Address: 19 Ngo Van So Street
After years of running the kitchens at Hanoi's grande dame, the Sofitel Metropole, French-born Didier Corlou, together with his Vietnamese wife, Mai, have turned a 1930s villa into a colonial-era Indochine fantasy. At the entry is an apothecary-style spice shop; upstairs is a narrow dining room lined with local artwork as well as a lively rooftop bar with stunning views. Corlou mixes French ingredients with Vietnamese flavors (foie gras ravioli with apple compote and a delicate lotus tea sauce) and sources local seafood for dishes like red tuna with passion fruit and lemongrass and lobster with Tahitian vanilla-infused hearts of palm. He uses his mother's chocolate cake recipe, and it's a winnera warm, gooey confection made with Ecuadoran Valrhona (entrées, $15$26).