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Coast discoveries: Hanoi comes to Paje

Surely an enrichment for Zanzibar is Kim’s Vietnamese kitchen and style at the East Coast

When a Vietnamese has a lot of work, he feels blessed. When a Zanzibari is busy, people say “pole sana”, sorry. It is for such words of wisdom, peaceful Buddhist vibes, Vietnamese all-day-breakfast and coffee with condensed milk, and for Pho soup, of course, that people love to visit Kim Nguyen at her two premises on the East Coast. 

The new Hanoi House is a tiny café on the main road in Paje. Renovated along Zen principles with the entrance facing east, it is a quiet oasis on a very busy street. 

Kim, 33, came from Hanoi to Zanzibar in 2019, and stayed. “I only learnt here how to cook”, she says. Her Duyen beach restaurant at the Sherazad Hotel in Jambiani is another big draw. “Zanzibar reminds me of my childhood in Vietnam”, the former social worker says. Home style cooking is her trademark, herbs like basil and coriander she finds here, but she imports Asian noodles. “Eat them with chopsticks”, Kim Anh advises with a smile, “it makes you more mindful.”

Hanoi House Café, Paje, Ph. +255 772434 995

Duyen beach restaurant @Sharazad, hotel, Jambiani, 11:00-22:00, Mondays closed

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