Urbanist Hanoi

BackEat & Drink » Street Food » Ngõ Nooks: Traditional Bún Thang Served With a Crunchy Twist

Ngõ Nooks: Traditional Bún Thang Served With a Crunchy Twist

If you peel through the peaceful residential areas around the Quang Trung and Tran Hung Dao crossroads, you might just chance upon Bún Thang 11 Hạ Hồi, a humble, household noodle spot.

Bún thang is a signature Hanoi dish. In the past, it was cooked at home during Tết holiday — although only a small number of families still prepare the meal for the occasion today. The feast is an assembly of boiled chicken, thinly sliced egg, giò lụa (Vietnamese sausage), and shreds of dried white radish. It’s then garnished with spring onions and Vietnamese coriander (rau răm), and drenched in a hot chicken broth that’s infused with nấm hương (dried shiitake mushrooms) and mắm tôm (shrimp paste).

Nowadays, the dish has transcended Tết exclusivity to become a staple food in Hanoi. I was first introduced to bún thang at a sidewalk shop in the Old Quarter over 10 years ago. But these days, despite the burgeoning number of eateries offering this treat, only a few can satisfy my desire for a perfectly rounded noodle hit.

At the end of one of a ngõ that splits from Xom Ha Hoi Street, you’ll find the house of Nhung — a friendly, cheerful lady who opened this spot way back in 1993. A bowl of bún thang here has all the ingredients that other shops provide, yet with the addition of a superior broth. But what keeps me coming back for more are the sticks of dried radish she adds. These little cylinders are extra crunchy, extra sweet and extra fun to eat compared to the tangled radish threads offered elsewhere.

According to Nhung, her family used to dry the radish themselves, but nowadays they get it from Hai Duong Province. There was a short period when she used the more conventional tangled radish, but she swiftly changed back to the sticks for their inimitable bite — and her customers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thuy, a relative of Nhung, now manages the shop and said that, though bún thang is their principal dish, they also added phở gà, phở bò and bún bò Nam Bộ to the menu to meet local demand. The shop is most busy around lunch when office workers in the area flock here for a scorching hot bowl. On the weekend, families and guests from across Hanoi stop by for a taste — it’s weekday mornings when one is most likely to enjoy a more leisurely banquet without a crowd.

Bún Thang 11 Hạ Hồi is open from 6:30am to 1:30pm. Find them at 11 Xom Ha Hoi.

 

To sum up:

Taste: 4/5

Price: 5/5

Atmosphere: 5/5

Friendliness: 5/5

Location: 4/5

Ha Ta absolutely loves food and dreams of selling noodles. 

Bún Thang

11 Xom Ha Hoi, Hoan Kiem

Print
icon


Related Articles:

Ngõ Nooks: Autumnal Golden Hours Are the Key Ingredient in Cô Thoa’s Bún Bò Nam Bộ

Ngõ Nooks: Kamon – Authentic Japanese Cuisine Served With a Side of Persian Rugs

Ngõ Nooks: The Delectable Comfort of Xuan Dieu's No-Name Bánh Đa Trộn


Related Articles

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: A Blissful Fish Feast at Bun Ca Sam Cay Si

As hot as it gets, Hanoi’s scorching summer is no match for delightful fish rolls and refreshing sour soup.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: At Bun Bo Hue Thu Thuy, a Broth That Bridges Tastes

In only three places have I enjoyed truly sumptuous bowls of bún bò giò heo: in its hometown of Hue, in Hoi An and at Bun Bo Hue Thu Thuy in Hanoi.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: At Bun Ca Thai Binh, Succulent Snakehead Infused With Turmeric and Cashew

When a friend of mine returned home after living abroad last year, he longed for a bowl of bún cá. I suggested the classic Hanoi dish, with satisfyingly oily deep-fried fish, but he had other ideas&nb...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Authentic Bánh Cuốn That Took a Century to Perfect

Banh Cuon Ba Hoanh is nearly a century old, and both the eatery’s name and the authenticity of the food they serve stem from the same source: the culinary wisdom of Grandma Hoang.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Autumnal Golden Hours Are the Key Ingredient in Cô Thoa’s Bún Bò Nam Bộ

Hanoi’s fascination with bún is endless. There are more varieties in this city than anywhere else in Vietnam. Bún has a lot more to offer than phở, especially as it can be served cool and dry, as seen...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Bún Cá With a Twist That Takes Guts to Try

Ut Ha Quan looks nothing like the kind of traditional Hanoi street food eatery that makes it to glossy magazines and world-famous food channels. There’s no grumpy grandma, no mold on the walls an...