Restaurant TUNG Dining in Hanoi: an excellent cross between Scandinavia and Asia, but panic when it comes to paying!

TUNG Dining in Hanoi offers an excellent dining experience, close to that of a Michelin-starred restaurant. But a huge bug at the end of the service practically ruined my evening.

For my last dinner in Hanoi, after a Michelin-starred restaurant (Gia), I decided on a more Western-style restaurant, inspired by Northern European cuisine and adapted by the chef to local produce: TUNG Dining.

You’ll find at the bottom of the page a summary of the articles about this vacation in Vietnam.

The concept of TUNG Dining

The restaurant’s presentation speaks for itself.

Inspired by Nordic gastronomy, T.U.N.G is a small, cozy restaurant that focuses on a complex culinary experience featuring excellent flavors. Our restaurant is named after Hang Tung, our head chef, who has years of experience in Michelin-starred restaurants in Finland and Denmark. The letters T-U-N-G also represent our four philosophies: Twisted, Unique, Natural and Gastronomic.

The setting

The upstairs dining room has a warm, contemporary decor. And, for once, a nice luminosity without being aggressive.

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The menu

The restaurant offers a single 20-course tasting menu.

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The dinner

I arrive on time for my reservation.

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The ground floor houses the restaurant’s reception and open kitchen. A very warm welcome awaits you, with the brigade welcoming you at attention.

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After a glass of champagne (Moet brut impérial) as an aperitif, it’s time to get down to business.

The first four starters are brought in simultaneously.

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Oyster – Guava

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These are oysters from France. The limoncello sauce is a little surprising for those used to the traditional shallot sauce, but the result is very good, with a surprising balance between iodine and sweetness.

Snow crab – Chorizo

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A revisited surf & turf that blends smoky, iodized flavors. Very good.

Amaebi (shrimp)- Pomelo

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Another sweet, iodized blend. Fresh and balanced, but a little less pep than the other two dishes.

Carabineros – Tom yum

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Very tasty and spicy. The spicy sauce is excellent.

At this stage, compared with my dinner yesterday, it’s taking off much faster.

A nice touch: with each dish I’m given a descriptive card.

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The same applies to all dishes.

Foie Gras – Lime leaves

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Airy, light. Cloud-light foam, slightly salty.

Mussels – Coconut

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The coconut masks the taste of the mussel a little at first, but it balances out in the end. Very tasty.

Sweetbreads – Coriander

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The sweetbread is so firm and consistent that it almost looks like minced meat, like a kebab, but it’s very good. I love sweetbreads and coriander, so with both together I’m delighted!

This concludes the starters.

Tamarind – Cinnamon(photo forgotten)

It’s a fresh, explosive palate cleanser.

Pho – Herbs

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A highly unusual version of this traditional Vietnamese dish. You roll up the thin, jellied slice and dip it in the broth to eat.

All the pho flavor is found in the meat and jelly, and the rest in the liquid.

Excellent and creative!

Scallops – Shallots

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The scallops are perfectly cooked and melt under the tongue, and are perfectly accompanied by a fresh, lively sauce.

Toothfish – Lemongrass

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The fish is perfectly cooked, firm under the fork and melting in the mouth. The sauce is once again full of pep.

Compared with yesterday’s meal at Gia’s, it’s like night and day: I have the impression that the flavors are freeing themselves and having fun.

Black tiger shrimp – sawtooth

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I’ve long wondered about the meaning of “saw teeth”. It’s actually a reference to the pumpkin and its Halloween decoration.

A somewhat disappointing dish: the shrimp are rubbery and the pumpkin dominates the dish far too much.

Yogurt – balsamic

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It’s a second palate cleanser.

Once again, very fresh and full of pep.

Iberian pork – Pineapple (photo forgotten)

First you have to eat a cracker, then the pork, then the pineapple sorbet that sublimates everything. Excellent.

Black Ant – Garlic

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The butter and garlic on the brioche are excellent, but I’ll skip the ants.

Beef – Sunflower

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Two nights in a row I’ve had a wagyu dish and for the second time the meat has disappointed me. In the end, the dish is good but not exceptional.

Sweet potato – Brown butter

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Very surprising, like a crème brulée. A real delight, very tasty.

Miso – Basil

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Very light, tasty and fine at the same time.

Rice – Passion fruit

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A very fresh and delicious dessert.

Litchi – soursop

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A delight of lightness and freshness. The lychee is present but not overpowering.

I’ll round off this excellent meal with tea and cognac.

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At this stage I’m delighted, especially after my mixed experience the day before. I’m not saying that Gia doesn’t deserve its star, but TUNG Dining certainly doesn’t fall far short of it.

It’s at this point that things suddenly get complicated.

I ask for the bill, which is brought to me, I pay and… the payment doesn’t work.

“Ah we can’t accept American Express”.

“But it’s said on your site that you take it.”

“Yes, but tonight it doesn’t work”.

“Never mind, I’ll pay with my Visa” (Never mind, but I’m a bit upset here).

And it doesn’t work.

“Ah sir we seem to have a problem with foreign cards today”.

“Yes, and what do we do?”

“Let me think about it”.

The server disappears. I’m waiting, waiting. Nothing happens. I love Asia, but if there’s one thing that exasperates me about the local culture, it’s this mania for continuing to tell you with a big smile that everything’s fine and there’s no problem, when it’s obvious that there is one.

After an endless wait I decide to pay in cash and ask them to show me the nearest ATM. Yes, but we’re in Vietnam and some ATMs seem to have a withdrawal limit, regardless of your card’s limit. We’re talking about just over 100 euros, but here it’s a lot of money!

I will therefore have to draw on two different cards to get the desired amount.

The problem was finally solved, but the whole thing took almost an hour of failures, procrastination and indecision, and in the end I was pretty annoyed.

The staff will make a gesture and give me a 10% discount. Really nice of them, but in the end the impression left is rather negative. Too bad because the meal was perfect.

The staff

In a word: adorable. The service was of a very high standard, and the staff were very kind and friendly. The discussions were also very cordial.

On the other hand, if I can’t blame them for the card problems, the time it took to find a solution without anyone coming to see me to tell me anything other than “everything’s fine” is their fault.

I’m well aware that in the local culture it’s not done to admit that there’s a problem, that something isn’t working, and to worry the customer. But when you see that things aren’t going well, it’s annoying, especially when the situation lasts.

The atmosphere

Pleasant and friendly.

Bottom line

Objectively speaking, along with Anan Saigon, this was my best meal in Vietnam, and even one of my best of the year. A table which, in my opinion, is not far from deserving a star.

On the other hand, the experience was marred by the payment episode, and while the property had nothing to do with it, the way it was handled wasn’t very reassuring and, since it was the last stage of the meal, it was the last impression one had of the restaurant.

But with hindsight and objectivity, it really was an excellent experience. There’s creativity, quality, and above all, you can sense that the flavors are having fun. A real treat.

The Twisted, Unique, Natural and Gastronomic promise is well delivered.

The articles about this vacation in Vietnam

#TypePost
1Travel diaryPreparing for vacations in Vietnam
2FlightParis-Stockholm – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
3LoungeSAS Gold lounge – Stockholm
4FlightStockholm-Oslo – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
5HotelRadisson Blu Airport Hotel – Oslo Gardermoen
6LoungeSAS Gold lounge international zone – Oslo
7FlightOslo-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A321Neo)
8LoungeTurkish Airlines Miles&Smile Lounge international zone – Istanbul
9FlightIstanbul-Saigon – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A350)
10HotelRenaissance Riverside Hotel – Saigon
11RestaurantAnan – Saigon
12RestaurantHoa Tuc – Saigon
13Travel diarySaigon city tour
14LoungeVietnam Airlines Lotus lounge (domestic) – Saigon
15LoungeLe Saigonnais lounge (domestic) – Saigon
16FlightSaigon-Hanoi- Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A350)
17HotelJW Marriott Hotel – Hanoi
18RestaurantGia – Hanoi
19RestaurantTung Dining – Hanoi
20Travel diaryCity tour of Hanoi
21LoungeVietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge (domestic) – Hanoi
22LoungeSong Hong Lounge (domestic) – Hanoi
23FlightHanoi-Phu Quoc – Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A320Neo)
24HotelSheraton Long Beach Resort – Phu Quoc
25Hotel JW Marriott Emerald Bay – Phu Quoc
26LoungeHoa Sim Business lounge – Phu Quoc
27FlightPhu Quoc-Saigon – Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A320)
28LoungeLe Saigonnais lounge (international zone) – Saigon
28FlightSaigon-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A350)
30LoungeIGA Lounge (zone internationale) – Istanbul
31LoungeTurkish Airlines business lounge – Istanbul
31FlightIstanbul-Oslo – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A321Neo)
32HotelRadisson Blu Plaza Hotel – Oslo
33RestaurantKatla – Oslo
34Travel diaryCity tour of Oslo
35FlightOslo-Copenhagen – SAS – SAS Plus (A320)
36FlightCopenhagen-Paris – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
37Travel diaryDebriefing of my vacation in Vietnam

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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