Had a bad meal at an aweful restaurant.
Sapa is the back packer haven in Vietnam and it bares no relationship to Vietnamese food at all. Chef Patricia Yeo, who has some good credentials, is down on her luck here.
Partly it's the space, a typical hard edge crammed in a high rise, semi-brutal space. And partly its the staff: ten minutes til a waiter appears in a quarter full room (not terrible but an indicator). Then a cocktail that is dilluted with 2/3 water but gracefully replenished. But then the food. A banal "quivering beef" wrap in a thud of hoisin (why quivering, who knows, merely hoisin); more honest to be in Chinatown. Excellent beef skewers with in sour cream lettuce wraps.
A course of acrid, burnt garlic vegetable fried rice at about a dozen dollars. And a mere 1" thick rib steak, a disgrace for a steakhouse worthy $34, with a crude dump taco bell blanket of blue cheese.
If the waiter had noticed, if the maitre d' had really cared, if the chef or staff had done anything there may have been sympathy for a bad night. But no,just uneaten dishes and no grace.
Sapa, I'd like to think it was just white noise and harmless but then I look at my bill.