What to Eat in Hoian
Some of Vietnam's best dining outside of the big cities of Hanoi and Saigon can be had in Hoi An, from cheap street eats to fabulous five-star feasts
Cao Lầu - Hoian Noodle
The trip to Hoian would not complete without trying Cao Lau. This pork noodle dish from Hoi An is a bit like the various cultures that visited the trading port at its prime. The thicker noodles are similar to Japanese udon, the crispy won-ton crackers and pork are a Chinese touch, while the broth and herbs are clearly Vietnamese.
Authentic cau lao is made only with water drawn from the local Ba Le Well, 1000 years of age.
Where to eat: Thanh Cao Lau on 26 Thai Phien, Hoian.
Cơm Gà - Chicken Rice Hoian
The best cooks use free-range chickens raised in countryside gardens, not in the farm. Poultry raised in the gardens is stronger and more springy, with a far richer flavor than the soggy stuff produced in “industrial agriculture” facilities. While westerners often prefer fattier, more tender chicken meat, Vietnamese birds considered the best for eating are often smaller with dense, muscular meat. The trick of the recipe is to skilfully make the chicken pieces smell fragrant and spicy without loosening the meat.
Where to eat:
Ms. Buoi on 22 Phan Chau Trinh, Hoian
Ms. Ty 27 on Phan Chau Trinh, Hoian
Ms. Thuan on 17/4 Nhi Trung, Hoian
Bánh Bao Bánh Vạt -
White Rose Hoian
White rose - an appetizer named for its shape when presented properly – White Rose is a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose.
Ingredients such as shrimp and pork are placed on top the carefully folded noodles and topped with crispy shallot. The unique dipping sauce is made of shrimp broth, hot chilies, lemon and sugar. Water must be drowned from the old Ba Le well, which is filtered and purified 15-20 times before being mixed with the rice paste to form airy dough.
Where to Eat: Banh Bao Banh Vac: 533 Hai Ba Trung
Mì Quãng - Yellow Noodle
Quite similar to Cao Lau but more broth and serve with rice crackers. The noodle is yellow or white in color and made from rice flour. It is mixed with shrimp, pork and vegetables, and topped with grilled rice paper and spices. This noodle dish is a complex mixture of flavors and texture. The vibrant wide yellow tumeric noodles, sesame rice crackers, roasted peanuts, fresh herbs, and flavourful. Unlike these noodle soups, mì Quảng is served with very little broth and almost like a dry noodle dish or noodle salad with the broth serving to bring all the flavors together.
Quang soft noodle soup tastes best when being served with a variety of herbs, such as mint leaves, houttunya, cabbage, onion, coriander and so on. What makes Quang noodle soups unique is the richness of the broth, the lack of it and the crushed peanut toppings on the noodles.
Bánh Mì in Hoian
Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread or more specifically the baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period. The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is a single serving baguette. Bánh mì sometimes called a "bánh mì" sandwich, is a product of French colonialism in Indochina, combining ingredients from the French (baguettes, pâté and mayonnaise) with native Vietnamese ingredients, such as cilantro, fish sauce, and pickled carrots.
You can find Bánh Mì everywhere in Vietnam but Hoian is one of the best places to have Banh Mì.
- Madam Khanh, Bánh Mì Queen on 115 Tran Cao Van
- Bánh Mì Phuong on 2B Phan Chau Trinh
- Bánh Mì Phượng right at Hoian Market
Nem Lụi - Pork Skewers
Nem Lụi is one of the popular foods in Hoian, it is grilled pork on a stick. It is served with salads and mints, dipping in special source.
Where to eat: Bale Well on 45/11 Tran Hung Dao, Hoian (Quite hard to find down in an alley, find the real one).