Thursday, January 31, 2008

Day 1 : Old Quarter

Yes, I am a sucker for food! I went ahead with my trip to Hanoi even my stomach told me not too. But I was alright. I depended a lot of my medication. Anyway, enough of my travelers diarrhea. I'm all good in Hanoi and all good now. Let me get to the goodies.

Starch! (5,000 Dong) It looked like porridge from far but when the bowl reached my lap, starch boiled with pork bones. Tasted like ...well.. starch... with the pork flavoring which was not too bad.

That was my first meal in Hanoi. My other friends ate this tomato spicy soup noodles which tasted really good. One of the better noodles I have tasted during this trip.

After the brunch, and after a long long walk around the Old Quater, my stomach started to call after me. Coincidently (or maybe not that coincidently ...;p) this pop into my view.

French loafs were at the top of the stall shelf and also in this oven.

Margarine, two types of ham, minsed meat, vegetables and chicken floss. Overall, the Vietnam sandwich (15,000 Dong) tasted just a little better than awful. The bread was airy, dry and hard. The mined meat stuffing was bland and one of the ham tasted too salty.

But what to do. No other food around. So as we walk heading back to our guesthouse, we pass by this indoor food court thing which my friends thought was a school's canteen. There were many teenagers enjoying ice cream there.

We bought one each. Mine was horrible! Tasted like god knows what... eek!

The other (milk I think? ice cream (3,000 Dong) and chocolate (4,000 Dong) tasted better, but still yucky for ice cream. Avoid the ice creams!

As we walk on, I spotted a stall with quite a lot of people eating and taking away food. We ordered one of each. We had no idea what we ordered, just point and nod the head. Nem Chua Be (6,000 Dong) is the spring roll in the middle. Tasted quite normal. The puff thing on the top was filled with 'tong fun' like noodles. The circular fried item on the right was bread stuff with minced meat. Quite nice. The other circular fried item on the left is sweet and sticky. The bottom item was stuffed a mixture of mushrooms and minced pork. Good stuff.

Banh goi (4,000 Dong)
Banh nan thit (3,000 Dong)
Banh nan ghot (2,000 Dong)
I'm guessing the circular fried items are one of these... only if I read Vietnamese.

One thing I really like about food in Hanoi. Everything comes with dipping sauce or vegetables. The plate of vegetables consisted vegetables of different texture, different fragrance and different taste. Cabbage, fern, coriander, mint, basil, and many many more. Every shop or stall I go to serves these. Absolutely wonderful!

Oh and not forgetting the dipping sauce. This tasted like watered down vinegar and those floating in it were young papaya.

All eat no water. Nothing better that a glass of cold beer. The kegs are supplied to shops every morning and the booze is discarded at the end of the day. According to my friend, 'Bia Hoi' brewed everyday and must be drunk within the day.

We enjoyed 'Bia Hoi' (2,500 Dong) at the cross junction of Ta Hien Street. Took the chair, and stared at the super noisy and busy cross junction. The 'Bia Hoi' taste was missing something. Can't figure it out but it was still ok.

When it was time for dinner, we pop out to the alley in front of our guest house. Found three stalls that were serving dinner. We sat down at the stall which had most people.

I had the pork soup noodle. Heh... nothing special. The pieces of processed pork tasted similar (but a little nicer) to the pork ball we have in Malaysia.

My friend ordered the chicken rice which came with hot steamy sticky rice. I think it taste just so so too. Chicken looked smooth though
(Rice and two bowls of noodle for 35,000 Dong)

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12 pieces of worms:


well, i believe the noodle we tasted on the first day was the best in our five days there..the hanoi version of delifrance is quite dry..and the best part of all is the beer time...sitting on a busy junction overlooking the busy street...

i was wondering, y r we not afraid of the car or bike come crashing to us at that time?

only one answer...our legs are too tired and the weather is so damn cold... :P

peace to first day at hanoi... :)


Bowl of starch?? Made of flour and water? SOunds weird. Surely its just thick soup? Where's their national dish pho bo? Or are you saving it for a later blog? :)


ah hu: Aiyah, you drink water only.. both days also didnt try the beer. As for the traffic, I think its just the getting use to. We are ok on the second day onwards. No bad... compared to the ang mos haha

hazza: Really its just startch boiled with bones. It didn't taste that flat... but could have tasted better. Pho comes later ;p

Nic (KHKL)

very DIY stuff, huh? apart from the starch thingy and the spring roll, of course. i thought baguettes are famous there? guess i'll hv to wait for your next few posts to find out, eh? hehe...


hey! just came back from Hanoi too this week :) the starch with yau char kwais brings back vivid memories, hehe :)


hehe.. not bad ah. so fast recover ;p the currency is really huge!


Look like you have some worse food in Hanoi hor?:P

ilovepearly load the congee with alot of crullers ...


teckiee, maybe you can go to Chinese medication, will help to recover fast. Happy Chinese New Year to you.


mm, and i thought hanoi have great food :P

ai wei

errr... i thought it is porridge too but turn out to be the starchy thing-y... ah... really unsure if i can suit myself to the hanoi's food


nic: Day 2 is out ;p

bwooie : hahahah im reading your blog entry... all the hot sunny part of asia and then winter in hanoi.

daphne: hahaha I was a millionaire over there... hahahah

kok: hehe no la.. wait for my other post ;p

ilovepearly: oh wait.. the yau char queh was ok

chenboon: my stomach ok liua. did bring along the Chinese Poh Chai Yuin.

rokh, ai wei: first day food wasnt that nice.. but the other days quite ok.

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