HANOI, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese cuisine is famous all over the world and Vietnam is no exception particular in the capital city of Hanoi where it is easy to find a restaurant offering a flavorful journey through the Chinese culinary world.
Located on a busy street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Xing Hong Kong Cafe is famous among locals for its outstanding Hong Kong-styled dim sum and hotpot menu.
Vu Manh Tung, one of the restaurant's shareholders, told Xinhua that he started his business nearly three years ago, based on his great passion for Chinese culture and food.
"By decorating the restaurant identically to cafes in Hong Kong, we aim to give visitors an authentic 'Honk Kong' experience," said Tung.
Guests are greeted at the entrance of the little restaurant by the warm smiles of the waiters and can, through a small transparent glass kitchen at the entrance, see the chef display his amazing cooking skills.
Thanks to the kitchen, customers can see how little, cute dumplings are made step-by-step, from mixing the flour and the filling, shaping the dumplings, and then steaming them in small bamboo steamer cages.
The enticing display of cooking skills lures customers into the restaurant, which is decorated with many brightly lit red lanterns that provide a feeling of coziness and is reminiscent of scenes from famous Chinese movies.
As one of the most well-known Chinese dishes, dim sum is a local favorite and dominates the menu.
According to the restaurant manager, they "have made a thorough study on which Chinese dishes to offer to local customers. The dishes must be delicious, easy to eat and suitable to Vietnamese people's tastes."
Dim sum meets these requirements and for Vietnamese diners it's a firm favorite, Tung explained.
"Our customers are diverse, ranging from students to company employees and public officers. The younger customers particularly enjoy Chinese dim sum items such as fresh shrimp dumplings and Lan Kwai Fong deep-fried meat dumplings," said Tung.
In addition to dim sum, hotpot is also popular in Vietnam, as it can be enjoyed on any occasion and at both luxurious or ordinary restaurants. "Chinese hotpot is different from the ones we serve here in terms of ingredients, mixing and seasoning," Tung told Xinhua.
In Tung's restaurant, customers can choose from a variety of Chinese traditional dishes, some of which might sound strange, others familiar, but all equally delicious.
The most beloved food item among local diners, however, is the fresh shrimp dumplings, which are prepared in small portions and served in small steamer baskets.
Each basket holds three or more delectable soft, chewy dumplings with crusts so thin that the filling inside can actually be seen.
In order to make such authentic, artful dumplings, the chef of the restaurant had to go to Hong Kong to learn the unique technique.
Chef Kim said that "Chinese cuisine has three features: color, flavor and form. Chinese dishes are well-cooked and beautifully and decoratively served. China's Hong Kong and Guangdong localities have many things in common with Vietnam in terms of culinary culture. As a result, Chinese restaurants are extremely popular among Vietnamese people," he explained.
Some Chinese dishes that also earn great applause from local customers, include Peking duck, crab hotpot, chicken feet with black bean sauce, or steam rice rolls.
However, the chef said that he tweaks his dishes to suit the palettes of local Vietnamese.
Kim told Xinhua that all the ingredients are imported from China to bring an authentic taste to the dishes, but added that he also tries to modify certain dishes with Vietnamese ingredients, to give them a unique flavor.
"For example, in a crab hotpot, I add a dash of Vietnamese fish sauce to make it more charming, and Vietnamese diners seem to enjoy the change," Kim said.
Having traveled to Hong Kong several times, Nguyen Hong Anh, a 25-year-old diner, said she loves Hong Kong-styled food.
Anh said in between mouthfuls of scrumptious food, "I just love the steamed rice-roll with shrimps as it's a concerto of such delicious flavors."