Our Hanoi day 2 trip has been an eating feast so far = hotel buffet breakfast, ice-cream at Kem Tràng Tiền, cheese tart at Pablo Cheesetart, lunch of chả cá Lã Vọng at Chả Cá Phan, avocado smoothie at Coconut Juice and chocolate break at Maison Marou. Rest assured I have two more places to blog about for day 2 and this is the first one.
We went to Xôi Yến for dinner which is just about 5 mins walk from our hotel. This is one of the eateries that I was looking forward to because I’m a lover of mung bean and sticky rice (also known as glutinous rice). In Chinese cuisine, we have a dish that combine mung bean (whole) and sticky rice and that is Cantonese bak chang (Cantonese rice dumplings). It’s my very favorite when done right. So, I can imagine if we were to marry mung bean (paste) and sticky rice and then top with offsprings (various good looking toppings), it would be lip-smacking good.
A bowl of deliciousness.
Ahh chocolate… it’s my very favorite food
before after egg. I was extra thrilled when I found out about Maison Marou while digging information for my oncoming Hanoi trip over a year ago.
Maison Marou is a chocolate café and shop and they currently have three stores (as of writing) in Vietnam; two at Ho Chi Minh City and one in Hanoi. Maison Marou offers many things chocolate from single origin Vietnam chocolate drinks, pâtisserie to single origin chocolate bars and provisions and as well as non-chocolate drinks like coffee and tea.
Chocolate break at Maison Marou Hanoi.
Their chocolate brand; Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat (Marou Chocolate Maker) makes bean-to-bar single origin Vietnam chocolate. In bean-to-bar chocolate, the chocolate maker is in charge of the whole process from sourcing raw cacao beans to the crafting and creation of the chocolate bars. This means that the chocolate maker has the control of the quality right from the beans to the kind of additives added.
Our day 2 in Hanoi has been mainly about eating and eating. More to come but first here’s what we had for lunch: chả cá Lã Vọng. What’s in the name? Chả cá means grilled fish and Lã Vọng is the name of a statue of either the God of fisherman or poet (I found two versions of the story out there). I’ll skip how the dish comes about and let you find out yourself (it has to do with Lã Vọng and then more). 😉 In short, chả cá Lã Vọng is a dish of turmeric grilled fish with dill.
Similar to bún chả, chả cá Lã Vọng is hail from Hanoi. There’s a street called Chả Cá in Old Quarter dedicated to this dish where it takes its root. I gave those tourist-famous chả cá Lã Vọng restaurants a miss, and instead, choose Chả Cá Phan because it’s mostly patronized by locals and also because the Vietnamese reviewers gave quite good reviews online.
Come feast on chả cá Lã Vọng or turmeric grilled fish with dill.
On day 2 of our Hanoi trip, we took a walk along Phan Chu Trinh street after a super brief visit to Hanoi Opera House. We were eyeing O’Douceurs located on this street and even went inside but finally, but alas we decided to skip it. Since it was past 11am and the weather was even hotter, we were reminded of the tasty ice-cream that we enjoyed earlier at Kem Tràng Tiền. We knew Pablo Cheesetart, Japan’s famous cheese tart chain is just around the corner and chooses to take a break there for the air conditioning first and sweet treats second.
The moment I stepped into Pablo Hanoi, I was at awe with the interior design. It was chic, modern and comfy. This is the first floor interior. Beautiful ain’t it?
I’ve only tried Pablo Cheesetart once before this which was at Osaka a few years back. Pablo Hanoi was our 2nd time. So, ahem… we ordered two minis for sharing while enjoying the cool air and cosy ambience.
While visiting the French Quarter on day 2 of our Hanoi trip, we stopped by Kem Tràng Tiền for a much needed break. It was only 10am and the weather was hot and humid. Oh, we welcomed the sight of Kem Tràng Tiền cheerfully with open arms!
Kem Tràng Tiền offers old school ice-cream taste in the shape of a cone, stick, cup and ice-cream box. Besides that, they also sell soft serve, mochi ice-cream and Givral bakery’s French treats and cakes. I was looking forward to the visit because I grew up eating these kinds of ice-cream and also how awesome it is to enjoy them in another country with the locals. You know it’s their favorite when you see young and old enjoying Kem Tràng Tiền ice-cream! 🍦❤️
Kem Tràng Tiền was founded in 1958 and that’s over 60 years of history, experiences and memories. Located at Tràng Tiền street, it’s a charming road that somehow reminds me of Shijo dori in Kyoto.
I visited Hanoi in October last year for a duration of 4 days and 3 nights with my sister. Although it’s a short trip, we enjoyed the trip immensely especially the vibes in the Old Quarter and the delicious Vietnamese food.
On our first night, we had bún chả at Bun Cha Ta Hanoi. I have never tried bún chả before so I was really excited about it. I knew beforehand that Bun Cha Ta Hanoi caters mainly to tourist, but because I was tempted by its good reviews so I went with it without putting any expectation.
Our first ever meal in Vietnam is bún chả. 😋
Bún chả is a Hanoian dish of grilled pork with rice vermicelli. It also comes with fresh herbs and vegetables. This dish was made even more famous by Anthony Bourdain and Barrack Obama when they shared a meal of bún chả together for Bourdain’s travel show in 2016. I didn’t patronize the restaurant that they went to.