You’ll find a “friendly crowd of boho locals and expats” at this “family-owned backstreet gem,” says Conde Nast Traveler. “Located in the vibrant art-gallery neighoburhood of south Hanoi,” Chim Sao serves “delicious, inexpensive treats: its trademark 'hotpots' are cook-it-yourself oriental fondues produced with vegetables, fish and seafood, spicy sauces and salads.” The “definite standouts” are the “hearty and robust sausages, zingy and fresh salads, and duck with star fruit (carambola),” recommends Lonely Planet.
“Flavors abound in each dish, and everything is fresh and as seasonal as possible,” writes AFAR. “We had no problem devouring each shared dish, especially, all washed down with Vietnamese wine (like sake, but, a little more feisty),” although Chim Sao is “certainly not for everyone,” but if you have “an open mind,” you'll easily find “some of the best food served in Hanoi.” It's well worth the 10 minute cab ride from Hanoi’s main tourist area, advises Rusty Compass. “It's the real thing in terms of Hanoi cuisine and the arty, family atmosphere is fantastic ... if you don't have Vietnamese friends in Hanoi, this might be the closest you'll get to a home cooked meal.”