InterContinental Hanoi Westlake has made another grand debut in Vietnam, this time with the country’s first upscale Italian restaurant.
Milan opened its doors to external guests on June 4, notching yet another milestone in InterContinental’s standing as the capital’s most distinctive new hotel and in Vietnam’s culinary scene.
“How a city as vibrant and compelling as Hanoi made it this far into the 21st Century without an upscale Italian restaurant, I’ll never know,” said Paolo Zambrano, executive chef at Milan. “Italian cuisine is an imperative option in any culinary landscape. That you can now indulge the taste of Italy on the shores of Tay Ho (West Lake) is both a surprise and a remarkable convergence.”
At Milan, Chef Zambrano’s main courses explore a wealth of Italian classics, from spaghettis, linguinis, pennes and lasagna to Pappardelle Al Ragu D’ Anatra and Gnocchi di Patate.
“Paolo was called out of the kitchen by a diner recently,” said Christian Pirodon, general manager of the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, “to talk about the pasta he’d just had. The guest had been persuaded that it was impossible to get pasta as good as ours outside Italy. Now he’s persuaded it’s impossible to get pasta this good outside of Hanoi!”
From the Italian grill, the Milan serves a muscular assortment of entrees, from hearty beef tenderloins and rib eyes to lamb chops, king prawns and whole lobster. The restaurant also fires up an assortment of pizzas, of course, and cocktails from the Margherita, to the Frutti di mare.
Milan trades on its waterborne situation with expansive views of Hanoi’s fabled West Lake, once the playground of Vietnam’s royalty and now a welcome respite from the bustling density of the capital.
If diners tire of the lakefront panorama, there are the more limited panoramas of two show kitchens and glass-walled wine shelves. The restaurant’s wine list proposes 200 vintages from 10 countries, including Italy, France and the best of the New World wines.
Milan occupies the entire mezzanine level of the hotel. The décor is a blend of modern European and rustic Asian.
“Hanoi is justly renown for its dining venues,” said Pirodon, “and rightly so. Now, with Paolo and Milan, we’re building on that renown with a surprisingly memorable dining experience — for hotel guests, and external guests as well.”