We got to know the Tay Ho District area as our friends have been living there for many years. Tay Ho District is considered the expat hub of Hanoi. With western restaurants/stores throughout the area and a very residential community feel, I can see why our friends love living around the area.
We had a walking tour around Tay Ho with a trip to the flower market, a pagoda and a café with a great view of West Lake. By the time we were done with our tour, we were ready for some lunch! Though Tay Ho may be infiltrated with expats, there are good Vietnamese eats around the area. One of those places is Mai Anh.
Mai Anh serves the Hanoi specialty called Bun Cha. Bun Cha is grilled barbecue pork patties and pickled veggies served in warm nuoc mam. Some restaurants add additional cuts of grilled meat. Typically, the pickled veggies are green papaya, carrots, or daikon. The bowl of goodness comes with a plate of rice vermicelli noodles and a plate of herbs and lettuce. To eat Bun Cha, you add the noodles and veggies into the bowl. You can further enhance the specialty with some condiments of chili and/or garlic.
If this bowl of Bun Cha is representative of all the Bun Cha served in Hanoi, I prefer Hanoi’s version. I have been to a couple of Bun Cha eateries in Ho Chi Minh City and find the meal to be too oily because they warm up the grilled meats in the sauce. I found Mai Anh’s nuoc mam to be very light and perfectly flavored to compliment the pork patties and noodles. Slurp and be happy!
Nem Ran (Fried Spring Rolls)
47 Xuan Dieu
Tay Ho District, Hanoi