Food in Vietnam Hanoi: Pho & Spring Rolls

Travel Period: 21 Sep – 28 Sep 2014

{PREVIOUS: Hanoi’s Old Quarter 36 streets }

Vietnamese Local Food

Hanoi Spring Rolls

Our First Vietnamese dish after arrival in Hanoi on Day 1, was Nem cuon, or Hanoi Spring Rolls (Nem Ha Noi). They usually consist of pork, prawn, vegetables and rice vermicelli wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper, and are either served fried or fresh.

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Fresh Spring Rolls with Rice Paper | Fried Hanoi Spring Rolls

Deep Fried Spring Rolls are more commonly sold and we could only find Fresh Spring Rolls  in Yin & Yang Restaurant along Ma May Street and on our Ha long Bay cruise. The difference between the two is that the Fresh Spring Rolls contain prawn and pork while the fried spring rolls do not have prawns and contained mainly pork, mushrooms and other ingredients.

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Ying & Yang was rated highly on TripAdvisor. We ordered No. 7 and 8 on the menu.

Although both are tasty, I prefer the Fresh spring rolls (No. 7 on the menu) as I was able to taste the ingredients better (the fried ones would mask out some of the taste). They were also more unique to us as fried spring rolls (non-Vietnamese ones) are common in Singapore.

The spring rolls are always complemented with fish sauce, which makes the dish tastier as their tastes complemented very well with each other.

Besides this, we also ordered Hanoi Coffee, Tea (just Lipton tea) and A Plate of Fried Rice. The fried rice was tasty but we felt the amount of rice was little for the price we paid (~SGD$4.60).

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  • Venue: Yin & Yang Restaurant
    Add: 48 Ma May, Hanoi
    Costs: Tea – 28k, Goi Cuon Tom Thit (Fresh Spring Rolls) – 38k, Nem Ha Noi (Hanoi Spring Rolls) – 68K , VN Milk Coffee – 38K, Com Rang Sen Cha (Chicken Fried Rice) – 75k — Total: 247,000 VND or 12.05 USD

OTHER PLACE FOR SPRING ROLLS

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The Spring Rolls here were as nice as what we ate in the restaurant and cheaper too. Crunchy skin, unique pork and mushroom tastes.

  • Venue: Thanh Hợp – Phở Gà & Bún Thang
    Add: 12 Đinh Liệt, Quận Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
    Costs: Spring Rolls – 30K
    *We ate Pho Ga here too but not as nice

Pho Ga or Pho Bo

Phở or pho (commonly pronounced similarly to ‘fur‘) is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles, a few herbs, and meat. This is the most popular street food in Hanoi and we were simply spoilt for choice on which eatery to patronise to taste this famous Vietnamese dish. It is usually served with either chicken (Pho Ga) or beef (Pho Bo).

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Pho Ga with fried fritters

Our first taste of Pho as dinner on our first night in Hanoi, was at the eatery along Cau Go, just behind Thang Long Puppet Theatre. And wow, I was impressed and loved the unique taste of the broth that accompanied the rice noodles! It even had youtiao (fried fritters) as a side-dish to dip into the soup (note: this was the only shop that provided youtiao to supplement our Pho during our trip). I wonder what they did to the chicken meat as it was darker in colour compared to Pho Ga we ate elsewhere.

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My First Taste of Vietnamese Pho!
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Dar likes the Pho Ga too!
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Just a simple shop for Pho and other dishes.
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Menu is often posted on the walls in the small shops for all to see and order.

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  • Venue: Tiem Com
    Add: 40 Cau Go, Hanoi ( Near to the Water Puppet Theatre so we ate here before going for the performance)
    Costs: Pho Ga (Chicken Rice Noodle Soup) – 45k X 3 Bowls, Youtiao (Fried Fritters) – 15K, Softdrink 7-Up – 20K  — Total: 170,000 VND (~ 10.37 SGD)

Besides this shop, we also tasted Pho from our hotel’s breakfast menu, a food stall along the alley of our hotel and on our Hanoi Bay cruise, but none was as tasty as the one there (my opinion). Cat preferred our hotel’s version as she found that less oily. We didn’t manage to return to the same stall however, as we wanted to have more variety to our meals.

Comparing the two variants, I preferred the chicken version (Pho Ga) as the meat is usually easier to consume.

OTHER PLACES FOR PHO

1. Venue: Calypso Suites Hotel – Breakfast, Freshly Cooked by Ordering (Breakfast is included in accommodation fees)

Tasty Pho Ga (Cat: I prefer this Pho Ga!)
Pho Bo (Beef Rice Noodle Soup) , Hanoi Spring Rolls and Strawberry Tea

2. Venue: Hoa Sua Training Restaurant in Vietnam Museum of Ethonology 

Costs:Pho Ga – 35K (traditional Hanoi Soup with Chicken) | Bun Cha nem Bac (grilled pork and fried spring rolls with vermicelli) – 75K

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Taste was alright, not as fantastic as the others.

3. Venue: Pho Suong
Add: 24B, Ngo Trung Yen, Hà Nội
Costs: Pho Bo – 50K

This shop was in the same lane as the Hotel we stayed in and recommended by the hotel manager. One night, I packaged the beef rice noodle soup back to the hotel for Cat to eat and it was thick and delicious.

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