Today Vietnam Eco Travel had a lot of fun through my Hanoi Street Food Tour with 2 girls from Philippine. We not only tried Vietnamese Cuisine but also talked about our culture and our life. We are all young so it’s easy to connect each other.
It rained a lot today but luckily when our tour starts, it stopped raining. I was so lucky because the weather was really nice then. Our tour would start at 5:30 pm so I went to their hotel before 5:30 pm to pick them up. I always want to be on time. When I went there, it’s 5:15 pm so i waited for them in the lobby until 5:30 pm. When they appeared with a wide smile, I was impressed because they’re very friendly and young. They’re almost the same age as me, they’re Mai and Johan and just reached Hanoi the day before so they haven’t visited any tourist attractions in Hanoi Old Quarter, they tried “Pho” (Noodles soup) and “Bun cha” (grilled pork with rice noodles) so I would skip them in our tour today. After a quick introduction, we started our street food tour. All of us are really excited because we are food lovers.
First, I guided them to Hoan Kiem lake (Returned Sword lake) to see the lake, Turtle Tower, The Huc Bridge and Ngoc Son Temple. I told them about the legend of the lake, explained the reason why Vietnamese people call this lake is Returned Sword lake or Sword lake. The history of Ngoc Son temple, Turtle tower as well as our religion. Then we moved to Saint Joseph Cathedral of Hanoi. This cathedral was designed by a French architect and built by Vietnamese people in 1882. Here is a place or not only Christian people but also many people come here to see its beautiful architecture and also attracts couples to take photos for their wedding albums in here. 

Hanoi Street Food Tour in Hanoi

After that, we tried our first Vietnamese dish in a small restaurant near the cathedral. This restaurant is very famous for pillow cake, salty donut, crab fried spring rolls. I ordered for them 1 pillow cake, one salty donut, one crab spring rolls and one fresh spring rolls. All of these dishes will eat with a special sauce and herb. The sauce includes fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, water, papaya, etc. And the main ingredients of these dishes are pork, soya noodles, minced ear mushroom, carrot, egg. Pillow cake, Salty donut are covered by rice flour. Spring roll covers by rice pancake. All of them will be fried inside deep oil so they’re crispy and tasty. Especially eat them with the sauce and herb to reduce oily taste is a perfect combination. Mai and Johan both love them, they looked happy after trying those dishes and I was too. We talked a lot about Hanoi Street Food and Hanoi Food Tasting Tour while eating.

Then we moved to the next food destination. On the way to go there, we visited white Horse Temple which is the oldest temple in Hanoi. I told them about the meaning of this temple as well as some special things inside this temple. Next we bought three cup of Vietnamese fresh beer which is very cheap and a favorite drink of locals in the summer and take away. Say “Yo” (means cheers in English) and drink a little before reaching our destination. They love our beer immediately. It’s time to try our next food. It’s “Banh mi” (Vietnamese sandwich) in a very good small restaurant. We tried “Banh mi with pate” and “Banh mi with chicken”. I can’t describe the happiness of mai and Johan at that time. They told that they was so delicious and was the best Vietnamese food they had ever tried. They inspired me a lot. We both tried “Banh mi” and drink fresh beer (Don’t worry about we could get drunk because our fresh beer is not strong so you could not drunk just for a cup of beer). We became more closer to each other and I laughed a lot because they’re humorous and always made jokes. 
Finish “Banh Mi”, we kept moving to our next destination to try “Banh cuon” (Steamed rice pancake rolls).  “Banh cuon” is very light crepe often with ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, fried onions and eaten with Vietnamese ham, special sauce and herb. They will put water with rice flour. Use a little of the mixture and spread out over a cloth stretched over a pot of boiling water, put ingredients above, roll quickly by a small bamboo rod. They will serve “Banh cuon” on a plate, put fried onions on the top of “Banh cuon” and we will have a special sauce made from fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, water, etc , especially this sauce will be heated before we eat. Everything was very new to Mai and Johan. They were excited to try it after our explanation for this dish. And of course they liked it. They became love Vietnamese Cuisine more and more.
Finish “Banh cuon”, took a rest. We continued our tour. On the way to our next place, we saw “Quan Chuong gate” which is one of gates of Thang Long citadel and the only gate survival until now. I told them the history of this gate and its meaning with Vietnamese. Then we reached our restaurant to try “Xoi” (steamed sticky rice). Xoi is made from sticky rice, then they will mix with mung bean or lotus seeds. You can eat “Xoi” with dried shredded pork, Vietnamese ham, egg, chicken, etc. We ate “Xoi” mixed with chicken, Vietnamese ham and egg which was delicious. Mai and Johan were full after finishing our dish and they were fancy with it by the way. I told them to take a rest a little bit before our last destination because they were too fun to eat any food more. We moved to Giang coffee which is near our restaurant and located in a small alley to try egg coffee. Egg coffee is a specific drink in Hanoi and Giang coffee is a best place to try it. It is traditionally prepared with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and robusta coffee. The drink is made by beating egg yolks with sugar and coffee, then extracting the coffee into half of the cup followed by a similar amount of egg cream which prepared by heating and beating the yolks. Put the cup of egg coffee inside another cup which has hot water inside to help the egg coffee hot. They still have cold egg coffee besides hot egg coffee but I think hot egg coffee is better. So I ordered for them one hot egg coffee and one cold egg with matcha (cold egg with matcha is tasty also). They were confused at first because they never ever heard about egg with coffee. They told that it was weird so they’re so curious about this drink. Then our drinks were ready on out table. “They look beautiful” they said. First we mixed all the ingredient together and then tried them. I could see their happiness on their face after trying those drinks. They could not say anything, just enjoyed their drinks but I could feel that they were so satisfied about those. We talked a lot about our life and their experience for travelling here. It was interesting to talk with them. 
Finally we finished our tour after they could not eat anything more. I guided them to return their hotel. Give them a warm hug, said thank you and we were sad to say goodbye. We are good friends now. We laughed a lot through our great Hanoi Street Food Tour. I was super happy because they all loved Vietnamese dishes I showed them today. I hope I could see them one day in any place in the world. The earth is small, isn’t it?.

Hanoi Street Food

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