Wandering in the ancient alleys of Hanoi, you will see a gastronomic paradise with many culinary destinations, from the sidewalk stalls to high-end restaurants. However, in Hanoi, whether you want to eat or drink, you should also go to the small alleys, where the most refined cuisine has not been commercialized by tourism.
Phat Loc alley exists in the ancient city like a place where you can find noodles that only heard the name of people has to say “Oh, Hanoi cuisine is here!”
1. Bun Cha Bamboo Stick
Bun Cha Hanoi is outstanding thanks to the main ingredient of it that is made from the most delicious part of the pig grilled on the charcoal stove. Whenever the grilling is finished, a large bowl will be filled up with fresh vegetables, noodles and especially grilled meat, customers will just need to pick up the bowl and then pour the prepared fish sauce in, and there you have a tasty bowl of Bun Cha Hanoi.
Sometimes when I want to find the old flavor of Bun Cha Hanoi, I’ll walk around the streets, wading through the mossy tiled roofs, and then come here and simply order a bowl of Bun Cha.
There are two kinds of meat in Phat Loc. With meat, even the meat is grilled on the charcoal, but delicate guests can feel the gentle aroma of the bamboo stick, not simply smoked the smoke of the charcoal.
Although crowded the owner only grills meat when the guests order, the sellers turn the meat so fast that the meat is done but still juicy.
2. Phat Loc crab noodles
Not so sophisticated in the recipe and materials, this stall just located deep in Phat Loc alley is still busy with a lot of guests every day.
A few baskets of vermicelli, a couple of bowls and two big pots of broth are enough for a selling day of the over 60 years old owners.
Every meal is a good complement to the water used here, the sweet taste of the broth is not from the chemical sugars but much from the seasoning and sweetness from bones stewed in a long time.
Especially, the price for a bowl of noodles here is cheaper than other stores in Hanoi. Only VND10,000-20,000 for a bowl of desserts, and there you’ll have a full breakfast.
3. Noodles with fried tofu and shrimp sauce
In the middle of the small alley, there’s another kind of vermicelli also attracting many customers here, that’s noodles with fried tofu and shrimp sauce. This is a typical kind of vermicelli in Hanoi, which can’t be missed in Hanoi culture, but finding a good restaurant selling this dish is not easy.
Small alley should also be located in the middle of the alley. When the owner ordered the dish, the owner brought out a bowl of rice noodles with enough fried golden broccoli, boiled meat, raw vegetable basket. Diners who like to eat more can call fried nem, cinnamon roll, fried.
The stall that sells this dish in Phat Loc is famous for its fried pieces of tofu and shrimp sauce. The tofu used here is always the soft, smooth and fine tofu which won’t make you feel dry when eating. Just put the pieces of tofu to the mouth, and you’ll feel the crunchy crust of the tofu. Maybe a bit crowded but this place is worth for you to wait in line.
Shrimp sauce here has a special pink color. People often say shrimp sauce is very “stinky”, however the shrimp sauce in Phat Loc has a pleasant aroma, not as stinky and as shrimp sauce in other places.
With two main ingredients are tofu and shrimp sauce, this delicious delicacy has also become a “brand” for this small alley.