what & where to eat in Hue, Vietnam
I found the balance and harmony, I tasted love and It couldn’t be better...
Finally, I managed to go back to Vietnam on a culinary trip; I had longed to try the food of my homeland, of three regions from North to South. Imperial Hue is the first place on my list.
Some people might argue with me, Hue is not the best place. Most of my international friends have been to Vietnam saying that they love Hoi An’s food; Many Vietnamese would say “an Bac, mac Nam” which means food North, style South and Hanoi’s food is the best.
I might have thought as just but no longer. Having been living in the UK, tried different cuisines and spent more time reading about food, my perspective changed. Through this new lense, through my love of balance&harmony food, Hue's cuisine is at my desire.
In Hue’s food, I found the balance & harmony, I taste love and It couldn’t be righter. I am longing for another journey back to learn Hue’s cooking and delicious vegetarian dishes of all kind. But for now, let's go back to some places with me, places I’ve researched, tried and liked.
bun bo Hue - Hue beef vermicelli noodle soup
Ba Tuyet, 47 Nguyen Cong Tru Street
The best bun bo Hue I've tried. The broth was sweet, the sweetness from the bone not sugar or msg; The aroma was delicate (not as strong as I thought. The dish is served with amazing fresh herb (load) and extra chilli for your palace.
This place is teemed with local people and only sell bun bo Hue in the morning. I reached Hue in the afternoon, rushed here even before checking in and had to come back the morning after.
Nem Lui, Bun Mam and Banh Khoai
Ba Hoa, 47 Nguyen Cong Tru Street
At the same address of Bun Bo Hue above but in the afternoon, you'll find another food-seller, another dishes, all good: Nem Lui, Bun Mam and Banh Khoai. How lucky am I, rushing here for the mighty noodle bowl and discover the jewels.
Bun Mam - Hue Mam vermicelli
Hue Mam vermicelli ( Mam: special fermented fish sauce)
I love the peppermint zing, the balance and contrast in flavour and colour. A mundane place but French like to me
Nem Lui - Hue skewer
Nem Lui, it was sooo good, fresh, juicy, barbecue-y with subtle zing spices. The best past is when you wrap it in soft rice paper (being soften in banana leaf) with herbs and your mouth water
The next day, a xich lo's driver led me to a restaurant trying this dish, saying it's delicious there. It turned out to be horrible, the herb wasn't fresh; meat skewers smelt fishy and wasn't grilled properly.
A experience from this trip: xich lo, xe om and taxi driver, they normally do not know the best place to eat but some will insist to drive you to some places on commission. Some, by ego, confidently recommend you to any place they know.
Banh Khoai - Hue sizzling pancake
Quite good, save you some walk (all in one place) but honestly, I found at Lac Thien, Dinh Tien Hoang street (below), tastier
Ba Hoa, Truong Dinh street
I tried three restaurants and found Ba Hoa was the best. This place was totally different from other two where I was overwhelmed with tough bits and disappointed with the bland broth. At ba Hoa, I got a symphony chewing. Though it was not my favourite dish, I knew it was good, was right, HERE.
Beo - Nam - Loc- Uot- Ram It
117 Phan Dinh Phung street
I am not sure this is the best place to try these traditional Hue's cakes but seeing those ladies preparing jumping prawns, sensing their kind manner, tasting delicious cakes, I supposed, it must be one of the best.
Banh Khoai Lac Thien
Lac Thien, Dinh Tien Hoang Street
Scrumptious!! I love the dipping sauce, love the way they make it and especially I love the special fresh herbs, they gave me so generously.
Few more places:
- Vegetable dishes at Han Thuyen street, nice and cheap, want to go back and find out more
- Che Hem, Hung Vuong street , a bit too sweet for me but worth a visit
- Cafe Vi Da, Nguyen Sinh Cung street , a cup of tea and a seat down, unwind
Place recommended by local friends, couldn't try:
- Ba Do, Nguyen binh khiem street, (many nice dishes)
- Cung Dinh Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant, 7/28 Le Thanh Ton ( Royal dishes)
- Com am phu - underworld's food at Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
- Bun cha ca - Chargrilled fish vermicelli at Ly Thuong kiet street
- Banh uot & bun thit nuong - steamed rice caked & chargrilled pork vermicelli at Huyen Anh, Kim Long street.
- Banh Canh at Pham Hong Thai Street (tried but didn't find a good place)