Hanoi Favorites:Chả cá lã vọng
On a street named for a meal in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is Chả cá lã vọng*, a restaurant serving fish fried with tumeric and herbs in old. It’s eaten with vermicelli noodles (bún), fish sauce, peanuts and a sauce made from fish sauce. The restaurant itself is at least one hundred years old. I’m not going to describe the dish, other than to say it’s delicious, because I can give you a recipe. Imagine my delight when I found this article in the New York Times on the very day I planned to take a CouchSurfer there for dinner!
I don’t care if you read the article but do seek it out at a restaurant near you or try to make it. If you’re coming to Hanoi, go! The address is 14 Chả cá in the Hoan Kiem district.
*I’ve linked to The New Hanoian, a website that serves as restaurant review/classifieds/Craigslist/catchall for expats and Vietnamese in Hanoi. The reviews on TNH aren’t altogether fabulous and, while it’s true that the place is pricier than street food, it’s worth it. It’s best with a group of people; it’s a meal that is meant to be shared.