Indian restaurants were among the first foreign food options in the capital, and Hanoi has certainly more than its fair share. The quality can be patchy, however, with some excellent and others bland. Foodshop 45 is firmly in the former group, a family-run restaurant that has been running for nearly 20 years, serving up fresh food layered with flavor and of a fine quality. With a terrific location in Truc Bach and exceptional views of Tay Ho Lake, it would be easy for Foodshop 45 to rest on its laurels and serve up average food but it refuses to do so.
Chào over-ordered as we tend to do when visiting Indian restaurants. We opted for a plate of roasted masala papadams (15,000 VND each), a mixed salad (35,000), a chicken vindaloo (105,000) a goat rogan gosh (155,000), an aloo jeera (75,000), half a tandoori chicken (135,000), a raita yogurt (50,000), a plate of basmati rice (50,000) and a couple of garlic naan bread (30,000 each), all washed down liberally with salted lassis (40,000 each) and Saigon beer (35,000). This was intended for three people, but we drafted in a hungry fourth as it was too much food.
Other than that the chicken vindaloo could have been a touch spicier (it was still hot) for those that like curries that make their eyes water, the restaurant did not put a foot wrong. Every dish had a solid depth of flavor. The curries were creamy. The tandoori chicken was succulent and tender, and not a single dish tasted like it had been idly smothered in a generic ‘curry sauce.’ Even the simple basmati rice seemed to sing with delicate aroma.
There will inevitably be those that decry the authenticity of this restaurant, pointing out that it is Vietnamese run and has beef curries on the menu, but Chào would beg to differ. Love is put into the cooking here, and the sheer number of Indian diners suggests the food is on point. Great service and wonderful views of the lake aside, the decor here, spread over three floors, is beautiful too. There are cute awnings outside, and the interior is soothingly lit, with the walls painted in rich red and orange hues. Prints of brightly colored elephants are hung on the walls. The restaurant would work well for a date.
With all the different curry houses on offer in the capital, choosing a great Indian curry in Hanoi is not easy, but with its vast menu (lots of vegetarian options here), attentive service, delicious food and gorgeous views, Foodshop 45 is a fine choice that will not disappoint. Recommended.
59 Truch Bach Street, Tay Ho
+84 (0) 437162959
10 a.m-10:30 p.m.