[Hanoi, Vietnam] Nét Huế

This is a retrospective report from August 2022, when I was in Hanoi for work. I was taken here for lunch by some work colleagues. I gather this is a restaurant chain - the location I was taken to was in a shopping mall but I can’t remember the exact mall or location!

This was a great location for me as a foreigner who only reads basic Vietnamese, as the menu was fairly easy to understand and had useful photos. My hosts massively over ordered and the food came pretty quickly.

The only things I managed to take photos of were the bun cha ca and bun dac biet. I wasn’t sure why one bun was a soup and the other was noodles, I’m sure it is to do with my lack of understanding of Vietnamese diacritical marks, so I’m glad the menu had photos of each one. The bun cha ca was my order and the other bun was for an American who was also visiting Hanoi for work. Our Vietnamese colleagues ordered about 10 other things to share, I can’t remember what they all were but one thing that stood out was delicate rice flour cakes steamed in small shallow porcelain bowls. I found these quite hard to remove from the bowls as my chopstick skills are not good. But they were very tasty. The bun cha ca was very nice (I’m of Bengali heritage so love trying fish dishes and featherback is not common on menus in the UK ) but there was too much noodles for me to finish. The prices were super cheap by UK standards! I would go back here if I return to Hanoi.


Sounds wonderful—I love Hanoi.

Hopefully your photos will upload.

Thanks. I’m not sure why my photos aren’t uploading!

I remember having a rather good version of Bun Cha while I was in Hanoi, but I do not think I had the Bun Cha Ca version. Interesting. One of the problems with trying to pick your meal in SE Asia is that there are so many dishes that look so good and Vietnam has that “problem” in abundance.
Most of the foods I remember from my time in Vietnam were in Hue and Saigon because I spent more time in the South. What I remember most about Hanoi were the dedicated streets, i.e. Tin Street, Chop Street, Silk Street.
Regardless of that, it sounds like you had a lot of choices! LOL!
I hope you can get the photos to download!



OK. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough before posting my original entry. Now the photos have appeared but not in the order I intended and slightly weird overlapping!


69,000 to 75,000 Dong for Bun Cha Ca as an entree? Nice! The pork looks to have been prepared differently than I remember, but it has been 20’some years since I was there so my memory is probably the problem.
I think the Dong is 24,000 to the dollar of late?

Google giving a rate of just under 24k dong to the US dollar.

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< $3US for Bun Cha Ca? Maybe I should reconsider returning to Cuenca this winter… LOL!
I did not enjoy Hanoi as much as I did Hue and Saigon, mainly due to getting sick there and missing my trip to Ha Long Bay.

Actually, one of my regrets on this trip was not being able to sample the famous Hanoi bun cha. The bun cha ca was patties made of minced featherback fish (ca is fish and cha is fried/grilled), which I hadn’t seen on other menus in Hanoi. The ubiquitous bun cha is minced pork patties grilled over charcoal and served with steamed rice vermicelli, fresh herbs and broth.


For me, Hanoi will forever be associated with cha ca la vong. I love the sweaty open-air eateries throughout SEA but eating a huge bubbling cauldron of tumeric- and dill-laden fish in a 2nd-floor enclosed restaurant was an experience that is forever cemented in my memory. My husband B was struggling but I relished it, although even I was a bit uncomfortable. :sweat_smile:

‘twas one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.