Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Eating Hanoi

if it's stopped moving, it's safe to eat

One of my personal highlights of our trip to Hanoi is the food. Did you really expect me not to blog about this? :) As far as I am concerned, the defining taste of any country can be found only in the streets. Yup, I like to sample hawker food!

This here is a Bon Bo Nam Bo stall. I have no idea what it means, but I think the phrase is the name of the dish they sell. This is our second attempt at street food. Our first try was at a Mi Van Than Mi Sui Kow (Wanton Noodles, Suikow Noodles) stall, which unfortunately ended up in disaster (read: diaorrhea) for our travelling companion, Dot.

Anyway, Bon Bo Nam Bo is a semi-souped rice noodle dish with boiled beansprouts, green veggies and lots and lots of beef strips. It's garnished with a whole load of stuff, from fried shallots to crackers and other stuff I cannot identify (*gulp*)

Like our first try at Hanoi hawker food, we went for the stall with the most patrons. This one was packed to the brim. However, due to communication difficulties, we only ordered the main course. The side dishes, which you can see in the picture are the French loaves (short ones in accordance to Asian standards. Heh!) and spring rolls - these are wrapped in banana leaves.

Mae didn't eat since we're worried that she might suffer the same fate as Dot. As for Dot, even as I ate this she was at the hotel nursing her raging tummy. Poor girl! Mae just took nibbles. But as I assured my wife, our stomachs are lined with steel from all the junk we take all the time. Heh! Still, we didn't take any chances for Baby's sake.

Anyway, the dish is only so-so. My verdict for all Hanoi food is that they tend to overdo it with the garnishing and extras. I think this dish would have been better just noodles, beef and beansprouts minus all the other stuff. But eating in Hanoi is cheap. This bowl cost only USD 0.50!

By the time we got home, I had missed Malaysian food so much I practically stuffed my face with Char Kuey Teow and Nasi Lemak for five consecutive days.

There goes my diet. Feh!


  1. travelling & dieting don't go together...

  2. Yes grace, I have learnt the error of my ways. :lol:

  3. We lived in Hanoi from 1996-2003, and this place was our #1 place to eat! Your photographs bring back wonderful memories. Actually, this dish is not real "Hanoi" food or it would be much more bland.
    Just never visit the restroom!

  4. Thanks for dropping by, Pam. And yes, I will take your advice on the restroom thing. :)