We had just arrived in Hanoi around noon and began our walking tour of the city. We wanted to have lunch, and right around the corner from our hotel was one of the little food joints we wanted to go to – Bún Bò Nam Bộ.
A lot of people all over the internet recommended this little hole in the wall and said it was a great meal. Therefore, we had to stop in a get a bite right?
We walked in, plunked ourselves down on the metal benches and table and proceeded to order. Pretty simple actually. We ordered the Bun Bo. We decided not to get the Nem, which was the spring roll, because we figured we could get it at other places as well. But the prices, as you can see, are pretty reasonable and cheap.
We sat down and watched the master at work. Basically they prepare a bowl of the dry ingredients for you already. The greens and rice vermicelli. The cook then fries up the beef with some more herbs and greens and piles it on top of the dry ingredients. They then add toppings like peanuts, bean sprouts and some sauces.
And what you get is a lovely bowl of this. Beef Salad, Vietnamese style.
You can see the bean sprouts, beef and fried shallots and some pickled vegetables on top. The key here is to mix it all up. You can add other condiments like lemon juice, chili, fish sauce, etc. So you add to your hearts content and mix it up!
After a nice mix, this is what you get.
Notice the colors and the way that it all comes together.
We dug in and what we tasted was a nice combination of everything. The beef was fried nicely, the herbs make it light and tasty, and then the sauces that are in it give it a great zing and appeal. What a beautiful bowl of goodness.
I can see why people make a beeline for this place and why people rave about it. It’s a must eat when you head to the Old Quarter in Hanoi!