This is the first post in an overseas trip to Hanoi, Vietnam.
My first trip to Hanoi was over 5 years ago. It was like a trip of firsts. First trip since I found my job, first time to Indochina, first time I got scammed (yes and right when I landed in Hanoi, got scammed by the taxi driver to pay an “additional” toll of USD17).
That said, Hanoi was also where I started my backpacking trips around Asia and where I met many friends whom I still keep in contact with. More on that later.
More importantly (for this blog at least), Hanoi was where I discovered bun cha and I’ve never forgotten it ever since. My first bun cha experience was where a group of 10 of us, went to random street place selling bun cha, and we all climbed to the third storey of this shophouse and with a mixture of hand gesture, had a bowl of really awesome bun cha and spring rolls. Never forgotten that experience.
6 years on, I was determined to have some authentic local bun cha again. During my research on where to eat, the name of this particular stall, Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim kept popping up. Instead of heading straight there, I asked the hotel concierge where they thought I could have good bun cha. Who knew that they would recommend this place too. A disclaimer though, one of the hotel staff told me quick frankly that it was good, but it wasn’t the best he’s had. So with that caveat, I went for my cab ride.
The taxi stopped right outside, like the moment I got out, one of the employees of the food place was already beckoning me to come sit down on one of the low stools. Everything had already been prepared before hand.
The moment was almost surreal. Sitting right by the street, wolfing down rice noodles dipped in the bun cha gravy topped with herbs and grilled pork. Halfway through, I got a Hanoi beer and asked the lady if she had wi-fi. Before I knew it, one of her minions was by my side ready to type the password. Wow.
So what did I think of the bun cha? It was definitely a good decent bowl, also coupled by the fact that I was pretty hungry. For someone who does not eat a lot at one time, it was really easy to just keep wolfing down the rice noodles.
The food stall definitely has some pretty good marketing and I did see many tourists sitting down. The lady employee tried to get me to try some of their crab spring rolls, but I declined. A good bowl of bun cha, but I’m pretty inclined to agree with the hotel reception. Good, but probably not the best around. The advantage to this is that it’s right in the heart of the old quarter… perfect for a post lunch walk.
Add: 67 Duong Thanh Street | Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam