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Review: Bar Betta - Hanoi

By: Nguy Ha Posted: February-15-2011 in
Bar Betta © Nguy Ha
Nguy Ha

The name of bar reminds me of the late 70s and early 80s, when the Czech Babetta motorbike leisurely ran on the roads of Hanoi. At that time, only a rich family had enough money to buy these bikes, with the remainder making do with bicycles. Young men in white shirts and black trousers, a pretty girl bashfully leaned on this back, traveling down a road full of falling dracontomelum flowers. So the image of the Babetta belongs to nice memories past.

Whenever that name is recalled, that melancholic glow returns, and perhaps the owner of Bar Betta is tweaking on our nostalgia, with a retro themed venue. The interior is decorated with old vinyl records and their covers hanging on walls, a record player with huge big round speaker, copper winged fans or television and telephone from our parents’ times. In addition, the dark green of the walls and vivid red give the room a dark and cozy, conducive to chatting and drinking.

Quang, the owner of the café lounge says: ‘I like to drink coffee outdoors near St Joseph’s Cathedral on Nha Tho Street. But this winter is so severe, so somewhere more cozy is necessary even for coffee and especially for drinking at night. Other pubs in Hanoi seem to be too loud and I find it difficult to chat with friends”. So when you come here, you’ll see many familiar portraits of Vietnamese photographers or in photos hanging on the lines.

The café lounge offers a wide-ranging menu. Coffee is priced from 25,000 VND to 75,000 VND with Irish Coffee or its special Bar Betta Coffee featuring coffee, baileys, milk and kahlua. Fresh juice and milk shakes are from 35,000 VND to 50,000 VND. The mocktail section includes a nice range of juices that go beyond the mundane orange juice. The liquor drink list is really comprehensive. You can find everything you want here, but they’re a little bit higher than found on Ta Hien Street with Cuba Libre going for 70,000VND.

There’s also a selection of special cocktails that vary. I had a green cocktail; it tasted fresh and was pretty sharp. I liked it. One special section of the menu is cocktail beers. I’ve never seen beer coctails in Hanoi, and because beer is not a favorite of mine I can’t imagine how peach beer (draught beer, peach liqueur, brandy, grenadine); punch beer (draught beer, coffee liqueur, vacari sambucca); rocket beer (tequila, draught beer); blue curacao beer (blue curacao, lemon, draught beer) would be like, and no doubt they’d be something of a new experience for you too!

Bar Betta also offers some basic food options.

Bar Betta
34c Cao Ba Quat, Hanoi

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