The first attempt at Quann An Ngon was in Ho Chi Minh and then, it was like Food Republic to me though the crowds were missing. This visit to QAN in Hanoi was unplanned. The original intent was to check out the highly lauded French restaurant which coincidentally was closed on a Sunday and under a scorching temperature of 37 degrees, seeking shelter at QAN just next door proved most feasible.
Even under what looked like a tent, the heat was sweltering. Neither did sitting indoor after taking a queue number provide much reprieve. Heat, is one of those things that wrings you dry of any appetite – except for liquids.
Stalls all over.
Sweltering heat made an enclosed area even hotter!
Vietnam's answer to Food Republic.
Vietnamese Pancake with Shrimp and Pork (45,000VND)
Thin like crepe, this was mostly bland and soggy by the time I made it to the last slice. None too special infact.
Pigeon in vietnam! This was expectedly puny but the meat was tough and on the sweet side. A far cry from its Hongkong cousin.
Rice wrap with pork belly (45,000 VND)
QAN is one of those places that serves their rice wraps differently. The film like wrap looks almost impossible to digest (think a stiffer version of the rabbit sweet wrap) yet the magic starts with the piling of ingredients like raw banana, starfruit, bun (flat noodles), peanuts and pork belly and the rolling begins. Usually if not all the time the roll ends up looking block-ish as the sharp edges protrude quite awkwardly. Yet, with a dip in the fish sauce and chilli reduces this stiff one to a chewy rice roll stuffed with a tasty piece of what Vietnam is famous for.
Never short of greens.
Stewed Beef with Carrots served with Bread (48,000 VND)
Until now, there have been few encounters with their famous Bahn Mi which seemed a lot more ubiquitous in HCM both on the roadside and in eateries so I made an order for this. This over starched beef stew was ordinary at best while the baguette was not great either. Considered a letdown of the meal.
QAN in Hanoi bustles with activity, so busy that puts HCM’s outlet to shame. It is also one of those places that you leave belly satisfied and pocket still full. Affordable street food at hawker prices – I would think that their food prices are not dirtcheap unless one considers squatting by the roadside on a stool so low and slurping noodles by an impromptu stall. Case in point? Pho cost us 45K Dong in what looked like a coffeeshop and also the same in a slightly more upmarket café. A chat with the hotel folks revealed that Pho, albeit a national dish is not all that cheap and definitely not eaten on a daily basis as it would seem.
Quan An Ngon
18 Phan Boi Chau