While exploring Truc Bach Lake, we ventured into this little island on the lake that was brimming with restaurants and eateries that specialised in one common dish – Pho Cuon or Vietnamese rice noodle rolls.
After circling the area a couple of times, we decided to settle with the eatery that was bustling with patrons. With that many locals eating here (basically endless flow of customers at peak lunch time), it should be pretty remarkable. 😉
Pho Cuon Hung Ben is located on 26-35 Nguyen Khac Hieu in the Ba Dinh district of Hanoi and it opens daily from 9.00am to 11.00pm. If you’re staying near the Hoan Kiem Lake area in the Old Quarter, it will be about a half hour walk to get here.
Young ladies making pho cuon on the spot just outside the restaurant. All speedily and skilfully rolled.
Find yourself an empty table and someone will come over to hand you an English menu which wasn’t really useful because there weren’t any pictures. Anyway, we just pointed to the food on a neighbouring table which was probably the easiest way to order because everyone else were eating the same anyway, lol.
Their Pho Cuon (50,000 VND for 1 portion of 10 rolls) were basically rice noodle rolls wrapped with beef, vegetables & herbs and served with nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) that had carrot and green papaya slices in it.
The beef had been marinated and was really tasty and tender. The nuoc cham was very well-balanced and the carrot/green papaya provided a nice crunch.
Great combination. Light yet delicious. Seemed like a very healthy dish too.
Besides Pho Cuon, another must-try dish was this Pho Chien Phong (50,000 VND) which consisted of fried pho noodles with sliced beef and vegetables in a savoury sauce. This dish really blew me away. Not sure if they used MSG as a flavouring agent but that sauce was just delicious and it somehow bound everything together like a beef hor fun. Though those chunky fried pillow-like cakes were actually pho noodles, they had a bit of a chew and was quite stretchy in texture like you tiao with a hollow middle. Beautifully fried to a perfect crisp and crunch and extremely moreish when paired with the savoury sauce. Beef was tender and vegetables were crunchy. Oh man, I really can have a plate of this now!
Once you’re done with your meal, just stand up and a lady holding a stash of notes in her hand will come round to collect payment.
I highly recommend this place. Definitely must try both the Pho Cuon and Pho Chien Phong! ???