Beer Garden Life in Hanoi

Life is full of difficult choices. Mine today was to go to the beer garden at lunch and have a relaxed afternoon or go to the beer garden in late afternoon and stay for dinner. Not easy!

In the end we went for lunch (at 11.30 am), with the secret idea in the back of my head that one might always go there again in the evening – as it is more or less around the corner.

The motorbikes in front tell you that we were not the first (there were lots more motorbikes inside).

One corner of the place looks like this:

The difference to the other “Bia Hoi” beer places is that this here is the only one with real tables and real chairs which makes it more comfortable for Westerners like me to sit and relax. There is even a roof – which means you do not have to care about rain! A dangerous place!

The draft beer is being served in 0.25 l glasses. In our place it is a bit more expensive than elsewhere: 9,000 Dong a glass (0.68 Leva  or 0.35€). Whatever else you order you always eat boiled peanuts with the beer…

Today it was a little vegetarian selection – as it is the first day of the new lunar month and people do not eat much meat then.

Morning glory with garlic and chillies, a potage with bean sprouts, tomato, lotus, various other veggies and clams (only very small ones) – and a plate with fried tofu.

Believe me it took quite a few beers to wash it all down as there also was some rice in addition.

To give you an idea of how much garlic they use in Hanoi, here is a picture of the garlic left over after the morning glory was eaten (and all the garlic in between the stems and leaves):

The sofa helped digest the light fare and now I am ready for dinner and watching Vietnam beat Indonesia in football…happy times!

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