My whole trip to Hanoi in December 2015 is all about food, food, food, beverages, and food. Even after I went back home to Indonesia, I was Hanoi-sick (it’s like homesick but instead of missing home, I’m missing Hanoi) and eat Pho almost everyday for one week. Yet, on day five in Hanoi I ate not only Vietnamese food, but also Japanese and Korean. Despite that I’m in Vietnam, they still nailed it in making great food of other countries. I’m utterly satisfied with every single food in Hanoi.
I was woken up by the hunger of my stomach. It was already late morning, almost lunch that my friend and I decided to eat. My friend took me to this restaurant called Mon Hue, a casual dining restaurant that sells Hue cuisine (Hue is a city in Vietnam). The ambiance of the Mon Hue Restaurant is very different with the usual kind of place that I’ve been eating for the last four days. It’s clean and comfy just like any franchise restaurant should be.
I fell in love with the Steamed Rice Pancakes with Shrimp that they serve in small plates. It’s so easy to eat and fun. Those 12 little small plates definitely not enough for the two of us. You have to eat this little dish with the sauce, just put a splash on top of it.
The next appetizer is Grilled Pork Balls Served with Rice Paper and Vegetables. So they serve the grilled pork skewer and then you make your own spring roll. This dish is very interactive and personalized. I personally love vegetables and that’s why I put lots of vegetables on my spring rolls.
Salad and crispy rice pancake. You eat the salad together with the rice pancake. The salad itself consist of vegetables and meat, the crunchy one. Or you can just eat the salad itself, which was so good because there was meat involved.
After eating three appetizers, it’s time for main course. I once said (or more like wrote) that I’m seriously in deep love with Bún bò Huế (vermicelli rice with beef). And I was just speechless…, because I was devouring that goddamn delicious food.
This day is my fifth day in Hanoi and I haven’t been to any museum in Hanoi. But the fifth day is the day. I visited bảo tàng lịch sử quân sự việt nam (Vietnam Military History Museum). To be honest, I don’t understand anything in there and I don’t have any interest in war machinery. All the descriptions are in Vietnamese and that was kinda sad that I cannot read the history. I climbed up to the flag tower and you can tell by the shape and measurement of the stair that it is not from the modern time. I did hang out in the Highland Coffee and the spot was a comfy al-fresco.
Back to the Old Quarter, there’s an electric car tour around the Old Quarter. The electric car seems like a golf cart and seeing Hanoi through the electric car is very time-efficient. Definitely worth the time and money. We also stopped for a little snacks somewhere in the one of the Old Quarter’s small alley. There are hundreds type of food to try in Vietnam. I happened to try Nem Chua Rán (fried pork sour roll) and sweet fried potato (with sugar). It’s a good amount for two and for a heavy snacking.
Still around the Old Quarter and a little bit hungry, Cafe Aboong seemed like a good idea in that state. Cafe Aboong sells taiyaki with yoghurt. It would have been so much better if it ice cream.
At night, I visited the most amazing Japanese restaurant I’ve ever been to in my whole life, which is Kimono Restaurant. It most definitely is because of the Seaweed Grapes (Caulerpa lentillifera). It was my first time eating Seaweed Grapes and the taste was amazingly good and very crunchy. I’ve been trying to find it in my country, however in Indonesia they don’t even know what it is about (so sad about this). It’s like a ritual every time I went to a Japanese restaurant. Salmon sashimi, salmon nigiri, and chuka idako are all my main orders and couldn’t leave the restaurant without eating them.
Last stop before heading back to sleep, we visited Cafe called Tadioto that has this antique, rustic feeling. Based on my observation, rustic theme and industrial design seems like a trend in Southeast Asia right now where you can find it in every coffee shop and restaurant.