Food Porn!

Half term is here at long last and we have Mike and Bernice over to stay so we have headed up to Hanoi to get some north Vietnamese experiences.

We booked ourselves a private walking tour of the street food and what a gastronomic delight that was. Our tour guide took us down tiny alleys to places that we would never had dreamed of going. It was a flavour of authentic Vietnam.

First up was the frog market, so called because if the police turned up lots of the stalls would jump up and disappear only to pop back when the coast was clear.

Here you can see all the fresh food. Locals would shop here several times a day to ensure they had the freshest ingredients.

Next stop was the spring roll lady. These rolls were pork and vegetables rolled in rice pastry. The tiny stall cooks thousands of spring rolls every day!

The rice pastry makes it a lighter dish than the ones we are used to in Thailand.

Next up was the dumping stall.

On the right of the picture you can see the rice which has been soaked in water for 13 hours being mulched and the rice milk being extracted. The mulch is then squeezed to remove further excess water before being rolled up into dumplings or rolled out very thinly to make rice paper or pastry.

We had two types of dumpling here a sweet one and a pork one. Both absolutely delicious.

No photo but we next had a beef baguette- a legacy from the French colonial rule.

Then we stopped for pancakes. Two to be exact. These were stuffed with prawns and bean sprouts and eaten in rice paper wrapped up with fresh lettuce leaves and copious sprigs of mint.

As demonstrated by our guide here. The pancake itself was crispier than we are used to but very light and tasty.

These were next. Dragon eye omelettes. Smaller and stuffed with vegetables and mushrooms, again wrapped up with leaves in rice paper.

Just when we were starting to feel quite full we were taken to the main course! The best beef noodle shop in Hanoi.

This place was packed. It opens at 6am and closes at 10pm. It just serves beef noodles and beer. There was quite a queue to get in it was so popular! We would never have known it was so good if we hadn’t been taken.

I highly recommend this place to anyone who is visiting. I had mine with a dash of rice vinegar infused with garlic.

We were now 2 and a half hours into the tour and off to our final destination. The coconut ice cream and sticky rice shop!

… on low stools!

We declined the snails stall (shown here) and also insects (gross) and dog (even worse!!!) We have saved egg coffee for another day.

Feeling stuffed now…

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