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I spent about two weeks in hanoi real getting to learn about the food Hanoi has to offer. From five floors up at a high end restaurant to the streets of the cheapest food I could find. When you first arrive in the city its very busy and very crazy with cars honking and people speeding their motorbikes through red lights. As you walk you’ll find small alley ways in which some parts reminded me of New York City. All of this just added to the ambiance of dining experience I had in the big city.
In the above video I list a few good dessert, mock meats and affordable options.
At first I honestly didn’t even know The Loving Hut was so upscale until I pulled up with my bicycle. When you walk up to the restaurant there is a guard who takes your bike and tells you not to lock it. This was interesting to me because I was in places like Com Chat Mang Tam when the guard told me to use a lock and said it wasn’t safe. Maybe it was the dark alley I walked down to get to that restaurant but regardless they had an amazing box style menu. This basically means you pick an options that gives you multiple selection s of food in one dish. The corn beef style meat came in a close third at of all the places I’m been.
Back to loving hut. So you walk up and there are these beautiful ladies guiding you all the way to the top floor. If you say more then xin chao (hello) to them they say yes. However the room was huge and there were chandeliers hanging with a dozen waiters looking to help me find a seat, take my order, and to ask if everything is okay. I haven’t felt this since being back home. Most places even in the city are more laid back especially coming from Laos, the laid back country of South East Asia.
Needless to say the favors of all the food were great. The appetizers were fried spring rolls and you have to wrap them with some tender greens. At first I ate them with out the lettuce but the waiter came over to recommended I try it with the full dish. He knew what he was talking about because it added a fresher pop to the starter. After I had the roasted duck which was a tad dry the softness of the steamed buns saved the dish. The pork and meatloaf were on another level of tender, heavy and comforting foods. It paired well with the bread which I tossed a few slabs of meat and peppers on top. Once the meal was over they were very fast to clean up and remove the plates as they brought over a glass of tea. I assume it was for free because I did not ask for this. Over course I said thank you as I sipped it once or twice. I was really interested in the ice creams that they had on the back of the menu. After I asked about the options he said he didn’t have them. I wasn’t surprised because during the dry seasons on South East Asia sometimes some ingredients are harder to come by. So I replied with a slight sadness to my face as he said wait, I think we have a slice of cheese cake. Man you should have seen my face light up like pops just plugged in the Christmas tree lights. Of course I’ll have the cheese cake I said after crushing it all up in just a few bites. It was sweet but not heavy leaving you mouth begging for water. The mint was light and the crush was thin but I personally would mind a few more chocolate chips or a gnash drizzle on top with had completed the perfection. Over all I was very satisfied with this meal and I will defiantly make my way back here again. Just remember to bring a few extra bucks if you decide on going.
The next restaurant was called Nhà hàng Cơm chay Trúc Lâm Trai and when I walked I saw the writing in gold and two huge glass doors. I sat in a table with four chairs that could defiantly fit another half of my in them. After smiling the waitress came over to hand me a menu. Once I decided what I wanted I made eye contact with the waitress and i placed my order. Unless you know Vietnamese use the google translate app or show pictures if you have questions. The roasted pork loaf texture was fantastic but was a bit dry so good thing the sauce from the sausage and peppers saved the day. I did wish they had some of the desserts because they have a huge selection but didn’t have any available. If you ever make it to this restaurant and try the treats let me know how they taste.
I also tried a delicious soup at Noodle & Roll which was near my apartment in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. The soup was hardy light with plenty of vegetables. The owner does speak a good deal of english so you can easy specify no fish sauce if needed. The other place near my apartment was Jalus (closed on Monday’s). This place is a more western type establishment. They had pancakes, juices, burgers, cakes and pizza. I had a few things on the menu but honesty the only things mentioning is the platter and the desserts. Specifically the chocolate cake and the avocado mouse pudding. Put the pudding on top of the cake and order a huge glass of soy milk. I promise you will not be disappointed. The platter was a layout of balsamic salad, tofu turmeric spring rolls, sautéed veggies, baked sweet potatoes, gluten free bread and potato balls. The sauces were incredibly and I should have defiantly asked for double. I cant remember exactly what they were besides a similar comparison is a sweet tang, mayonnaise, avocado and tahini style sauces.
The spot I actually ate at consistently through out the week was Banh Chay mainly because of its more culture taste and feel with a bonus of low cost. When I pulled up to this place for the first time I almost missed it riding through. All it is you see is a small food card with a clear glass top with a lady sitting next to it. Around her are about a dozen chair and people scattered our squatting the tiny seats. Next to her is a small cart that serves water and alcohol as the group next to me was smoking. I walk up and say Hello in Vietnamese (pronounced Sin Chow). The lady smiles and says it back “Xin Chao”. I look and point at the empanada style food and the fried spring roll. She confirms my order and grabs me a seat to sit down. As she grabs the food and hands it to a lady who brings it down the ally to heat it up. In the mean time I bought a small water and waited. It was only maybe 8 minutes later it came back out and she quickly through some cilantro or basil herb on top. She also poured a small bowl of cucumber sauce to dipping with a pair of chop sticks. It was literally exactly what you thought it would taste like with so much flavor that slammed my mouth. Seriously, I was really into the whole eating veg food vibe on the streets of Hanoi.
I have ate at even more restaurants beyond this post and I wanted to try so many more but I will save that for another time. Check out the Happy Cow Hanoi App or website for other insight of local Veg Spots in any area of any city in the world. Check out more on the best street food I found in Hanoi.
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