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Hanoi Street Eats

2:30 PM 0 Comments

Quite unlike Bangkok, Hanoi’s street eats aren’t all that wide in variety. People do not really snack per se, judging from the variety available or their snacks are heavy ones i.e. pho bo, bahn mi, desserts just to name a few. It is a culture perhaps – a blatant squatting one across all cafes whether it was made shift or not. Old Quarters of an officially recorded 36 lanes is a gorgeous place to soak in the sights and scenes…and hopefully not the smells of the colourful street life Hanoi has to offer.


This is their type of kopitiam beer uncles with stools so low and a drink in hand. 


Mid Autumn came extra early?


I chanced upon this soya beancurd stall just outside a random supermart next to the drain with a lady sitted on a low stool beside a cauldron of homemade beancurd. The customers sat around her in a circle tucking into what seemed to be the world’s best tasting tau huay.


I never quite thought of soyabean curd being one of Vietnam’s dessert, I thought it had more oriental origins. Watching hawkers handle their food with such speed and skill always gets me enthralled – even the simple filling up of plastic bag with soyabean curd and milk to the tightening of the plastic balloon and finally knotting it with a rubber band – magicians probably learn a thing or two from them!


There is a certain charred fragrance about their thin soyamilk and beancurd. Almost as if it were cooked over wood or in a claypot.


Acquired somehow or perhaps Lao Ban has spoilt market with their fragrant yet questionable dessert.


Same, same but different.


This is as close as the ground they can get selling meat.


How about seafood on the go?


Could not resist an arty farty shot along the buzzing street.


Fruit stalls are a dime too few in Old Quarters but women peddaling them all over the streets turned out to be a dime too many. In fact, I found a few stalls selling the same produce at the same price and this did not only apply to fruits! Word has it that many moons and sunsets ago, the streets were named according to what the street sold i.e. poultry, seafood..ladders etc. Yet even in modern day Hanoi, restaurants open in clusters and in the same cuisine too!


Fruit on a bicycle? Every other day I'd spot a couple of ladies hawking a variety of fruit.


So very oldschool way of transacting a business - measuring on a scale!


The fresh tangerines looked good, were juicy but lacked the oomph that basic Sunkist oranges would have had.


Unknown to most, preserved fruit seems to be the most popular souvenir sold along the Old quarters.


Shops and shops of the above with jars and jars of goodies. Reach to open one to sample freely and they accept it as part of a potential transaction.

If the squiggly does not make sense, the numbers and taste will.


I have to admit they do their preserved fruit quite well - sweet, savoury and sour! At least these kept the nausea at bay during a rocky boat ride.

preserved fruit

The rest that made it home as souvenirs!


Hanoi by night is as busy, only with a different kind of buzz. Here's one selling helium balloons - a beautiful sight from above.

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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