Puffin and I arrived in Hanoi this afternoon and were starving. We looked for something quick, easy and undaring (more adventurous eating to come.) We were in luck because the Moca Cafe was right across the street from our hotel. She got the beef noodles which were studded with greens, red peppers and mushrooms. (Shhhhh, don't tell her Dad, the practicing Buddhist vegetarion.) She described them as "not bad", which in a Singaporean way means she will eat it but won't necessarily list it for her girlfriends, who arrive a month from now on their own trip.
I got an order of prawns, cooked in a clay pot with coconut threads. Again, not too bad. Not strongly flavored, but it did the trick. This place is only a block from Hoan Kiem lake, so it's close to a lot of the action.
Many were there to sip coffee and surf the free wifi. If you still have notions of a purely communist country in your head, shake it off. This gentleman pulled his Macbook out of his Louis Vuitton bag so he could chat on MSN. He chirped away on his cell the whole time.
It's a pleasant place, with marble tables and brick walls and tiled floors. Apparently, it used to be a French colonial convent which has now been put to better use.