Founded by Jimmy Pham, an Australian Vietnamese, KOTO, which stands for Know One Teach One is a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training program in Hanoi. Through donation and restaurant's profit, KOTO takes in around 25 disadvantaged youths aged between 16-22 years old every 6 months to join its 24 months hospitality training program. To date, they have trained over 300 individuals with 100% job placement rate.
KOTO Hanoi opened its doors in 2000 and has since evolved from a small sandwich shop into a 120 seats restaurant. Situated next to the Temple of Learning, this elegant three story French Art Nouveau townhouse is open everyday, with the exception of Monday evening, which is closed for cooking classes.
The lavish menu offered both international and Vietnamese cuisines cooked by well educated trainees. The casual atmosphere coupled with friendly wait staffs made it an ideal place for diners to relax and unwind.
Traditional Vietnamese Ice Coffee (29,000 VND ~ RM4.2)
Freshly squeezed Passion Fruit Juice (45,000 VND ~ RM6.5)
Koto Spring Roll Combo (90,000 VND ~ RM13) - A variety of spring rolls (pork, prawn, beef and vegetables) served with two different Vietnamese sauce. The generously filled spring rolls were delicious when dipped into the sweet and salty sauce, bringing all the elements together.
Bun Bo Nam Bo (105,000 VND ~ RM15) - This southern style wok fried beef on rice noodles with fresh mixed herbs, peanuts, lime, chili and garlic was interestingly delicious.
Nem Lui (90,000 VND ~ RM13) - We enjoyed wrapping our grilled minced pork on the rice paper and filling it up with local fresh herbs and rice noodles.
Lemongrass Chicken (135,000 VND ~ RM20) - The lemongrass free range chicken skewer with lime leaves was served together with some vegetables and steamed rice. The sauce was lovely thanks to the flavorful lemongrass gravy.
Unlike most of the restaurant we have visited, KOTO is an unique restaurant with a mission. The meal at KOTO was truly inspiring, serving traditional and international dishes at moderate prices.
Verdict: SOMEWHAT SMITTEN
Address: 61 Pho Van Mieu, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Phone: +84 4747 0337