Thanks to Cebu Pacific Air and we have seen the beauty of Hanoi during our 3-day Familiarization Tour last Nov. 8-12, 2014. The most remarkable happenings during our tour was the gastronomic adventure our group had. It was a fun vacation too as we were given the luxury of time to visit almost all of the landmarks in Hanoi, cruise on a junk boat to Halong Bay, rode the cyclo rickshaw around the Old Quarter, had fun time shopping and bargaining, and got the chance to visit the 143 hectare Flamingo Dai Lai Resort in Ngọc Thanh, Phúc Yên, Vĩnh Phú.
And yes, we enjoyed being n the company of famous travel bloggers from the Philippines like Melo of Out of Town Blog, Nina of Just Wandering, Gael of The Pinay Solo Backpacker, Marky of Nomadic Experiences, Jonel of Let’s Go Sago, Ferdz of Ironwulf, Mervz of Pinoy Adventurista, Shayla of When in Manila, and Mika of Senyorita.
But first we’ll share with you some of the food that we had during our stay in Hanoi.
In almost every meal that we had in Hanoi, rice noodle is always there.
Aside from steamed rice, rice noodle is one of the staple food in Vietnam. Vietnam is almost as the same in the Philippines where rice farming is mostly the ways of living of the Vietnamese people. Rice noodle makes up as one of the key table food that can be paired with their spring rolls, prawns, vegetable, and the famous Bun Cha, which is grilled pork served with garlic and chili pepper with a dash of green leaves and herbs to accentuate the flavor.
You can almost substitute steamed rice with the rice noodle to pair in your meal.
In the Philippines, Filipinos are already accustomed to Vietnamese food since a lot of franchised restaurants sprung all over the metro serving Vietnamese meals. And even before the rise of these restaurants, we Filipinos already have our ow version of spring rolls.
In Vietnam or in an authentic Vietnamese restaurant, spring rolls vary from the all vegetable or rice noodle spring rolls to shrimp spring rolls. Cooked fried or served fresh, it’s also part of the culture in Vietnam to serve spring rolls to their guests.
Shrimp and prawns
Before we left Manila and during the briefing, the Cebu Pacific Air team who invited us asked if we have any food preferences or allergies. These questions are frequently asked in many instances especially during International trips just to make sure that participants will enjoy the whole trip without experiencing incidents like food allergies. We are fortunate that we don’t have any problems when it comes to food preferences.
So it’s not surprising that most of our Hanoi meals will be servings of seafood, mostly shrimp, prawns, and crabs. Out of the 5 restaurants (excluding from the hotels that we’re booked in), 3 local restaurants (SenXanh Ho Tay, Co Ngu, and Com Viet) and 1 from the junk boat from our Halong Bay cruise served us with shrimps, prawns, crabs, and oysters. It’s gonna be a spoil if you’re allergic to seafood. But don’t worry, as we have mentioned above, they also serve spring rolls, Bun Cha, and rice noodles on the menu.
It’s also notable that fruit delights are always served as dessert (aside from the rice cakes and puddings). Fresh fruits like watermelon, mango, passion fruit, dragon fruit, and banana are always available.
Now here comes the best of ’em all that we’ve tried and tasted during the Cebu Pacific Air Hanoi Familiarization Tour. After enjoying our free time, our last day in Hanoi for that matter, our tour operator host Hanoi Red Tours brought us to Nha Hang Dac Kim where the ever-popular Bun Cha – Nem Cua Be is served since 1966.
Bun Cha or grilled pork served with rice noodle is thought to originate in Hanoi and become part of the staple food of the Vietnamese. Bun Cha is also paired with Nem Cua Be or spring roll with crab meat.
The traditional Bun Cha is served alongside the garlic, chili pepper, herbs, green leaves, and seasoning or sauce for dipping.
We suggest that the next time you visit Hanoi, try the Bun Cha or go to Nha Hang Dac Kim located in So 1 Hang Manh in the Old Quarter area.
Hanoi Red Tours
To know more about Hanoi tours, you may contact Hanoi Red Tours 0903424779 or email [email protected] Ask for Duc, our funny and British-accent tour guide for your next Hanoi tour!
Cebu Pacific Air flies to Hanoi every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday boarding at 10:20 PM (Manila Time).
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