Zucca Restaurant. The Best Restaurant in Hue, Vietnam

There comes a time, every two weeks or so, when my body screams for pizza. This tends to happen more often in Asia. The scenario goes like this.”Where do you want to eat tonight? What do you feel like?” Local food options are considered, followed by an hour of walking along hot, busy streets, reading yet more menus, all delightful but strikingly similar, when finally my inner Strega rises to the fore and growls, “I would kill for a pizza”. Can we go back to Zucca restaurant? My guilty acquiescence is abated when Mr Tranquillo admits to the same desire.

Pizza Marinara, Zucca Restuarant, Hue, Vietnam
Pizza Marinara, Zucca Restaurant, Hue, Vietnam

Don’t get me wrong: I love the local Vietnamese cuisine here in Hue and have tried some excellent local restaurants in our nine-day sojourn here. The cuisine of Hue is a lot more varied and spicy than the usual Vietnamese offerings in Melbourne. But a good pizza washed down with a glass or two of wine is a heavenly thing, even when the wine in this divine coupling is the local Dalat wine, an acquired taste to which, through necessity, I have succumbed.

Pizza Heaven at Zucca, Hue
Pizza Heaven at Zucca, Hue. Pizza Marinara 139,000VND/AU$8.18

Running an Italian restaurant in an Asian tourist area is a licence to print money. These restaurants are always packed with expats, travellers and backpackers, some seeking respite from the local cuisine, while others, especially the younger travellers, needing food that is familiar and non- challenging. Asian versions of pizza and pasta are generally lost in translation. The pasta is often overcooked or drowned in Dolmio or Raguletto bottled sauce or the pizza is disappointing. Not at Zucca in Hue. The food here would rival the best Italian offerings in Rome or Melbourne.

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Meet the chef at Zucca, Huy.

After eating a couple of their excellent pizzas, we returned one night to try the pasta, in particular, the spinach and ricotta ravioli. The pasta is freshly made on the premises and the serving size is generous, topped with a home-made tomato sauce or cream. There is a tiny topping of basil ( Vietnamese basil- the only local touch). There are sadly no pics of this remarkable dish.At VND 70,000/AU$4.12, I am keen to return to try the pumpkin ravioli version.

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grilled calamari, marinade of lemongrass, nicely charred.

After we sated our lust for Italian food, we began to notice that Zucca also offers local food as well as fusion food. The grilled calamari spiedini are marinated in aromatic lemongrass, then threaded with capsicum and onion slices and grilled on charcoal. They are served with a large salad and rice. VND 100,000/AU$5.88

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The Melanzane Parmigiana is a slab of crumbed and fried eggplant, layered with mozzarella, home-made tomato salsa and parmesan. It was very sustaining, but a little dry due to my taste due to the crumbing.  VND80,000/AU$4.71

squid tempura entree with salad.
squid tempura entrée with salad.

The calamari entrée comes with a generous salad,  VND 80,000/AU$4.71,  making it a great little snack to go with a glass of fresh beer on tap  at VND10,000/AU$.59c. ( yes- 59 cents! a glass). Mr T claims that the local beer is the safest and most economical drink in Vietnam. The local chilled white wine, which is made in the cooler district of DàLat, is a bargain at VND120,000 /AU$7.06.

DaLat wine. It grows on you.
Dalat wine. It grows on you.

It really is hard to keep away from Zucca.

  • Zucca Restaurant, 3 Doi Cong street, Hue, Vietnam

30 thoughts on “Zucca Restaurant. The Best Restaurant in Hue, Vietnam”

  1. Know what you mean by the sameness of food in tourist areas after you’ve been there a while. Italian food here is iffy – mostly overcooked pasta, but Italian friends give the thumbs up to one of our local places for pizza. Your’s looks authentic and delicious as does that fusion calimari.

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    1. Not just in tourist areas but in other countries per se.. I mentioned to someone else that Italian food , when in Italy, has me craving for anything but Italian. And that’s almost impossible to find within italy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, that thin crust looks perfect. We love pizza every so often too, in fact were just talking about it this weekend. Unfortunately, because I can no longer digest the normal one we have to try and find a place that makes a gluten free crust, and so far have not found one in Alice that does that. One day I will try making a sourdough spelt one… So far our best find for GF pizza is a place called ‘Melt’ in Adelaide and we are going to rekindle our memory of it in a couple of weeks 🙂 Enjoyed your post very much. Just the thought of a restaurant with authentic Italian dishes in Vietnam makes me smile.

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    1. I hope you get to make the spelt version Ardys. I am sure if you have a nice batch of your dough going, it would just be a matter of letting it rise on the tray. Although it is a good thing to have when out and that place in Adelaide sounds good.
      Zucca is a real find in Hue .

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The food looks wonderful. When I am in Italy I often crave food that is not Italian…not an easy task. There are a few Chinese restaurants and they are usually awful. I now take jars of curry pastes with me and cook at home.

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  4. Vietnam or not, you now have us hankering for a decent pizza! Our nearest good pizzeria is in Cairns an hour and a half away and I’ve never mastered the art of the dough. Oh! so yummy looking I am very envious but living rurally is our choice and one must sacrifice the range of available cuisine to suit the environment. Please, someone order us a real pizza NOW!! Wine provided!
    Peter
    Utchee Creek QLD.

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    1. I’m on my way. I am surprised Peter, given your excellent culinary skills, that you haven’t mastered a good pizza dough. When I come to stay, let’s have a little cooking class.

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  5. The best Pizza we’ve ever had was in Hue! Geoff isn’t a pizza pan (sob) but he loved the simplicity of the one we had there. I thought it was from a restaurant/cafe called DMC but can’t quite remember. Sometimes when travelling you do just need to touch base with your comfort tastebuds. I’m still exhaling and slumping in my chair….. I love reading about your Vietnamese experiences. Although I’ve loved all the other places we’ve been to, I just fell deeply in love with Vietnam. Hope all the multi million $$$ developments that were taking shape when we were there haven’t taken too much of a hold. Please keep posting! We have booked a months trip to NZ next year so I’m busy reading your delightful transcripts. I passed on the Mr ATMT the one about the hiring of vehicles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe your thinking of that big pub called DMZ ( the demilitarized zone) on a busy corner?

      Glad you’re enjoying reading my Viet raves- can’t help myself, it’s all too stimulating and of course, WiFi is fast and free. Not too much big development happening here in Hue, still low rise, though it’s all happening in Danang big time, a town favoured more by Chinese tourists ( and developers).
      Mr T will send you an update on that insurance business when we get home.

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  6. The meal, not to mention the restaurant, sounds wonderful, Francesca. Unless I”m in Italy, I avoid Italian restaurants when on holiday. Many are just as you described. Zucca sounds like the exception that proves the rule. If ever I make it to SE Asia, you can expect to hear from me beforehand. I’d be a fool not to. 🙂

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  7. The only consolation for me as I read this and imagine how good the pic subjects taste is that I’m doing so in Broome which has many good food options… and only a couple of mild disappointments in our week of sampling widely! Pizza was our first choice upon arrival, at Cafe D’amore, a gorgeous place tucked away in a light industrial area. Some of the best pizza we’ve eaten. The Dang Dalat wine sounds interesting. Is is sweet like Moscato or very dry?

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