This is the first part of a 3-part travel adventure series whereby we embarked on a ‘garang’ travel in the spirit of #ZUJIGarangExplorer.
All our travel bookings are done via ZUJI for the best deals. Read about Alvin’s experience with ZUJI and why we chose to fly to Hanoi versus Ho Chi Minh City.
For a little travel surprise, read through till the end of this post and find out how you can win some ZUJI vouchers to sweeten your next holiday!
In this first article, we would like to share on some of the food we ate which we would recommend.
One thing about Vietnam is that they have incredibly good and different types of coffee everywhere, one of the most special finds we discovered was Traditional Egg Coffee (Cà Phê Trứng) at Giảng Cafe, made with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and coffee, it is like having sweet liquified custard coffee in your mouth.
This cafe that we went to was quite popular with both local youths and adults, hidden in an alley of the busy streets, it’s quite a nice and quiet place to escape the noise and smog from the streets.
Giảng Cafe, Opens 7am to 10:30pm daily, Google maps location.
Street Food – Xôi xéo (Sticky rice)
This particular eatery, xôi yến, is very tourist friendly, as almost all Vietnamese do not speak english at all and most eateries do not have pictures on their menus.
Over here you can see me looking through pictures on their menu, which also makes it easy for us to order by simply pointing at items we want to the waiter.
The main dish, Xôi xéo, also know as sticky rice, it is made of glutinous rice mixed with turmeric powder, topped up mung bean paste and fried shallots.
There are many dishes mainly consisting of chicken and pork to go along with your sticky rice, as messy as it looks it was very delicious and mouth-watering.
You can see that all ingredients are prepared freshly from the shop front.
Xôi Yến eatery, Opens 5am daily till late, Google maps location.
Street Food -Bún ốc (Snail noodle soup)
If you want the true local Vietnamese eating experience, you’ll have to sit/squat on a low stool and eat a meal at some food places at the roadside, as dirty or sleazy some places may look (to us foreigners), I’ve never had any stomach problems from any roadside stalls and the food is usually more delicious than air-conditioned restaurants.
Locals enjoying their Bún ốc.
Roadside stalls are quite common in quiet corners of Hanoi, usually they serve one or two specialties only. This particular one serves Bún ốc.
Bún ốc roadside stall, Google maps location.
Restaurant – Món Huế
If you’re looking for a more English-friendly environment, we found a franchise restaurant called Món Huế, they have several outlets located around Vietnam and we have little difficulty trying to converse. Prices were very reasonable and service was excellent.
Any place that the locals patronise will definitely have good food, as you can see that it was quite packed too.
Imperial fried stuffed chicken with fried rice.
Vegetarian Fig salad.
The most interesting and delicious entry dish, steamed rice pancakes with shrimps.
Street food : Bún chả
The food that Obama had during his recent trip to Hanoi that went viral. (External link.)
This is BBQ’d pork in fish sauce with vermicelli, it is a well-loved dish locally and is available pretty much everywhere and anytime in Vietnam.
Street food : Banh Goi and Chả giò
Google maps location, opens daily till late.
The 70000vnd mixed set of various types, from fried dumplings to shrimp cakes.
Lastly: Our favourite – Phở 10
When in Vietnam, do as Vietnamese do, eat Phở! Of the numerous Pho that we tried, this outlet had the best.
Another interesting fact that you should know, the Pho is very different between the North(Hanoi) and South (Saigon/Ho Chi Minh city), in the north, the Pho is served with a stronger meaty soup, while the south serves it with more fish sauce flavour.
The moment the restaurant opened at 5:30pm exactly to serve dinner, dozens of locals rushed into the premises, we were among the first people.
The Special Mixed Pho, the most expensive on the menu with a wide variety of different meats. (Pork and beef)
Me getting excited to try one of top recommended Pho online.
Phở 10, Opens 6am to 2pm for lunch, 5:30pm to 10pm for dinner, Google maps location.
Itching to travel to Hanoi after reading this post?
Here’s how you can receive S$50 in ZUJI vouchers for your travel bookings – apply for The American Express True Cashback Card through ZUJI.
The card itself comes with a slew of travel discounts through ZUJI’s partnership with American Express:
Flight and package rebate
· 6% flight/package rebate for 2-to-go (meaning bookings with 2 or more pax)
· 5% flight/package rebate for 1-to-go (solo travelers)
· 12% hotel coupon code. No minimum spend required
If you are looking to travel to somewhere else, all Thai Airways destinations will be going on sale for 3 days from 14 to 16 June. Do look out for it here!
We are giving away 5 x S$100 ZUJI vouchers Alvinology readers!
For a chance to win, simply:
- ‘Like’ the Alvinology Facebook page and ZUJI Singapore Facebook page.
- ‘Like’ and share this post on Facebook and tag at least three friends on your post where you would like to travel to. Make your post public so we can find it.
- Tell us why you wish to win the vouchers by commenting below or on our Facebook post.
- Contest ends at 11.59 pm on 15 July 2016. The winner will be notified via Facebook, and must be able to collect the prize in Singapore.