Banh Cuon Nong (14B Bao Khanh), Hanoi.

January 2015.

I chanced onto this street-food hole-in-the-wall my first evening in Hanoi, and was very pleased. A nice lady who spoke English invited me to sit inside when I inquired about a little plate of sausages that was displayed in the typically space-economical cookery and secretariat on the sidewalk.

I expected just the cooked sausages, but got them enwrapped in gossamer rice wonton, floating in a subtle fragrant broth with chives. Tender, slippery, and delicious.

Second time back, for lunch, and better. There was a pho-style soup containing deep-fried eel and transparent rice vermicelli, flavoured mostly with green onions and cilantro but other items in there. It benefited from squeezes of lime and one could add more cilantro and mint. Crunchy content and wonderful slipperiness to the vermicelli. Alongside, my favourite sweetish pork sausage in its angel-soft coat of rice pasta. Somehow even better than before and benefited from a bit of spiced vinegar.

There is a minimally more civilized venue next door that I hadn’t noticed before and I sat there, drinking a lovely Vietnamese Pilsner.

Food 8.7 service 8.0 ambience don’t ask value 9.8

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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