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Monday
Mar132017

A Taste of Hanoi

If I were to write a food diary, I just might be able to shed a few pounds. It was quite horrifying when I started drafting this post to realise quite how much I put in my stomach on an average day.

On my first day in Hanoi I ate:

  • Beef pho for breakfast at 7am

  • Roast pork bánh mì (disappointing) for a late lunch after a nap

  • Another bánh mì in the early evening to make up for the average one earlier. (Vietnamese baguettes are all air, I'm telling you.)

  • Spring rolls - eight, all of them. Crispy porky goodness.
  • Crisps on a stick, just cause it looked fun. (They were, but they would have been better dusted in salt rather than icing sugar.)

  • And a meal I can barely remember at 4am near Hoan Tiem Lake that I have been told involved 'the beef', 'the pork', more spring rolls and special fried rice, which I ate off the table with my mouth. Special indeed.

On the upside, I completely made up for this ridiculous day of eating by not being capable of it for most of the next day. I finally did venture out for dinner to try a Hanoi specialty, bún cha: BBQ pork - minced patties and fillets - in a soup served with vermicelli noodles and crap spring rolls and a huge plate of herbs and lettuce. 

The spring rolls were fabulous - piping hot, crispy and packed frull of fresh and juicy crab meat, noodles and wood-ear mushrooms. The pork was less impressive, mainly cause it was quite cold, as was the vermicelli. Good chargrilled flavours though and the patties were nice and tender. The soup was interesting - it tasted a bit like a mild, warm version of nuoc mam dressing rather than a typical soup; sweet, sour and salty, with just a hint of spice.

I was feeling a little better on Sunday though still not on top form, so I started with some light and fresh bánh cuon (steamed rice rolls). They were quite plain really; there wasn't much of the pork filling and everything was overpowered by the deep-fried baby shrimp and shallots on top.

A long day of wandering to catch up on sights I missed on Saturday, then finally some chicken fried rice (something plain for an unsettled stomach).

So in short, I have a lot of work to do. I will play catch up at my next stops. More then. Tạm biệt ngay bây giờ (Goodbye for now).

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Reader Comments (3)

Yes it never ceases to amze me what you can pack away ! xx

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMa

Are you inspired to recreate some of these dishes when you are back in London ? do you need to be there ? or shall we seek to find the most authentic Vietnamese restaurants in UK when i'm back in a month or so ? XX

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMa

Hi Ma, yes well it never ceases to amaze me how little you seem to be happy with eating on a daily basis... I might cook some of them, but they do take a lot of work. Que Me on Stroud Green Rd might be easier ;-)

May 9, 2017 | Registered CommenterVix

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