Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hanoi Food Challenge - Days 3&4

 photo HanoiFoodChallengeButton.pngIt's day 5 of my Hanoi Food Challenge  and I'm loving it! I've already found at least 4 places I'd easily (and will!) go back to, and I end up so happy when I find a gem that I didn't know about!

On Tuesday at lunchtime Jacqui asked if I wanted to go for lunch and it turned out she was up for finding somewhere new! We wandered down the street until we saw this unassuming little sign next to this alley.

We wandered down and found ourselves in a large, quiet courtyard, with another little alley leading off it and another small sign, leading to a little room with a woman selling bowls of a delicious broth loaded with noodles, tofu, greens, and a couple of different types of sausage.

                  This is how good it was:

On Tuesday nights I go with some friends to a lacquer painting class up on  Xuân Diệu so I convinced them to come with me for dinner beforehand. On Jacqui's suggestion we went to Linh & Ben, a French place that has a lot of delicious sandwiches and paninis, as well as a lot of deli meats and cheeses and homemade food products. I was in heaven!

The cute and charming interior

We sat outside on the patio, which is set well back from the street and thus quite lovely!

I ordered a Tartiflette Reblochon and bacon panini (potato, cheese, and bacon) and it was delicious!

Sam had a salmon, aubergine, and goat's cheese panini, and it was possibly even better than mine. I am in love with this place and I can't wait to go back! I also can't believe that Jacqui's been keeping it a secret from me all this time!

On Wednesday I was doing speaking exams over lunchtime, so I didn't have time for much, so I ordered a sandwich from The Deli so it would be waiting for me when I had a break. Of course the rule is that I had to try something new, so I went for the Middle Eastern Beef sandwich.

Although it wasn't any kind of beef I'd normally recognize, and it was in the form of sort of sausage patties that were quite mushy, the flavour of this was ok. It had hummus spread on the inside which added a nice touch, but honestly I don't think I'd order it again.

On Wednesday night I was at home again and this time that bowl of phở sounded good, so I went to the new phở place around the corner from me that I've been meaning to try.

My bowl of phở was pretty yummy, and came with all the usual condiments: chilies, chili sauce, garlicky vinegar sauce, and limes.

After that I was not quite full, and two doors down there's a chè place that I've also been meaning to try, so I went there for some dessert.

Chè is a Vietnamese dessert and there seems to be zillions of different kinds! Some are made with fruit, red or black or green bean, coconut milk, yogurt, and all kinds of little jellies or tapioca strings.

I was given this menu, and spent a good five minutes trying to decipher it.

I finally settled on the Chè đậu đỏ trân châu xoài  which I knew would come with red beans and mango and something else I didn't know!, which turned out to be a few different kinds of the jelly bits.

It came to me at room temperature, along with a bowl of ice which I just assumed I was supposed to put in!

Chè is delicious, if you can get used to the textures. After looking at that menu, I think I'll be going back to sample a few of the other kinds!

The chè maker let me take his picture!

There's still more to come, including bánh mỳ, bún chả, a Spanish restaurant, and margaritas!

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