I know, I know. When in Rome and all that. But is it so wrong to want a little bit of Rome in Vietnam? I understand that it’s important to eat local food when abroad, but does that mean I can’t indulge in an epic spag bol in Hanoi?
The Italian restaurant in question is El Mediterraneo and the food was AMAZING. It isn’t just me who thinks so – TripAdvisor has numerous equally positive reviews (although it also has a few rather scathing comments dotted about).
I don’t in anyway regret choosing to eat there because it was a lovely meal and I really do love Italian food. But, now, looking back, I can’t help but think that it was a little bit strange to visit an Italian restaurant in Hanoi. It wasn’t as though we had weeks and weeks available in which to sample the Vietnamese cuisine, so I wonder whether I should have been more experimental (it was, after all, me who insisted on having an Italian meal). In total, we visited this restaurant twice, although we did spend a few days away from Hanoi in between visits. If I recall correctly, I also had a cheese and ham toastie in Vietnam.
With just over a week until I head to St Petersburg, I’m wondering whether it might be an idea to try more local food on this trip (although, if I’m honest, I’m not exactly sure what Russia cuisine is …). I’ll definitely be trying the vodka, but I’m not sure that’s considered particularly experimental.
If I turn to Google for information on Russian food, I’m met with the following:
- Soups (which to be honest I’m not that fond of, although the Russian varieties – Wikipedia informs me that there are seven different types – might be different)
- Omelets (also not a fave)
- A number of meat options, including steaks, beef stroganov and chicken kiev (all of which look promising!)
- Pancakes and Pastries
In my efforts not to become a control freak I’m deliberately avoiding restaurant research, or at least I am from now on, so I’m focusing on food types instead! Any recommendations for Russian recipes or any particular Russian favourites? Or perhaps just a restaurant recommendation (it doesn’t count if I don’t google it!).