Noodles have been growing on the sidewalks of Hanoi for nearly 30 years, and the shop owner “shapes” them to sell them

Ms. Nguyen Thi Tinh’s noodle shop with bamboo shoots, located on Cau Dong Street (Hanoi), sells about 400 bowls a day.

Bun moc (also known as bun moc) is a dish originating from Moc village, Nhan Chinh, now Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi. Today, bun moc is available in all regions of the country and is modified to suit the culinary culture of each place.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Tinh’s noodle shop with bamboo shoots (born 1954) is located next to the gate of Cau Dong market on Cau Dong street (Hoan Kiem Hanoi), behind Dong Xuan market – the busiest market in Hanoi.

Nearly 30 years ago, Ms. Tinh learned the craft of cooking vermicelli noodles from an experienced restaurant owner. When she became skilled, she carried vermicelli noodles and sold them in the old town and Dong Xuan market area. Later, she rented a location for permanent sale.

It’s called a restaurant, but this place actually has only two rows of plastic tables and chairs lined up right on the sidewalk, covered with green tarpaulins. The “open-air” kitchen is highlighted by a pot of boiling, steaming broth, which includes bamboo shoots, blood, sprouts… This pot of broth was simmered by Mrs. Tinh from pig bones for many hours.

“I simmer the pork bone broth carefully, especially without using star anise or cardamom like many other restaurants, because when you add a lot of spices, the broth will be strong and not delicious,” Ms. Tinh said.

Noodles have been growing on the sidewalks of Hanoi for nearly 30 years, the shop owner makes them and sells them - 1
Many diners passing by are attracted by the steaming pot of broth, meat patties, bamboo shoots, and blood in front of the restaurant’s door (Photo: Toan Vu).

The shop is open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day, most crowded at 12:00 noon and in the evening. If you come during peak hours, diners may have to wait 10-15 minutes.

The crispy sprouts are made from delicious pork including lean and fatty meat, mixed with shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, pepper… in the right proportions. Diners said that the food grown at the restaurant is fatty, fragrant, crunchy without being greasy.

“At 4:00 a.m., I imported fresh ingredients, prepared them, and made them myself. The rolls were made from pureed pork, mixed with some flour, and used a plastic spoon to shape them into 5-6cm long pieces,” Ms. Tinh just did. Vermicelli for guests just shared.

When cooked, the meatballs turn white and float to the top of the pot. When eating, diners feel loose, spongy and slightly chewy.

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The meat is sold wherever it is made, and the growing part is also made on the same day for the freshest taste (Photo: Toan Vu).

Dried bamboo shoots are soaked and torn into bite-sized strips. According to Ms. Tinh, before cooking, you should soak the bamboo shoots for a day and change the water several times to remove all the bitterness, then boil them and drain them.

Next, she sauteed the dried onions, stir-fried the bamboo shoots until cooked, seasoned with spices, occasionally added a little filtered water, and boiled over low heat until the bamboo shoots were soft and absorbed evenly. 

Mrs. Tinh does not sell noodles at a fixed price, but customers do as much as they eat. The average price of vermicelli at the restaurant is from 25,000 VND/bowl to 30,000 VND/bowl. Some customers eat 20,000 VND or order a lot of sausage, the price is up to 50,000 VND.

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There are two ways to eat vermicelli noodles: pouring the broth directly into the vermicelli or eating it as a dip like vermicelli (Photo: Toan Vu).

The vermicelli is blanched in a pot of broth, then sprouts, spring rolls, bamboo shoots, and blood are added. When eating, diners can add kumquats, chili garlic vinegar and chili sauce.

“Previously, I sold about 500-700 bowls/day, even more, but in recent years I have only sold about 300-400 bowls/day. I sell mainly to regular customers such as workers and owners of Dong Xuan market. The remaining few are tourists passing by who find it delicious and come to try it,” Ms. Tinh confided.

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The sidewalk restaurant is quite crowded (Photo: Toan Vu).

As a “regular” customer of the restaurant, Mr. Ha (born 1981) said: “I have to eat 3-4 meals here a week. The food is delicious, the sausage is homemade, and the vermicelli bowl is also filling. Anyone who doesn’t eat MSG won’t eat it. You can tell the shop owner first.”

Ms. Thu Lan (shoe wholesaler at Dong Xuan market) said that the best noodles here are sprouts and sausages, the broth is clear, sweet, and the bamboo shoots are crispy. “The customers who eat here are all people who work and sell at this market! I have been eating at the restaurant for more than a decade. If I eat at lunchtime, I sometimes have to wait for a place to sit and eat,” Ms. Lan shared.

One thing to note, because the restaurant is located at an intersection, near market roads, there is a lot of traffic and limited parking.

($1~24,000 VND)
Photo,Video: Internet (