Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Sapa)

Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Sapa)

Featuring Eco Palm House, Bánh Mì 25, Chả Cá Lã Vọng, Phở 10 Lý Quốc Sư, Cafe Phố Cổ, French Bakery-Restaurant, Huong Mai Cafe, Bún Chả Đắc Kim, Bún Bò Nam Bộ Hàng Điếu, Cafe 34 (Cafe Nuôi)
Irina Tan
Irina Tan

We have cendol and the Vietnamese have chè thập cẩm - a concoction of all dessert ingredients that are delicious by not being overly sweet but also complex in flavour, including yam, mung beans, lotus seeds, coconut milk, red rubies.. YUM. Loved this.

4 Likes

Refreshing respite from the crazy Hanoi heat. We walked into this dark, slightly dusty cafe with blustery fans blowing about and settled down at a squat table on stools. This was the experience we really wanted, and spent a good amount of time appreciating the Vietnamese coffee culture.

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Ugh my mouth is watering just thinking about this slippery, slightly soupy dish of a flavour explosion!! The beef itself isn't great quality, super lean and chewy but that's what you get with Vietnamese street food and that's fine with me. But everything else in the bowl (fish sauce, peanuts, perilla, chilli, lime..) melds into a single dish i find myself shovelling into my mouth.

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I feel like this is the place all tourists are pointed to, and i don't know if this therefore has had an effect on the banh mi served here. It was all very - pristine? The baguettes were so well cut, pickled vegetables all nicely julienned, meats so evenly sliced.. When what we were looking for was the definitive Vietnamese street version (slightly smelly and liver-y pâtè messily smeared etc). But holy each banh mi was 20-25k dong which works out to 1sgd+?!?!

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It's a boiling pan of hot, fluorescent yellow tumeric oil with bite-sized pieces of catfish bubbling away in it. Add the mountain of dill, mint and spring onions to the heady mixture and wait for the flavours to meld. After that, scoop a heaped spoonful of everything, mix it in with some bún (vermicelli), roasted peanuts, fresh perilla, add chilli padi and fish sauce to taste and shovel everything into your mouth piping hot. Oh and don't forget the bia ha noi (local beer)! This particular place is an institution for Cha Ca in every sense - it's the oldest in the city, the most well-known and you will be pointed this way by anyone you ask for the dish. When you step in, it's clearly tourist central. However, my feeling is that it's now so commercialised it lets down when you expect a spectacular meal. It is what it is - tumeric fish - and while i waited for a flavour explosion, i realised the tumeric oil doesn't carry much flavour (more an aroma) and needs to be helped along by the fish sauce.

3 Likes

Haha.. Tastes like yogurt and coffee lor. And as we peered over the verandah to where they were preparing the drinks, we could see the ladies ungloriously scooping store-bought packets of yogurt into the glasses 😑

1 Like

The people here are known for this - and it shows. It's 2/3 a floofy layer of egg foam (the raw eggs are whipped with condensed milk for ages so it puffs up and stabilises into a sort of custard. Below is a shot of strong, chocolatey, rich, almost syrupy Vietnamese coffee. Yum. My only gripe is that it's quite sweet, and it's more dessert than coffee, but what a delicious, kiddy treat this is!

Ok only leh. And feels like there's MSG in the broth. Gotta say the noodles are really soft and supple though.

Underneath hides a bed of fresh fruit, including bananas, apples and watermelon. I know it's just muesli with yogurt but it was all very comforting.

1 Like

Ugh i love me some goreng pisang, in any form.

Irina Tan

Level 9 Burppler · 1466 Reviews

@sprklmotion on instagram.

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