Happy Hanoi resulting in a food baby and food coma.
We have just come back from a great 4-day stay in the capital of Vietnam – Hanoi. Despite sharing this city with tropical storm Dianmu, we loved our time in this beautiful place rich with culture and centuries old architecture.
We spent the majority of our time in the Old Quarter in 50 cent plastic rain coats that soon became sweat suits. The Old quarter is a central bustling hub where the streets are roughly arranged y an exclusive domain of one trade such as blacksmiths, silver shops, paper shops, jade stores and headstone makers. Originally there were just 36 streets in the Old Quarter but today there are more than 50 streets. The Old Quarter was the start and end of our Hanoi Street Food Tour with our guide Miss Moon who was meticulous and crossed checked for food allergies and intolerances reminding our group of 6 that we had to stick together just like sticky rice! Miss Moon was passionate about how the food was handled and often referred to the restaurants certificates of hygiene.
The restaurant scene and food can be overwhelming in Hanoi and we would never have ventured into some of the places she took us. Eating is an integral part of the livelihoods of many locals and myself. We spent 3 hours walking the back streets and it was so interesting not only learning about the food but also her culture and way of life.
Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter we watched in awe as the chefs demonstrated the making of various dishes and how food should be complemented with various condiments that gives you a whole new appreciation. Our taste buds were tempted with famed Hanoi dishes such Bun Cha (BBQ pork) Papaya Salad (reduces a Buddha belly apparently), Rice pancake, spring rolls fresh and fried, pillow cakes, donut cakes, local fruit with the best coconut cream sauce, local beer, banh bread (which is so light as it’s a mix of wheat flour and rice flour) and egg coffee – yes, you heard it no its not scrambled egg consistency but a whipped creamy delight.
What a great day ! We were so full and I can recommend to go without breakfast as you need all the room in your belly for a food baby and food coma – Miss Moons descriptors not mine, but she is so right !
This was a great introduction to Hanoi and to get the feel this city that is constantly alive.
Hanoi Street Food Tour
74 & 76 Hang Bac Street at Kim Tours’s Building – Old Quarter – Hanoi
Vietnam phone line : 0966 960 188