Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cha Ca La Vong @ 14 Cha Ca, Hanoi (Old Quarter)

There are plenty of food related reasons for travelling to Hanoi. Pho (beef soup noodles), Bun Cha (grilled pork noodles) and Bun Bo Nam Bo (southern style beef noodle) are some of the dining draws. Today, I would like to introduce another Hanoi specialty called Cha Ca La Vong, which consists of river fish, turmeric, dill, peanut, ginger, spring onion, rice vermicelli and a fair load of oil.
This unique dish was created by the Doan family over a century ago and it has become so popular that the street name was renamed to Cha Ca Street. The humble looking restaurant had a lively atmosphere with narrow stairs adjoining the two floors.  
Here you will find locals and foreigners enjoying the gastronomic Cha Ca La Vong (VND 170,000 ~ RM25).
Rice vermicelli is an integral ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. The best rice noodles have only two ingredients: water and rice / rice flour.
Accompanied ingredients: Roasted peanut, mint, coriander, spring onion, dill, fish sauce and shrimp paste (not in picture). 
A portable gas stove and a small frying pan were brought to our table and the art of preparation was done by a waiter. The grilled fish was seasoned with turmeric before hitting the frying pan. Heaps of dill, green onion, cilantro and mint were chucked into the sizzling pan. 
 The room was instantly filled with a strong aroma of fish and fresh herbs. It was rumored that "dog fat" was used in this dish! Ewwww... I hope that's not true, but I guess no one would really know except for the inventor of this amazing dish.
After 3-5 minutes of cooking, the dish was ready to be served. The seasoned grilled fish was adorned by a tangy combination of onion, ginger, green onion and dill. It was further fortified by the peanut and shrimp paste, which exploded into a heady flavor. 
Cha Ca La Vong is a one dish sweatshop, specializing in Cha Ca. Even though it is more pricey than other traditional Vietnamese foods, it is still worth a try. With La Vong, the God of Fisherman overseeing your meal, it is almost guarantee that the meal will be nutritious. 

Verdict : SOMEWHAT SMITTEN

Cha Ca La Vong Restaurant
Address: 14 Cha Ca, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Telephone: 825 3929
Opening Hours: Lunch & Dinner
Price: VND 170,000 per person (not including drinks)

20 comments:

  1. This looks really good! I love all the different herbs and peanuts in there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and the well seasoned fish too =)

      Delete
  2. The noodles look like laksa noodles! Looks like a really good dish but I hope it isn't cooked in dog fat too!! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, maybe dry laksa noodles. My dog will be really upset if there is dog fat in it.

      Delete
  3. i like the small stove....
    The best thing about Vietnamese dish is that they put a lot of parsley n spring onions .. I love it...
    btw .. why you blog so many of Vietnam foods?
    You always travel to Vietnam?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was in vietnam for holiday not too long ago, but i'm a slow blogger ... thts why u see me posting so many vietnamese food. I'm almost done with my hanoi trip.. maybe another 2 more posts?

      Delete
  4. EWWW dog fat!!
    I kinda LOL-ed at the post title.
    So many 'cha's until I became mong cha cha (blur blur)
    Have a great weekend! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hhahahahhaa..... you are so cute! You have a great weekend too =)

      Delete
  5. wow, we must do a bit more research about dog fat! maybe it really is a useful ingredient that adds aroma to recipes! but anyway, this looks really yummy :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. can you pls do some research and let me know? :D

      Delete
  6. I like the ambience of eateries in Hanoi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea me too... very lively and down to earth =)

      Delete
  7. dog fat? i seriously hope that is not true:-(

    that aside, the colours all look vibrant.

    ReplyDelete
  8. When we were in Hanoi, we were also worried on the type of meat we were served, wondering if that could of dog meat.

    I sure enjoyed all the salad and herbs. These adds so much of flavor into the food. No wonder the women in Hanoi have such a great complexion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea i know what you mean. I was worried too. Hopefully i didnt had any dog meat in Hanoi.

      Delete
  9. i can sense the goodness of the herbs here :) must be really aromatic!

    Latest: How Hot can You Take?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is... very nice and aromatic. =)

      Delete
  10. It's really a special dish. I have never seen this kind of food be4. Let you know that I like the herbs :p

    Latest: HPV and Gardasil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was my 1st time having this dish and I love herbs too! =)

      Delete