Hoi An 2016 - Ancient Faifo
Ancient Fai Fo is a high-end restaurant in a 2-storey old mansion. The building - like most of the other buildings in the old town, has been beautifully restored - and the interior decoration creates a very classy ambiance. This is easily one of the most beautiful restaurants in Hoi An.
For the art lover there is a small gallery on the ground floor of the restaurant.
Ancient Fai Fo tries to do something a little different from the traditional Vietnamese dishes. So when you order something like Mee Quang - do not expect the standard bowl of noodles. Here they like to deconstruct the dish and present it with a new twist. Sadly the deconstructed dishes are the less successful ones - and it was the more traditional dishes which were more enjoyable.
The Duo of Calamari with deep-fried coconut squid and a pomelo salad was good.
The Oven-Baked Stuffed Squid was the best dish of the night. The squid was tender, and the stuffing of pork, dried shrimps, mushrooms and curry sauce was sophisticated and flavourful.
The Fried Rice with cubes of marinated beef was simple and delicious.
The Faifo Cao Lau - a deconstructed version of the ubiquitous Hoi An noodle dish - was less successful. The noodles lacked flavour, but the grilled pork ribs were nice.
The Ancient Fusion Pancake - Vietnamese pancake with seafood, deep-fried scallop dumplings, and homemade fish sauce sounded good on paper but was the least successful. Most roadside pancake stalls would be able to do a better version of this dish.
Ancient Faifo should be commended for trying something different. It is a beautiful restaurant, let down by inconsistent food. The prices are also a bit too steep for what is essentially glamourized versions of Vietnamese street food - but it is definitely worth a try.