Northern Vietnamese Cuisine at Bun Cha Duc Biet Kim
“Have you ever tried Bun Cha before?”
“To be quite honest, I’ve never even heard of Bun Cha before…”
“It’s what Anthony Bourdain and President Obama ate on that one episode.”
Bun Cha Duc Biet Kim tl;dr
- Tasty Northern Vietnamese dish with origin in Hanoi
- Generous amounts of grilled pork in broth served with:
- Fresh vegetables
- Fried eggrolls
- Pickled vegetables
As a result of doing the Hanoi Street Food Tour, I absolutely fell in love with the dish bun cha and knew I just had to have it at least one more time before we left Hanoi out of fear of never having grace my palate ever again. Since we had read great reviews about Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim and also since it was on the recommended list from the hotel, we chose that as our last meal in Hanoi before we made our way to Ho Chi Minh City.
Beware the Fake Bun Cha
Walking down the street, attempting to find the restaurant, something to keep in mind that we learned from the reviews is that there is an Impostor restaurant next door claiming to be the same but in reality is stealing customers from the original location. Giving both a closer look you can immediately notice that one is more full than the other. After confirming with both our phone and the staff which was the correct one, we went inside for one last bowl of bun cha. Inside the restaurant there are also signs warning about the fake restaurant next door.
Seating in the restaurant is on small tables and often shared with other patrons. The restaurant goes up at least three floors so if you don’t find a seat on the first floor then hopefully one of the upper floors will most likely have availability. Once seated you don’t really have a choice in what to order. They basically ask you the number of orders that you want to eat and then get straight to bringing you your order. Later when we heard an American tourist at a nearby table ask about the price (eeh we figured it couldn’t be that bad), we learned that you can essentially have 2 options:
- No pillow cake at $60,0000 VND per person
- 1 with pillow cake $90,000 VND per person
For us, the pillow cakes (similar to a fried egg roll but fluffier) were well worth 10x their weight in VND and a veritable deal at less than $5 USD per person.
JM | You MUST get the Pillow Cakes with your Bun Cha!
Pork, Pork, and More PORK
The food quickly arrived and we found ourselves immersed in pork heaven made up of flying grilled pork patties and pillowy soft braised pork slices. Served with an endless heaps of vegetables the whole dish was extremely flavorful and fresh tasting with the garlic and chilis adding another component. I loved that there was a huge bowl of both garlic and chilis in front of you so you can choose how much you want of each in your dish. I love mine spicier so it was nice to be able to pile it on without affecting JM’s mild flavored food.
After finishing all our food we were stuffed! If I were to recommend one place you have to eat in Hanoi then this is the place for you. Filling, tasty and cheap. Service is meh but really you’re not there for the service. Come and get it… and make sure you go to the right spot.