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“Amazing food, lovely service, great cause.”

KOTO Van Mieu Training Restaurant
Ranked #73 of 2,628 Restaurants in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $2 - $15
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Description: KOTO stands for "Know one, teach one." KOTO is one of the most unique experiences in Vietnam for travelers who can enjoy a meal at a real working vocational training restaurant operated by one of the leading non-profit social enterprises in Vietnam. KOTO is a unique not-for-profit social enterprise that started in 1999 in Hanoi. The program targets at-risk and disadvantaged youth—aged 16 to 22—with a 24-month-long training program in vocational hospitality, life skills and English. KOTO’s Vision Positive permanent change for at-risk and disadvantaged youth through the transformative power of social enterprise. KOTO’s Mission We believe at-risk and disadvantaged youth should have access to a holistic program that provides career training and life skills in a nurturing environment, where each builds self confidence and exercises their right to live a life of dignity.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Went here for dinner, was blown away, came back twice more.

First of all, the staff are the most courteous I've met - and for Vietnam, that's saying a lot (Vietnamese hospitality is the warmest and most sincere I've experienced in all my travels). They speak English anywhere from adequately to well, but certainly with enough understanding to cater to any dietary restrictions without any problems.

If you read a little about this place, you'll see it's part of an Australian-Vietnamese foundation helping give disadvantaged/street kids a shot, and they have a 100% success rate at finding these kids jobs in the industry after their training has been completed. In fact, many of the more up-market restaurants in Hanoi have graduates of this program working in them. So, you're supporting a great cause by dining here.


KOTO restaurant is like a casual eatery downstairs and has a funky bar/lounge upstairs (they serve the full menu on both floors, I chose to eat upstairs each time as there's a nice view and a more relaxed vibe).

The food experience: First dinner we had the fresh spring rolls (we asked for vegetarian which was no problem), the honey prawns and bun cha, with a fresh juice and the house made ginger and lemongrass tea with honey. The spring rolls were deliciously fresh and moreish, the honey prawns were absolutely wonderful with plenty of vegetables and a bowl of rice, and the bun cha was huge and very tasty. The drinks were delicious - the tea came in a big pot and was absolutely amazing with rich flavours.

Second dinner we picked the cha ca la vong and pho xao bo, and each had a cocktail (mine was the ginger martini - yum!). Again, delicious food, huge servings! I was also given a little chocolate mousse cake as it was International Women's Day - a nice touch.

Third visit was for lunch and we had the Bun Cha, one beef and one tofu. Yum, yum, yum. Fantastic way to end our stay in Hanoi.

I can't praise this restaurant enough. Service, ambiance, and quality (and value for money) of food is exemplary. Really pleased we visited!

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2  Thank PrincessBella67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,572 - 1,576 of 2,590 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2013

Went for dinner with husband this week, after big day sightseeing. Great experience with staff who are learning but spoke good English and where friendly and helpful. Good food - however the region has less spice than southern vietnam - I ordered the chilli duck which was not spicy at all but still nice. Recommend the tasting plate to start and the yummy cabinet desserts. Fair prices for international stanadrds - we had three courses and drinks for under US45. Only downside was a rat or mouse ran down the stairs and under the seats - the staff looked stunned and didn't do anything about it.

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2  Thank rach1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

I have visited Koto many, many times when I lived in Hanoi and now that I was back for a short visit I had lunch there with a friend.
Do not expect expert service, all the staff are learning, but as long as you are aware of that, it is not a problem.
The food is always good, this time as well. Koto is doing a great job, I was happy to see that it was full of tourists, who were clearly in awe with the food as well as with the young staff and so Koto delivered once again. Good job guys!

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1  Thank Conihor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Have been to KOTO on two occasions for lunch the first was great but the last after visiting the temple of literature we arrived without a reservation at lunch (told its full) but after a little wait tables were found for myself and my friends family (7 people) with a very full house busy busy

The staff are always friendly sometimes things do go wrong a missed order ,no spoon with the soup or cold food but overall the kids try hard to please.

Maybe since its so popular and mostly full and Management is making great money there is not the impetus to concentrate of the kids training as there used to be but instead try to putt as many people thu the place as possible.
It is not a cheap place to eat but as its in a good cause much is forgiven in quality of food and service .
Management please note Vietnam is in a state of change KOTO is very well regarded but please remember your only as good as the opinion of your last customer

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1  Thank whereswalshie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

The food was good but the social concept leaves an even better taste in your mouth. The staff is obviously in a learning process but eager to serve. The overall impression of the place would improve if they also checked the status of the toilets more often.

2  Thank Nyder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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