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“Simple, Tasty Choice in Eden Center”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hai Duong

Hai Duong
Ranked #144 of 365 Restaurants in Falls Church
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Restaurant details
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
243 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Simple, Tasty Choice in Eden Center”
Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

Hai Duong is nothing fancy -- the plain tables and lack of decor speak more of a cafeteria than a sit-down restaurant -- but it's a convenient and tasty option among the wide array of Eden Center food options. The menu is large and has all the standard options you'd expect to find as well as those that don't usually make an appearance in those restaurants aimed exclusively at a Western clientele (think organ meat). But it's easy to look at photos and order by number.

As another reviewer noted, the service is typical for a casual Asian establishment (meaning a local one in Asia, not a restaurant in downtown DC that serves Asian food). When you walk in, someone tells you to choose your own table, and after a few minutes, someone will come by to take your order. After you eat, you leave your table and pay at the register at the front of the restaurant.

Hai Duong seems to get a variety of patrons -- Vietnamese families, groups of young adults, a few couples. It can easily accommodate large groups, and the food comes out quickly. I'd recommend it as a casual place when you're craving some Vietnamese food with friends (not really a date spot).

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Thank M D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A solid restaurant for those new to Vietnamese cuisine”
Reviewed February 28, 2013

My boyfriend and I patronize this establishment at least once a week. I work in hospitality and often get home late from work. Hai Duong is open until 10pm, which makes it convenient to grab a meal when we don't feel like cooking. (We live down the street from Eden Center, too, so we always have an "excuse" to eat here!) The restaurant is housed in the West Wing of Eden Center, which is to left of the clock tower. It faces Viet Bistro and Phu Quy/Queen.

Though spartan in decor save for a chandelier, Hai Duong is a bright and clean restaurant, with plenty of seating, so it can handle large parties. It also accepts credit cards ($10 minimum) which puts it at an advantage over other restaurants in Eden Center, which are mostly cash only. I recommend having a little cash anyway, as there's a great bakery in this wing (Phuoc Loc) that sells delicious pork buns for $1.50.

With a plethora of restaurants in Eden Center, it can be a bit intimidating if you don't speak the language. However, the easiest thing is to select a restaurant based on its specialty dishes. Nearly every restaurant will offer their own rendition of pho, bun, or com tam, but not all of them execute it well. Hai Duong's menu, while quite large, offers lots of color photographs. Ordering is easy: you can always point to the picture or a number.

Having tried a handful of their dishes, I can recommend a few:

Banh xeo - As good as my mom's! My mom has always told me never to order banh xeo at restaurants, because it's not much of a value compared to home. Sorry, Mom! Banh xeo is a savory crispy yellow crepe filled with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Some banh xeo have mung beans mixed into the batter. The batter is combined with coconut milk and tumeric gives it a bright yellow color. It's served with lots of greens and herbs and fish sauce. You take a bit of crepe, roll it in a lettuce leaf with some herbs, and dip it in the fish sauce.

Pho - You will see a lot of people order this dish at Hai Duong. I like the #1 with everything but not everyone likes tendon or tripe. My boyfriend likes #9, which is eye round steak and beef meatballs. It's not the best pho I've ever had--you usually get better quality pho at a dedicated pho restaurant, but it's consistently well-prepared. It's a great dish for cold or rainy days, or if you're hungover.

Bo Luc Lac - This literally means "shaky beef" in Vietnamese. They are marinated cubes of beef that are grilled. You can get it as an appetizer (no rice), with steamed white rice, or with fried rice. We often order this as carryout for lunch the next day.

Com Tay Cam Do Bien - This is a rice casserole dish that is cooked in a clay pot. It comes out sizzling. The best part is leaving some of the rice in the pot so it gets nice and crispy. This particular one has seafood in it, but they also offer a fried rice rendition, which I thought was good, but not as much flavor as the seafood one. If you like Korean bi bim bap, you'll like this one.

We have always experienced good service here. By "good," I mean in terms of Vietnamese standards, where they take your order, bring your food, and pretty much leave you alone. The staff's English comprehension is so-so, which is why I recommend ordering by number if you can't speak Vietnamese. The only caveat is that the menu is seafood-heavy. Otherwise, it's a solid choice in the Little Saigon of NoVa.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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