After hearing, what we deemed to be, hyperbolic reviews of a ‘charming’ little restaurant on the An Hoi waterfront – we decided to ready ourselves once more for the real world and, having succumbed to ‘logic’ and consulted an actual map of Hoi An, made our way into town. We discussed the potential of this restaurant, apparently nameless, musing upon the possibility of the service being as bad as people had described it…
“So rude it’s almost hilarious”
…after several wrong turns and numerous encounters with rivalling Banh Mi vendors – racing past on their bikes, blasting out, near unbearable, beckoning calls to purchase their pre-assembled subs – we finally reached our destination. A small, unassuming restaurant just across the Cầu An Hội bridge next to a shoddy, yet endearingly sincere, Vietnamese interpretation of a, portable, Italian gelateria. After scouring the main street for any tempting alternatives, we decided to stick to our plan and sample the surly delights of ‘An Hoi Restaurant’ – as it turned out to be called.
A stoney-faced drinks order – much akin to the kind of hurried, stern service you’d expect to receive in a working men’s club on the outskirts of Wolverhampton (Google it) – delivered us 3 ‘Fresh beers’. For the wallet preserving price of 4000 dong we were presented with a comprehensively smudged glass of mystery suds. The first sip was tentative. The second? Large. Balmed were the fresh wounds of Bier Larue and its septic brethren as we quickly guzzled them down and ordered more.
They came, equally begrudgingly but eminently more well received. Having ordered our food the service was quick. The fact that the waitress may as well have launched our dishes, Frisbee like, straight from the kitchen – such was the unerring inaccuracy with which she ‘placed’ them ‘in front’ of us – was soon, merely, a charming departure from normality if it meant us eating this well.
Banished was the insipid, yet lingering, flavour of those hideous Sliders (Mr Pringles’ deformed cousin). Our taste buds had finally arrived in Hoi An. The fresh, cleansing flavour of the, pictured, ‘White Rose’ (translucent little dumplings filled with minced shrimp – a Hoi An delicacy and must try) and the sharp, powerful hit of the chilli and lemongrass stir fried duck. We had shaken off the shackles of those ghastly ‘potato’ creations and the only people to thank were the unashamedly rude customer service denying employees of this quasi-nameless restaurant.
Go there…if you can find it
Thank Yahweh for boorish waitresses