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22 Han Thuyen St., Hue, Vietnam
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Have a three-hour dinner at Hoang Vien (“royal garden”), opened in March 2010 by the painter and chef Boi Tran in a restored French-colonial house. In an open-walled dining pavilion, long teak tables are set with vases of yellow roses: an ideal setting for a modern take on Hue cuisine, presented with appropriate flourish, like Vietnamese kaiseki. “Shrimp with five tastes” is reminiscent of Thai tom yum koong, with a single, plump pink prawn swimming in a consommé spiced with Kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, chili, shallot, and ginger. Hoang Vien’s nem ran (pork, shrimp, and mushroom spring rolls) are shrouded in wispy golden threads of fried rice paper and accompanied by a salad of rose petals. Across five more courses, all presented on exquisite china from Bat Trang, the famed pottery village outside Hanoi, Boi Tran and her chefs take the precious formality of Hue cuisine to a new place, where the pleasure of pure flavor, not mere visual dazzle, is primary.

Restaurant
Hoang Vien

Have a three-hour dinner at Hoang Vien (“royal garden”), opened in March 2010 by the painter and chef Boi Tran in a restored French-colonial house. In an open-walled dining pavilion, long teak tables are set with vases of yellow roses: an ideal setting for a modern take on Hue cuisine, presented with appropriate flourish, like Vietnamese kaiseki. “Shrimp with five tastes” is reminiscent of Thai tom yum koong, with a single, plump pink prawn swimming in a consommé spiced with Kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, chili, shallot, and ginger. Hoang Vien’s nem ran (pork, shrimp, and mushroom spring rolls) are shrouded in wispy golden threads of fried rice paper and accompanied by a salad of rose petals. Across five more courses, all presented on exquisite china from Bat Trang, the famed pottery village outside Hanoi, Boi Tran and her chefs take the precious formality of Hue cuisine to a new place, where the pleasure of pure flavor, not mere visual dazzle, is primary.