The hidden story of 'Lang Lieu'

When a culinary place is built, it should be brought into life with certain purposes and in unique concepts of its own. Here, the restaurant’s name takes after the progenitor of Vietnamese cuisine - The 7th King of Hung Dynasty Lang Lieu, to present the development journey of Vietnam to the guests. By tracing to the root of a country’s cuisine, Lang Lieu hopes to combine the authenticity of history and the magic of culture right at your dining table.

1. Lang Lieu: An old folk tale

Dated back to around 1400s B.C when the 6th King of Hung Dynasty wanted to choose one son as a successor to his throne. He summoned all of his sons, and told them that whoever could bring him the most precious offering to the altar of the ancestors, thereby showing all their pious feelings for him, the winner would be awarded the throne.

All of the princes traveled throughout the country in search of the tastiest and most exotic foods to offer their father, except Lang Lieu, the 18th prince. Being the poorest prince, he thought he did not have a chance to compete for he could not afford such luxurious foods and had no idea where to begin looking.

One night, he dreamt of a genie who told him,

“There is nothing greater than the sky or the earth. And the rice grain is the most precious thing in the world. Now, use gao nep (glutinous rice) to make Banh Chung, a green and square cake, symbolizing the earth [long time ago, people thought the earth was square]. It will have a filling made of dau xanh (mung beans) and meat symbolizing plants and animals living on the earth. You will use green leaves to cover the cake, symbolizing the services rendered by parents to their children. Then use ground glutinous rice to make Banh day, a white, dome shaped cake, symbolizing the sky.”

When he awoke, Lang Lieu was very happy and prepared the two kinds of cakes described by the genie. Seeing Lang Lieu's simple offerings, other princes sneered at them. But after tasting all the food brought to court by his sons, the King decided that the first prize should be awarded to Tiet-Lieu. The King then said that his youngest son's gifts were not only the purest, but also the most meaningful because Lang Lieu had used nothing except rice which was the basic foodstuff of the people to make them. The King gave up the throne and make Lang Lieu the new emperor. All the other princes bowed to show respect and congratulated the new emperor.

In the end, Lang Lieu won everyone’s heart by his smart, kindness, modesty and dignity.

2. Lang Lieu: The present story

Knowing that history deserves the narration and culture deserves the appreciation, Lang Lieu Restaurant stands by the utmost motto: “Inheritance, Preservation and Enhancement the Vietnamese culinary".

Named after the progenitor of Vietnamese cuisine, Lang Lieu restaurant is dedicated to providing a special journey back time so that every guest can fully sense Vietnamese culture-rich history through the food we serve. Our menu presents signature traditional dishes in Northern Vietnam, from the Old Quarter of Hanoi to the mountainous North-West and North-East. The spectacular food is made by the top prestigious chef - Mr. Vu Manh Diep. With 21-year culinary experience and a passion for traditional dishes, he has been committed to curating the recipes that have been passed on for generations after generations, which will guarantee an original taste of Vietnam to your eating.

We - Lang Lieu team, are aware of the significance of food in the role of a story teller. One reputed American novelist called Jonathan Safran Foer once said “Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.” When it comes to cuisine, there will always be something to be told - a mark of culture, a piece of history and a flow of time. The stories brought to you by food is the most lively one, since it triggers such a sensational experience that you don’t merely listen with your ears but your heart as well.

Vietnamese people, who have treasured culinary art for centuries, do not cook with just normal ingredients. They imprint their soul in everything they cook. From the most recognized dish - Pho to a local one like Banh Gai, every single dish has its journey of life. Pho inherits the subtlety and harmony from its creator - a young Hanoi woman named Thi Ba who first made it for her French lover in 1900s. Meanwhile, Banh Gai marks an era of poverty across the Northern part, when people were so lacking in food that they mixed leaf with rice and it turned out to be the first version of Banh Gai.

The cultural trademark is even more significant in ethnic specialties. There is an undeniable close connection between cuisine and culture. Traditional dishes can tell history, and preserve culture. Lang Lieu appreciate this bond, eager to share it with each of our beloved guests.

At Lang Lieu, a true Vietnam comes to you at all senses.

If you are looing for a place to satisfy your curiosity about Vietnamese cuisine, then Lang Lieu is exactly where you should head to!

Named after the progenitor of Vietnamese cuisine, we dedicate ourselves to providing a special journey back time so that every guest can fully sense Vietnamese culture-rich history through the food we serve. Our menu presents signature traditional dishes in Northern Vietnam, from the Old Quarter of Hanoi to the mountainous North-West and North-East. Also, located right in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Lang Lieu has such a tranquil vibe that you will immediately find peace the moment you step past the door. 

Book a table and start your culinary journey with us!