Street food tour in Hanoi - Vietnam's Paris

sunnuntai 17. joulukuuta 2017

We spent one of our Hanoi evenings roaming around the city with our lovely guide Rosie. She spoke understandable English and was very talkative and rushed us from one place to another in what seemed like a little bit too fast a tempo for us. But in order to visit 7 different places during 2,5 hours you can't take it slow. Every street food restaurant  (in the Old Quarter) we went to only served this one dish or at the most 3 different ones. I had expected to see more of the French influence in Hanoi. Of course there were a lot of French cafés with pastries and the filled baguettes that you could buy everywhere but nobody actually spoke French. Except for a Frenchman working in a French restaurant we visited. But officially France still counts Vietnam as a French-speaking country! 

1. Bun cha - Noodles + grilled pork
A very good broth with charcoal grilled pork in it. Then you just add the accessories you want: greenies, garlic, chilli, noodles and a dipping sauce. After the pho-soup probably the most common dish. One of my favourites.

2. Nôm thit bò khô - Dried beef salad
Served with greenies, green papaya and crunchy nuts. Also very appetizing.

3. Banh cuon - Rice pancake
Here we got to interact and fry the pancakes ourselves. Not an easy job: they should be paperthin and rolled away with the help of chopsticks when ready. Gordon Ramsay made these from scratch in his tour of Vietnam ... and if I remember correctly he had great problems before he managed the technique. Anyway they were filled with shrimp and pork and served with fried onion and garlic. Very tasty.

 4. Hô xah - Fried food
If I remember correctly the fried food consisted of two savory pastries: one with crab and the other with pork and one sweet pastry with banana. Served with lettuce and herbs and a nice dipping sauce with green papaya in it. 

5. Míen trôn - Glass noodles
Served with Morning glory, meat sausage, bean curd and topped with fried onion and peanuts. A very nice bowl.

6. Banh mi + egg coffee
Filled baguette that you can buy in every street corner. In Vietnam the banh (bread) is made with rice flour and wheat flour. There are a thousand different fillings you can choose from. The egg coffee I had never tasted before. Sweetened condensed milk is mixed up with a raw egg and poured over the black coffee. It was rather on the sweet side for my taste. A Hanoi specialty, doesn't exist in the rest of Vietnam. And some "holy water", a kind of strong digestive which tasted like the Italian grappa.

7. Ché - Dessert
Fruits in coconut sauce and Mango with coconut ice-cream. The desserts did not impress, perhaps because of the huge amount of food we had eaten. 

Comment: I recommend you to choose a private tour like this instead of going with a group. The "restaurants" are so tiny and full that it's easier to get in when you are 3 instead of 10. And Rosie was a good guide sho even managed to get us safely through the crazy trafficinferno by shouting "sticky rice" when we crossed over . You probably understand what we were supposed to do then.
Furthermore she talked a lot and was very curious about our lives, which I understand. A bright student who wants to see the world before she settles down. Wise thinking!

I  spent a few days in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) some years ago and was very impressed with the city and the food scene there.To be honest I was a bit let down with what Hanoi had to offer foodwise: there was no great variation in dishes and flavours. The South of Vietnam is the winner over the North this time. When it comes to traffic I'm not sure about number one! Trying to forget all about that part!

1 kommentti:

  1. Many delicious dishes too! I live in Hanoi but there are many dishes here I have never tried. Here, there is a lack of La Vong fish and noodle dish. There are also some kinds of pastries such as cakes, cereals are also worth to try. If you need Hanoi Free Tour, please contact with GoAsiaDayTrip company. They have many free tour for you to choice.