Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Our gastronomic journey through Hanoi

Our gastronomic journey in Hanoi continues! With the huge selection of street food at every corner of Hanoi, one never goes hungry!

The Old Quarter is a haven for street food. Walk along its streets and you’re bound to find something to soothe your hungry tummies! On our many walks around the Old Quarter, we found street stalls selling Vietnamese noodles, grilled cuttlefish, fried calamari and fresh-cut fries, snails, salads, banh mi pate, fried rice and local dishes, grilled chicken/pork on sticks and lots more! It is a never-ending discovery … our only complain being not enough time to savour them all.
On weekends where a section of the Old Quarter houses the weekly night market, even more food stalls are set up. A walk through the night market reveals two stalls selling freshly made bread and pastries which looks and smells delicious. Then there’s steamed sweetcorn, ice-cream, lollipops of every size and color, grilled chicken (much like satay), cuttlefish, desserts and of course, the Banh Mi Pate! In the day, virtually every corner of Hanoi has at least one food stall. We had delicious pho for breakfast at the cost of USD1. I’m sure it could have been cheaper and that we’re actually paying tourist prices, but USD1 is a small price to pay for such delicious comfort food.
At a street corner at Van Mieu we found a nifty little shop selling Bun Cha and Nem Cua Be (fried spring rolls). The smells emanating from the little charcoal grill is enough to make me swoon!

Who can resist the thick Vietnamese drip coffee? I like mine black with sugar. The coffee is robust and oh-so-good! It’s the perfect wake-me-up drink. As a matter of fact, we loved the coffee so much we packed some home along with the stainless steel drip.

For desserts there are little shops along the Old Quarter that sells cut fruits drizzled with condensed milk and of course, countless sweet soups. It’s enough to give one a sugar high! One thing about the Vietnamese is they all love their sugar.
If you're looking for something healthier, fresh fruits are a great option. We found some big custard apples for VND50,000 for 3 fruits. It's a little pricey, but still much cheaper than what we'll have to pay for in Malaysia. The fruits were so sweet! Their apples are crisper than the ones back home too.
We had a great time scouring the streets of Hanoi for good food. Our daughter had such a great time there that she's asked us when we'll be back in Hanoi.


Borneo Falcon said...

Tasty food at reasonable price. Wish I can make it to Vietnam in the future

Sharon said...

Borneo Falcon, sure you can! Air Asia's promos are a good way to start.

Jovenus said...

I suppose I was making wrong turns in Hanoi. All I had was Beef noodles. I haven't seen so much food in Vietnam as you have captured in your photos! Great job!

Sharon said...

Jovenus, that's all the more reason for you to make another trip to Hanoi. For a start, most food shops are located right behind the stretch at the Tourist Information Centre at Old Quarter.