Hoa Binh Restaurants/ Dining Scene
Hoa Binh dining is largely done at local houses or small restaurants in the villages or along Highway 6. Don't expect much in the way of world-class cuisine or fancy cafes here - though some restaurants serve western-style meals you're better off eating the local dishes. Rice is the staple, served with grilled meat and fresh vegetables. North-western Vietnam cuisine is spiced with black pepper more often than chilli, so flavours are more subtle than the fiery dishes of central Vietnam.
Crab is a favourite, as well as freshwater fish, prawns, oysters and mussels. One of the most popular dishes to try is rice cooked in bamboo with grilled meat. Vietnam's famous noodle soup (pho) is widely available in most restaurants. Those seeking a more upmarket dining experience visit the restaurant at Mai Chau Lodge, with set-menu meals to enjoy in a pleasant alfresco setting overlooking the resort's lake and pool. For a real local drinking experience try the locally-made rice wine, unique to Hoa Binh made with an array of forest leaves and starch; this potent fermented drink is usually sipped from pipes dipped into a shared pot.