The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Street food in Hanoi Part 3: xoi che, chao suon, banh bao

We are back home in Hong Kong now. That trip to Perth was so good but also so tiring; travelling with three kids (two under 3) is hard work. But it really was great to catch up with families and long-time friends. This is the final post from our trip to Hanoi last summer. I can't believe it already has been almost a year since we were in Hanoi, sampling all the delicious street food! Baby #3 was still in my belly, causing me awful morning sickness grief, but I somehow still managed to enjoy the foodie experience in Hanoi. Most of the following street stalls were marked on the map by our hotel guy who gave very good food recommendations. Nothing beats having a local's advice!

Xoi Che (sweet glutinous rice and treats)

The first stall we found was marked on our paper map by our hotel guy, but saw a similar stall across the road selling the same stuff, and we decided to check it out for comparison's sake. The first stall operated in front of a tailor's shop, which seem to be a common way for pop-up food stall businesses to run in Hanoi. The proprietress had some English ability, and she managed to understand what I was trying to buy.

Friendly partnership between the tailor shop and the xoi che stall:

The xoi che lady at work:

A simple dessert that was ready in a matter of seconds (though the ingredients would need to be pre-prepared):

Sticky rice with a simple syrup:

We also got a layered mixed beans dessert (quite possibly the Che Ba Mau, three-coloured dessert) which was refreshing and sweet and filling:

Across the road is a proper shop selling the same kinds of dessert, but with more varieties. I can't figure out if they're both owned by the same people because the signs of each shop state the same address, but we think the sweets taste better at the first stall. The dedicated seating space inside and in front of the second shop may be a bit more comfortable, though I'm sure you agree that there is not much that can be done to make sitting on low stools any more comfortable than it is (consider my poor hubby who had a big-for-her-age 21-month-old strapped on to him in a carrier - the bad pavements (and the lack of pavements altogether) plus the rain make Hanoi not very good for wheeled pedestrians).

Across the road at 93-95 Hang Bo:

There is a proper menu (in Vietnamese) on the wall, and google translate indicates that one side lists what is available in winter and the other is the summer menu:

The same bowl of sticky rice and layered mixed beans to compare. The other one is better:

93-95 Hang Bo Street
Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi, Vietnam

Chao Suon (spare rib rice porridge)

I love congee, so I was pleased to see this marked on the map. The consistency of this congee is thick and super-smooth. Flavour is great, but not a big fan of the spare rib bones. Comes with a serving of quay which is essentially the Chinese you tiao, the great partner of all things congee. You can also request pork floss topping, if you know how to ask for it (we didn't - there was a lot of pointing and gesturing).

Open-air dining at this roadside stall:

Super smooth and thick congee with condiments:

16 Hang Giay
Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel. +84 4 6684 9857

Banh Bao (steamed meat buns)

This is just like the Chinese bao. There were several stalls selling these steamed buns literally by the side of the road along the same street, and we chose the friendliest one (the other two didn't seem to care for our business). This is a meal-in-one deal, perfect for grabbing to have on the go.

Soft fluffy bao:

Glass noodle, vegetables, egg and meat inside:

Tiem Thanh Beo
8 Luong Van Can
Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi, Vietnam

No comments:

Post a Comment