Dec 04 2012
Getting a delivery meal to your hotel room might not be what travelling and a holiday in Hanoi is all about, but sometimes a quiet night in front of the TV with a pork chop and rice is a welcome break from shopping and sightseeing. Now getting a delivery in Hanoi is as easy as … well, pie — yes, you can get pizza, too.
Pizza and Indian restaurants are easy to access and order from, assuming you have access to the internet. The Al Frescos group, which owns Al Frescos, Pepperonis and Jaspas, has a delivery menu online but online ordering is restricted to HCMC at the moment so you’ll need to call. If you don’t have internet access but just want a pizza, call (04) 3928 7030 (Pepperonis) or (04) 3938 1155 (Al Fresco). The pizzas are nothing special but satiate a carbs and cheese craving. More Italia- style pizzas can be ordered from Pane e Vino (04 3826 9080) and Luna d’Autunno (04 3823 7338).
All the Indian restaurants in Hanoi offer delivery too, and all but Tandoor have online menus. Solid members of the Hanoi food scene, such as Provecho (0912 223 966) and The Cart (04 3928 7715) and Koto (04 3747 0337) deliver too.
But the list certainly doesn’t stop there, and it now seems that every hole in the wall is getting in on the delivery act. This expansion has been largely due to the arrival of competing delivery websites earlier this year: eat.vn, vietnammm.com and hungrypanda.vn. Now it’s possible to order almost any cuisine for delivery, so if eating Vietanamese street food makes you feel better about a night in front of the TV, you can certainly do that.
Using this service means you’ll avoid the language difficulties that can frequently arise when ordering by phone. While ordering a basic, off-the-peg burger or pizza from a foreigner-orientated website might not cause too many challenges, explaining your detailed requirement for extra spicy vindaloo or no ham on your Hawaiian is likely to be trickier. And addresses can be a real pain, especially when your pronunciation’s not great.
The three sites all work in similar ways: enter your city and district and a list of restaurants covering that area will be displayed. Select the restaurant and a menu appears. Vietnammm.com and hungrypanda.vn display delivery charges and minimum orders on the list page whereas for eat.vn you’ll have to go to the individual restaurant page to check this out. All three sites require registration and are cash on delivery — and importantly, they work.
While the sites make ordering easier and provide a lot more choice, it’s obviously only an option if you have internet access — although that’s actually more widely available than phone access. Finally, do bear in mind that restaurants have to pay a commission to the site, so would prefer you to call directly. I use eat.vn regularly but still call my regular places directly — after all, they know my address.
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