In early March this year, I was in Hue, the old Imperial capital of Vietnam on a gourmet trip with 5 of my fellow Singaporean foodies. We flew from Singapore to Danang, and took a short road trip to Hue, perhaps the most graceful city in Vietnam we’d ever been to.
Hue, by virtue of it being the seat of the Nguyen dynasty, where the Nguyen lords ruled the country from the 19th-century, boasts of being home to about 1,300 of Vietnam’s list of more than 1,700 heritage food items.
In Vietnam itself, Hueian food has a reputation of being finer and more delicately prepared compared to those from other regions of Vietnam.
Listed below are the places we dined at in Hue, from street food to imperial dishes, and everything else in-between.
Yup! Things are finally looking up with the recent Pfizer announcement!
I want to go back to Hue and re-visit the Buddhist head nun who ran an orphanage there. People would drop unwanted babies in front of her nunnery, and she’d just adopt those children as her own. She runs a vegetable farm near the nunnery, and has set up a school to educate the children. We visited the organic farm, including an awesome indoor one for mushrooms.
We were also shown around the nursery (but we didn’t take any photos of the children in there). We were then treated to a simple meal of fried mushrooms. The 6 of us pooled together some money to donate to the nursery.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Chinese vegetarian cuisine (whereas Indian vegetarian is top of my list of favorite cuisines), and this Vietnamese one was pretty similar to its Chinese counterpart - probably explained why I’d totally forgotten about this meal until I was browsing the photos I took at the nunnery-run farm, and its orphanage yesterday.
A trio of Buddhist monks at the next table seemed to be enjoying their meal very much, so the food must be good from the local vegetarians’ perspective.
One of the simple pleasures in Hue: sipping local coffee whilst perched on one of the kindergarten-sized “chairs” in a local coffee joint.
Most of these casual coffee joints catering to the locals would not have the drip-coffee contraption often seen in Vietnamese-themed cafes outside Vietnam. Instead, one’s coffee is often brewed then served in a cup, accompanied by a glass of water or weak tea, to be drunk after one’s finished with one’s coffee. Often, one also gets a glass filled with ice automatically - as locals liked to drop ice-cubes into their hot coffee, to cool the drink quickly.
Hè Phố Café is just a couple of minutes’ stroll from the Imperial Hotel, one of the hotels which we stayed in during our March visit to Hue.