Salad with Dried Beef – Nom Bo Kho
At the end of the street, we saw a little eatery with tiny seats arranged around tiny tables. We couldn’t help but chuckle as we tried to sit down, because we felt like giants in a children’s play set when we tried to do so. Despite the cramped seating, the meal was once again excellent. Vietnamese salads are a million times more juice-packed and satisfying than our Western counterparts, and we sampled a dry beef salad and beef papaya salad. The salad had a great dressing and was made with shredded papaya, carrots, lemon juice, peanuts, marinated beef jerky, and additional mint and basil. Yum!
Pancakes with Hue Sauce – Banh Khoai
My tummy was already bursting with food, so I didn’t eat them because they had shellfish, which I try to avoid at all costs. However, the other folks on our tour claimed they were excellent, though a bit heavy. Although it was tough to eat so much fried food at the end of the trip, it was nonetheless a fantastic supper to have while in Hanoi.
Noodles with Barbecued Pork — Bun Cha
The greatest Bun Cha in Hanoi can be found at Bun Cha Ta, where we started our whirlwind cuisine tour of the old neighborhood. Bun Cha, a typical Thai lunchtime dish, consists of grilled pork, noodles, and fresh herbs such as mint and basil. It’s scrumptious. When I had this meal for the first time, I couldn’t stop eating it after the first taste.
Rolls of steamed pancake – Banh Cuốn
On the trip, this was one of my favorite places by far. As the pancakes were being steamed on a bed of silk, we were able to observe the women stuffing them with their choice of delectable meats and vegetables. Finally, we entered a hidden passageway and found a gigantic local restaurant that I had never heard of before. Light and tasty pancakes that could easily be eaten every day.
It was here that Nam taught us another method of eating the pancakes: ‘Vietnamese way.’ This method involved scooping up the pancake, dipping it in the sauce, then popping the whole thing into your mouth all at once.
Sugar Cane Candy
This was a short bite to eat on the way to the fifth destination. An old acquaintance who sells sugar cane treats from his bicycle showed up, and Nam recognized him. He expressed his gratitude that he happened to be at the right place at the right moment. It’s tough to understand him since he’s deaf, but she ordered us four sugar cane treats and they were fantastic.
Combination of Fruits Cake – Che Thung
As one of our final stops on our trip, we were able to sample some really light and delicious Vietnamese desserts after all the heavier fried meals and soups. On our Hanoi cuisine trip, this was one of my personal favorites. One of the best desserts I’ve ever had, especially on a hot and sweaty Vietnamese summer day was served to us in a little bowl of tropical fruits and we were instructed to pour crushed ice and ice cream into the concoction.
Egg Coffee with Banh Mi
Banh Mi and Vietnamese Egg Coffee were on the menu at our final stop on the culinary tour, which was a little café serving Banh Mi (traditional Vietnamese baguettes stuffed with a variety of fillings, including meat and salads). Aside from trying new things and the fact that Vietnam is known for its coffee, I decided to give the beverage a go and must admit that I was rather impressed. It reminded me a little bit of a latte, but with a little more egg! The Banh Mi is missing from my collection, alas… was too preoccupied with devouring it to pay attention.
After your cuisine tour, are you looking for something to do? Take a look at these unusual Hanoi activities.