Noodles Everywhere - Hanoi
This year I went to Hanoi for 2 and a half days over Easter which was fantastic since I'm a huge Vietnamese food fan! I was always a frequent Springvale and Richmond visitor when I was in Melbourne. I went there for my Vietnamese noodles and Banh Mi (FOB rolls was what we called them while growing up). Ever since living in Hong Kong I was so deprived of my Banh Mi and I was always searching Hong Kong to find a place that could serve Pho that matched the flavours of the Pho in Springvale and Richmond.
I was super excited while planning my trip, the things I had listed to eat were mainly noodles related (which was heaven for me!) - Pho, Bun Bo Hue, Bun Bo Nam Bo and Hanoi's Bun Cha Ta. Today I'm going to write about Banh Mi, Pho and Bun Bo Nam Bo, I'll save the other goodies we found along the way for next time (stay tuned!).
We arrived in the late afternoon and our first stop on the itinerary was Banh Mi 25. We checked with our helpful concierge and he told us that Banh Mi 25 has heaps of good reviews on Trip Advisor but it's all fake and suggested we visit Banh my P for Banh Mi.
Banh my P
12 Hang Buom Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
Banh Mi is a meat roll. Banh Mi is a French Baguette, usually with pork, veggies and sauces (I'm not Vietnamese but this is usually what I get when I have Banh Mi). Over the years I've noticed different variations where they have beef, charsiu and chicken but my favourite is still the classic pork roll.
Banh my P is a little store in the Old Quarter with a few tables so you can eat in.
Banh my P has a few options you can choose from, we decided to have the grilled chicken as it was recommended by the waiter and also the simmered pork. I couldn't wait to dig in!
The baguette was really crispy and easy to eat! The chicken was juicy and as I bit into the roll I could feel all the sauces running into my mouth. The roll had some lettuce, onions and carrots which was quite light and healthy! I prefer the chicken over the pork as it had more flavour. The Banh Mis are made fresh and the store is quite popular amongst the locals and tourists. We visited this place a couple of times during our stay in Hanoi.
Time for the highlight, Pho! We did a lot of research for finding delicious Pho in Hanoi. Our research told us to go to Pho 10, our concierge told us to go to Pho 10 and also our day trip tour guide told u to go to Pho 10, so we definitely went to Pho 10!
10 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
6:00AM - 14:00PM
17:30PM - 22:00 PM
We visited Pho 10 twice (because it was that good!), both times the store was crowded, busy and filled with locals and tourists. The locals would come in for a quick bowl of Pho while the majority of the tourists took longer to enjoy the bowl of Pho. A fun thing I noticed was that the main colour of Pho 10 is orange, the store sign, menu and the waiter's uniform were all orange.
We ordered a half done beef Pho and one well done beef Pho which was not expensive at all! Many of the customers also ordered Chinese dough sticks (油條) to dip into the broth of the Pho, we also ordered that too!
I tasted the broth first, it was really rich and hot, perfect for cold Hanoi weather! The broth didn't feel very oily and the beef was thinly sliced with very little fat. The flat rice noodles were thin and not chewy. Sometimes when you order soup noodles you get a lot of noodles or a lot of broth but Pho 10 served perfect proportions of broth and noodles. What I found interesting was that when the Pho was served it didn't come with any bean sprouts, lemon, mint leaves or hoi sin sauce which usually comes with the Phos I've ordered in the past. The Pho I had at Pho 10 would probably be the best Pho I've had since moving to Asia for work!
Lastly I want to introduce you to the Bun Bo Nam Bo restaurant we went to. Bun Bo Nam Bo is vermicelli with veggies, meat and sauce.
Bun Bo Nam Bo
67 Hang Dieu, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
There's two restaurants right next to each other that serves Bun Bo Nam Bo so make sure you go to the right one! Right at the store front you'll see a few ladies making and preparing the ingredients for the Bun Bo Nam Bo Dish and you can also enjoy the smell of the meat being cooked fresh.
When you enter the store, you'll see two long tables with quite a lot of people, some in business attires as well as locals and tourists. The restaurant serves a few more things other than their signature Bun Bo Nam Bo, when we ordered the waiter assumed we wanted Bun Bo Nam Bo and just asked how many we wanted. Most people had beer with their Bun Bo Nam Bo but we didn't order beer, we had enough beer already at the beer corner.
The Bun Bo Nam Bo came freshly made. The vermicelli, lettuce, onions and bean sprouts were cold whilst the beef was hot as it was freshly cooked and on top they added some dried fried shallots. You have this dish with a sauce that's a bit spicy, sour and salty and you also have an option to add the chilli sauce that's on the table. I loved this dish because it's very refreshing and healthy! Most of the ingredients that were added to the dish were quite bland but the flavour of the beef, shallots and sauce really made the dish taste fantastic. If I lived in Hanoi I'd definitely be a frequent visitor to this restaurant, this dish is like an Asian salad for me, something healthy that I can have often without getting sick of it.
If you like noodles I think Hanoi would be a perfect place for you to visit, there are so many dishes that serves noodles and I'm sure you'll definitely enjoy them as much as I did. That's all for now! I'll have some other Hanoi goodies to post up later on.