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.
Interesting lighting at Bun Cha Ta Hanoi.
Condiments, utensils and tissue box on the table. I did not try the condiments. As for the utensils, the condition of the bamboo/wood chopsticks was quite undesirable.
We ordered only one set of set no. 4 which consist of bún chả ta (grilled pork with rice vermicelli), 2 pieces of nem hải sản (fried seafood spring roll), fresh herbs and vegetables. Price for this set is 120,000 VND (~RM21.65). We only ordered one set because we plan to have coffee later but the plan fell through because we were very full still.
Not all the dishes were served together, so we waited for everything’s on the table before digging in. Since it was our first time eating bún chả, the waitress explained to us how to eat it. So how do you eat it? Put some vermicelli in the dipping sauce, add some herbs and vegetables too and then eat with the grilled pork while slurping up some of the dipping sauce.
The grilled pork was very flavorful and smoky, coupled with the tangy vinegar dipping sauce, pickled vegetables, rice vermicelli, fresh herbs and vegetables, it was multiple bursts of flavors one after another. Even before I tried bún chả, I knew I’m gonna love bún chả, and I really loved bún chả.
This nem hải sản (fried seafood spring rolls) were so delicious. It came freshly fried with yummy fillings and perfect seasonings. I also prefer the spring roll in the dipping sauce.
We also ordered an extra spring roll called bún nem (traditional fried spring roll) at 20,000 VND (~RM3.60). It was delicious too but the seafood spring roll is better.
Bun Cha Ta Hanoi has 2 floors. We sat on the ground floor and although the place smells amazing due to the perfumey bún chả, it does have some faint moldy smell which I think is due to the wood furniture. Overall, it was an amazing meal. The price though is on the higher side.
One thing we discovered is that leftover fresh herbs and vegetables were recycled (most probably rice vermicelli too) for next use. What I mean by this is that fresh herbs and vegetables left by the previous customer are reuse/recycled on a new order. Anyway, we saw other eateries did the same thing too, so I guess it’s a norm in Vietnam. My sis did not eat the greens here but I ate it though because you can’t get the full experience with a missing ingredient, right?
Now the question is do you use chopsticks to pick up the rice vermicelli, fresh herbs and vegetables or do you use your hand? Either way, let’s pray and be grateful before eating. 😛
Bun Cha Ta Hanoi
21 Nguyễn Hữu Huân,
Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam
Tel: +84 966 848 389
Opening time: 8am-10pm, daily