Travel Guide

What can you get from a Hanoi food tour?

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What are you thinking about these 3 picks of mine? This helpful Hanoi food tour guides you to the entrance of our finest delicacy world.

Food, an endless source of inspiration, is such a timeless topic to discuss. In a video with 2.43-minute long released on the date of Jun 22nd 2016 by BuzzFeedVideo called “American Try Vietnamese Street Food” (Wait, let me admit it, these dishes can be found in any typical high-end restaurants, so if BuzzFeed can remove that one redundant word it would be great), a girl in the end acknowledged “Asians, they can make really good food!”.  Hence, as a citizen of this big continent, I proudly confess that our Vietnamese system of cuisine is a real temptation for any of you. I have met tons of people worldwide and there was no single case that they did not like our dishes. So I take today as a chance to guide you through this typical question: “What to eat?”. We come see Hanoi first.

Vietnamese food is big temptation

Vietnamese food is big temptation

Bánh Cuốn Thanh Trì – Thanh Tri steamed rice rolls

Dating back to 300 years B.C, Vietnamese ancestors moved to the area known as Thanh Tri Ward nowadays and started planting rice. The idea of Steamed Rice Roll was then created. After 2000 years, this simple but tasty cuisine was brought to most cities in Vietnam and then became one of the most popular breakfast choices. Bánh Cuốn is made in different sizes and shapes reflecting the unique taste in the creativity of specific regions. In Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, the Northern original edition of bánh cuốn goes hand-in-hand with the classic brand of Thanh Tri, especially known for plain rice sheets.

The making of Banh Cuon

The making of Banh Cuon

First opened by Mrs. Hoanh over 70 years ago since the time she was a young damsel in town, the eatery was then passed down to her daughter-in-law who fully preserves Lady Hoanh’s recipe and technique.

Vietnamese steamed rice rolls

Vietnamese steamed rice rolls

Without fillings, Bánh Cuốn Thanh Trì gains fame with its delicate, flavorful rice papers. Plain rice sheet is simply served with Vietnamese pork pie, fry shallots, and sweet chilly fish sauce. Nowadays, Bánh Cuốn can be eaten at any time during the day. It can be a quick breakfast before office or a light dinner for a good time to chat with family.

Bánh mỳ bò sốt vang – Banh My styled “beef au vin”

You must have heard of this familiar street cuisine so I had better save words for introducing this one-of-a-kind style of Banh My this time.

The dish is an iconic French cuisine adapted to local Vietnamese taste. It was styled with what was known “beef au vin” or “beef bourguignon”, a traditional French stew with beef braised in red Burgundy wine. Meanwhile, “Sot Vang” still owns a red wine base. However, it is different from the original in spice and seasoning. Instead of herbs like parsley, rosemary, and thyme, warm spices like cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom are used in replacement. Banh My Sot Vang Hang Bong or Banh My Sot Vang Cua Nam are other variants of the same brand for this specialty.

Banh My with "Beef Au Vin"

Banh My with "Beef Au Vin"

"During the late 20th and early 21st centuries, western-originated food used to be such a gift to kids of my age,” said Cuong, the shop’s owner’s son. “Now this shop almost reaches its 20th birthday”.

Coming to the site, you will be pleased with hot baked and crispy banh my unveiling the dish’s secret in the rich, soft and perfectly cooked beef stew.

Bánh rán Ô Quan Chưởng – O Quan Chuong rice cake:

Hanoi once had five gates exemplifying the historical developments. According to several records, there was a wall with gates which was square and under strict surveillance surrounding Thang Long citadel. Today, only Quan Chuong Gate (or Ô Quan Chưởng in Vietnamese) survives with a local name given "square gate”. Covered with moss, the gate and a part of the wall have been through damages of time.

Quan Chuong gate

Quan Chuong gate

O Quan Chuong fried cake is simply a sweet fried cake for a quick grab down the streets in Hanoi. The cake here has perfectly round shape with skinless mung bean as filling, crispy dark brown skin covered with sesame. Regular price set at other fried cake stalls can come up to VND 5.000 or 6.000. Yet, O Quan Chuong fried cake shop owner makes it different, with only VND 1.000 for one. It is just no unusual if customers leave the shop with even 70 cakes in their bags.

Last but not least, O Quan Chuong fried cake is finely-kneaded dough, crispy skin yet still soft inside, not oily or hardened after a while laid in the air. The shop has been there for roughly 20 years and comes along with lots of children’s memories. A surprising fact is that the owner lady has never lifted her price even once for the past two decades.

Hanoi fried cakes

Hanoi fried cakes

How do you want to put all in one? Why not going for a culinary tour in Hanoi and enjoy yourself with all these temptations for just one day without any difficulties? These are just three in a huge range of Hanoi top foods. My advice is not leaving this lovely city while not having tried at least all these three above!

 

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