So…. me and my dorm mate, Michael from Germany decided to roam around Hanoi and hunting for a good Vietnamese food. We are so tired of pho (noodle soup), bun cha (dry noodle with sauce, herbs, spring rolls & grilled meat patties), bun nem chua be (like bun cha but without the grilled meat patties), my xao bo (fried egg noodles with beef and greens), banh my (local-styled sandwich), cong ga (tapioca porridge with chicken) and such.
So we rented a bike just for that purpose – food hunting! And we had map prepared, too!
The first place we went to was No. 14 Hang Ga, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi (still around Old Quarter area) “Banh Cuon Gia Truyen” a small restaurant that serves Banh Cuon –or a rolled cake that made from thin layer of steamed rice batter rolled withseasoned ground chicken or pork (you choose!) and mushrooms and topped with lots of fried shallots and chicken floss. It came together with special essence sauce that gives the sweet taste. Well not bad … and the price is not that expensive (but the portion was not big enough for a foodies like us). Chicken banh cuon for 35,000VND and pork banh cuon for 40,000VND.
(image from buzzfeed.com)
After that, we went to No. 31 Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi (yes, still in Old Quarters area) “Cha Ca Thang Long” a fully air-conditioned small restaurant that servesCha Ca – a crayfish dish stir fried together with dill (yes, dill!) and spring onions – right in front of our faces. The other key components of this cha ca dishes is bun (rice noodles), fresh herbs consist of coriander and Thai basil, shredded scallions, fried ground peanuts, and the special sauce with chili for a bit of spicy taste. The price of Cha Ca is 120,000VND per serving which the portion served was pretty enough for both of us (probably because we had banh cuon earlier on). And two cokes for 20,000VND each. Well… burppp! Hahaha! It was a good meal. Very decent.
(image from vkeong.com)
Then both of us took our rented motorbike to the West Lake area. The weather was really chill and windy! It took us quite sometimes to scroll around the lake. Yeap, it is a very big lake. Both of us decided to take a stop at “Ngõ 128 đường Thụy Khê, rẽ phải 30m, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội” (No. 128 (facing) Thuy Khe, turn right and 30meters down, Tay Ho District, Hanoi and…nope, this is no longer in Old Quarters area) “IGC Coffee” – a coffee shop set across the street from the lake side. Me and Michael sat facing right the lake, enjoyed the cool breeze of winter in Hanoi. We spent about one and half hour here, escaped from the busy, dirty polluted air, noisy Old Quarters area.
We had double scoop chocolate ice cream with Kahlua and sweetened whipped cream (35,000VND each), iced black coffee for him (20,000VND) and iced coffee with condensed milk for me (25,000VND).
(image from steamykitchen.com)
Since it was about to close to rush hour, me and Michael decided to heading back to the Old Quarters area and go for the last shot of our food hunting day. We made a stop at“18 Phan Boi Chau, Cua Nam, Hoan Kiem Distirct, Hanoi” to the famous a’la food court restaurant called “Quan An Ngon” for early dinner (well, it was not even 5pm! LOL!). So I ordered Banh Xeo – a famous Hue food – a shrimp pancake with bean sprouts and scallions, rolled together (by my own) with fresh herbs and sweet chili sauce in a rice paper. For Michael, he had a fresh grilled squids and steamed rice. When we were about to pay and leave the place, Michael got distracted by a colorful desserts served to a customers on the next table. Well, what else, so we decided to try it. I don’t really know what does it call but it was a various type of jelly, tapioca mixed in water chestnut and coconut milk. And… we were really really really filled and full.
Price for the Banh Xeo is 58,000 VND, fresh grilled squid 120,000VND, steamed rice 20,000VND, dessert 24,000VND each. And well, we had diet coke (hahaha! diet!) for 22,000VND each.
(image from yeutre.vn)
Well… that was an early dinner. Somewhere around 10pm, we got bit hungry again and decided to have a simple dinner 6 doors down to the right from our hostel because we couldn’t even bother to go to anywhere else as we were so tired and Michael was pretty drunk from the drinking game during the beer-o’clock in our hostel. LOL!
I had spicy chicken fried rice for 40,000VND and Michael had Bun Nem Chua Be for himself at the price of 35,000VND and both of us had old-style bottled coca-cola for 10,000VND each.
(image from yelp.com)
And that was the end of food hunting for us 🙂 So basically both of us spent 740,000VND in total (est. USD35.00) for all of above – meals, drinks & desserts (5 places, lots of food). Guess it was pretty good for 2 people, right? More on food hunting soon!!!
Note: Apologize for using someone else’s pictures that I googled from. I lost many of food images from my hard disk.