Madame Hanoi isn’t a slapdash Vietnamese/French fusion restaurant. It’s a careful meeting of the two cuisines. Head chef Nic Watt travelled the world for 18 years learning his trade (including a stint at Nobu in London) before planting himself in Adelaide.
His menu is great for sharing, mostly because every dish is so different and you’re at risk of food envy otherwise. Highlights include the heo quay cuon rau (crispy pork belly with lettuce cups and hoisin sauce), and canh ga chien nuoc mam (crispy chicken wings with fish sauce, chilli and mint).
Those options don’t sound very French, but that’s because the fusion happens with the help of French technique – the way beef is braised, or duck cooked confit-style to accompany the watermelon salad. The attentive, sneaker-clad staff will guide you through the extensive choices.
The wine list is predominantly South Australian, and the cocktails have a spicy Vietnamese signature, such as the Hanoi Sidecar (ginger liqueur, mandarin cognac, five spice and lemon) and the Lumineux (orange juice, passionfruit, citrus vodka and Chambord). High tea bookings come with a pot of Hendrick’s gin tea.
At breakfast the French influence is more obvious with dishes such as croque-madame and sweets including macarons and Abbots and Kinney pastries. There’s espresso from Allpress, but a cold-pressed, Vietnamese-style sua da is more in the spirit of the place. On your way out, admire the impressive two-storey mural by local artist Emma Hack.