobra out, quickly defanged it then showed it to us. The snake didn't look too happy and tried to bite the guy holding it a couple of times but the guy was way too fast and skilled. After we were done checking it out, the guy quickly put the snake down, slit it, pulled the beating heart out, bled it and took the bile sack out. Then chopped off its head and walked away to get started on our dished. Our host mixed one bottle with bile and rice whiskey and the other with the blood and rice whiskey, grabbed the dish with the still beating heart and guided us up to to our table.

Nguyen is a very old looking restaurant but surprisingly really charming with its dark teak walls, thick teak beams, high ceiling, wide corridors and classic (somewhat eclectic) adornments. It kind of reminded me of the Vietnamese version of an almost too old Italian Restaurant.

At our table, we rock, paper scissored for the heart, I lost and our friend ate his heart (which really surprisingly was somehow still beating!) and we toasted with a shot of blood whiskey... That one wasn't so bad. Our next shot of bile whiskey was far far worse. We washed them down with a healthy mouthful of beer then our first course came out. Snake springrolls, delicious but not really so inspired, they tasted like really good springrolls. After our first course the other courses came out 3 at a time. Unfortunately we didn't get to the restaurant until 8pm and they close at 10pm so the dishes were a little rushed. I think I would have enjoyed the experience more if we did it over the 3-4 hours that is recommended. The rest of the dishes were really good with the exception of the snake gruel, which is utterly flavourless, just like normal gruel, and the snake soup, a dark thin broth with some of the more bony snake parts and some veg, it was just ok.

Here are couple of things I found out after we had ordered. You can get more than snake at the snake restaurant. I remember seeing turtle, some type of poultry, seafood, but really mostly more exotic stuff. Some things have to be ordered in advance as well. Same thing as with the snake, they take whatever you order and make a multi-course meal using all the parts. Also there are two choices for snake courses so take the time at look at the menu, its in English.

If you're looking for a fun unique night out, it worth a bit of a splurge (by Vietnam standards)to get out of the Old Quarter and go check out Nguyen Van Duc. Just give yourself enough time and leave you inhibitions at the door.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
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4 Thank coconutfarmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Le Mat snake village with Indochina Charm Travel.”
Reviewed May 23, 2012

Today on my Vietnam travel.

I have asked to my guide: I want surprise in my Vietnames food.

So, my friends and I, go to the snakes village at Le Mat. I don't remember the nam of the restaurant but the scene take place was beautifull. We make to order a mix of snakes dishes
In fact there are several mean to cook snake: boiled, grilled, wrapped, all the secrets of the Vietnamiene food.
We were very glad by the tastes and atmosphere of this restaurant. Surprise warranty.
If you want the address I can ask to our guide, do not hesitate.

Normaly day in Indochina Charm Travel.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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1 Thank Benito63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, NZ
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2012

As with the other reviewer, Steve F, i too went for the bamboo snake. It was just me and my wife and she refused to eat any of the snake so i had alot to eat. Probably didnt get through half of it sadly as it was mostly all great. The snake offal dish didnt suit me well and i didnt touch it, but the the 2 different types of spring rolls were excellent as was the stir fried snake which was the second course. If you're looking for a little bit of adventure eating i highly recommend this place. Or even if you're just looking for a decent feed this place is well worth it.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
3 Thank keenderson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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