First day in Hanoi and thanks to our guide, Ly, we were introduced to the local food. Ly said that the food we were about to taste are what people have at anytime of day from breakfast to dinner.
First up was from Bun Cha Nem Ran, where we had none other than bun cha. It was made of vermicelli mixed with herbs like basil, mint, cilantro. And then it’s topped with a choice betwren fried shrimp spring roll or pork barbecue. We placed all these in a bowl of soup made of fish sauce, vinegar, garlic and sugar. It was probably the best bun that I’ve ever had. It’s sooo good! Ly said that bun cha is underated. I agree.
And of course to add to the authenticity, we ate our bun cha next to the street on the sidewalk, with the motorbikes zooming past us.
Afterwards we walked a few hundred meters to Banh Mi 25 where we had banh mi which was toasted bun with egg and avocado. We should have left some space in our tummies for the banh mi but since we indulged in our bun cha earlier we ended up sharing.
For our last meal, we had a savory shrimp rice cake called bánh cuốn tôm. This was my second best favorite and I’m determined to have it again in a couple of days’ time when we get back to Hanoi. It was garnished with scallions and cilantro and could be flavored with lime. It came with a meat sausage that D savored. The rice cake was dipped in sauce that resembled the taste of the bun cha’s soup.
Overall the food in Hanoi was spectacular. It was simple yet so flavorful, with lots of greens which make it a healthier option.
I highly recommend doing a walking food tour when you are in Hanoi. We definitely learned a lot about the local cuisine and enjoyed them thoroughly. This is always going to be my top of mind memory of Hanoi.