The first time I heard of Banh Cuon Gia Truyen was when I watched Jason Tastes Asia on AFC and I told the husband we had to come here should we visit Hanoi one day. That was exactly what we did. 🙂
Good that they had English translation on the menu so ordering of food was a breeze here.
Banh cuon is a dish from Northern Vietnam and it simply means ‘rolled cake’ or ‘rice noodle rolls’ which is similar to our chee cheong fun in Singapore. The banh cuon here is freshly made from scratch upon order.
This was Banh Cuon Nhan Thit Lon (35,000 VND) or Steamed Rice Rolls with Pork Meat. The rolls came with toppings of fried shallots, floss and coriander and was served with a side bowl of nuoc cham (fish sauce based dipping sauce). Unlike chee cheong fun where the sauce is poured over the rolls, banh cuon is enjoyed in a different way by dipping it into the nuoc cham. If you like spice, you can add sliced red chillies into the nuoc cham.
The flavour of the pork filling was quite mild and the whole thing was on the bland side so it was absolutely necessary to dip it into the sauce to make it more palatable. Besides ground pork, there were also black fungus and mushrooms in the filling.
I preferred the Banh Cuon Nhan Thit Ga (45,000 VND) or Steamed Rice Rolls with Chicken Meat which was more flavoursome than the pork version. The filling was just better seasoned.
For sides, we tried the Lap Xuong (10,000 VND) which was basically ‘lup cheong’ or Chinese sausage that was very thinly sliced. This was quite oily with not much flavour. Not recommended.
We also had the Cha Que (5,000 VND) or Roasted Cinnamon Pork which came in a very small piece (bite-sized). It was like a thick cube of ham – had a chewy texture but it was redolent of cinnamon fragrance. Not bad.
Overall, I did enjoy the banh cuon – just loved that combination with the nuoc cham which was light and refreshing. And of course the toppings of fried shallots and floss gave contrast of textures too. Wasn’t a filling meal unless you eat double portions, otherwise would make a good breakfast or in-between snack.
Banh Cuon Gia Truyen
12 Hang Ga, Hoan Kiem
Opening hours: 7.00am to 1.00pm and 5.00pm to 11.00pm daily