The best way to overcome the March winter blues in Hanoi is heading indoors and diving into a big bowl of homemade tomato soup — accompanied by a crusty baguette, of course.
That’s how I ended up at Maison de Tet Décor one drizzly Sunday before Tet. This handsome French villa on Ven Ho Street overlooks West Lake and offers three snugly furnished levels festooned with local art, rustic wooden benches and comfy cushions woven from Sapa-sourced fabrics.
It’s the fulfillment of a dream for owner and manager Pete Wilkes, an Australian. Since moving to Hanoi 10 years ago, he wanted to create a community hub where he could serve delicious, home-cooked food in a relaxed and friendly environment. But he also wanted to employ and train disadvantaged youth to make a larger impact.
In 2013, he opened the original Tet Décor Café and from that experience he has established his pièce de résistance — the Maison de Tet Décor.
Aside from a mountain of freshly baked cakes and pastries adorning the entrance table, regulars will also notice some new additions to the menu, including a delicious range of soups, homemade burgers and seasonal specialities like the beef bourguignon in slow cooked red wine beef stew (VND180,000) or the roast chicken rubbed with garlic, thyme and Dijon mustard with homemade gravy (VND180,000).
Those seeking a lighter option may find themselves seduced by the winter salad (VND150,000) — a refreshing combination of pomelo, raisins, apple, rocket, almonds and a nice, creamy goats cheese. — David Mann
Maison de Tet Décor Café is at 36 Duong Ven Ho, Tay Ho, Hanoi