Well so far, Hanoi Food Challenge Number Two is going spectacularly well!
On Sunday Christine and I went to another place recommended by a coworker, Colonel Quy's. It's down on Lang Yen Phu, which is a road that goes around a small peninsula that sticks out into West Lake. Because of this location, there's very little traffic so it's a quiet and peaceful place to sit and have breakfast.
You could sit here for ages in the greenery next to the lake, looking out at the fishermen and enjoying the shade and quiet.
Colonel Quy's is run by a woman whom, I was told, was formerly a Colonel in the military. Looking at her, you would never think so, but apparently she got that rank as a performer for the troops! Now, she makes egg and bacon sandwiches and full English fry-ups, as well as juices and smoothies.
Nothing fancy, but all very tasty and the setting makes it all that much better!
For dinner I decided that we'd had a few big, heavy, relatively expensive meals so we went to the Old Quarter for some street food. There's a fantastic street food map of Hanoi, made by Nonna Chong, which the following two places feature on. Check it out and start exploring the fabulous food of Hanoi!
At 21 Hàng Điếu there's a busy street food stand selling Hủ tiếu, which is thin noodles with slices of pork, bean sprouts, peanuts and fried shallots. They also sell a few other kinds of noodles, but this is what was recommended to me so that's what we had!
The owner assumed we were tourists who had no idea what to do, so he came over and showed us that we should add chili sauce and the garlicky vinegar, and mixed Christine's up for her! Doesn't she look impressed?
The owner came back a bit later and gave us a couple of maps of the Old Quarter, which just made me laugh considering we've both been here for three years! And yet, I had taken a map with me because I always get lost in the Old Quarter!
For only 40,000 dong a bowl, this was entirely worth it. Yum!
When we were finished, we decided that although it was VERY tasty and we could both happily eat another bowl, maybe we should wander for a bit and find something else.
We encountered a few more street food stalls. Lots were pretty empty so we passed them by, but there was one we wanted to stop at because there were crowds of people and more still arriving! However, there was absolutely nowhere to sit, so we took note of it and moved on. Finally, another corner covered in tables and people caught our eye, and we stopped for what turned out to be mỳ gà tần, a dark broth served up with instant noodles and chicken on the bone.
I actually wasn't a big fan of this. The broth had a strange taste to it, the green veg also tasted weird, and the instant noodles didn't do much for me. However, I would go back and pay another 40,000 dong for a bowl just to have the chicken! It was amazingly soft and tender and dipped in a little bowl of salt and lime it was absolutely divine!
So that's day two! More soon!