When asking for address of dried beef salad, you will be directed to Ho Hoan Kiem street, but not many people know that this is the most “modest” street in Hanoi.
It is familiar to Hanoi to see streets of approximate 100 meters such as: Nguyen Xi street, Nguyen Trung Man street, Dong Mac street, Dong Thai street, Cho Gao street, etc. in which “champion” of short street is Ho Hoan Kiem street. The street is usually called Hang Che street, under French colonial, it was named Philharmonique. In 1945, the street’s name was changed into Ho Hoan Kiem street.
Only 52 meters long, the name of the shortest street of Hanoi makes both familiar and strange feeling. It is familiar because its name likes another name of Sword Lake that locates opposite and is a symbol of Hanoi. It is strange because walkers think that it is only a small lane from Cau Go road to Dinh Tien Hoang road.
It is not only short, but Ho Hoan Kiem street also is strange because it has only one number of house address in one side, the other side is really additional numbers of Dinh Tien Hoang street or Cau Go street.
Although the street length is a distance of two lampposts, Ho Hoan Kiem lake is a place where gathers a lot of famous snack food in Hanoi. First, it must mention the dish dried beef salad. Not only do young people like this dish in the short street, but also it has long been familiar to many Hanoi generations.
Beside the dried beef salad, shops in Ho Hoan Kiem street also serve spring rolls, steamed clear tapioca cake, fried fermented spring rolls. Spring rolls are similar to dried beef salad, just difference in green papaya and carrot; it is rolled with rice crust, and then dipped with sour and sweet fish sauce instead being mixed in a small dish like the dry beef salad.
The steamed clear tapioca cake is bigger in size compared to other places. Because beside shrimp meat inside, the cake’s filling has pork meat. Best time to enjoy the cake when it is still hot and dip it with sour and sweet fish sauce with little crushed roasted peanut. Due to the sauce of two dishes: dry beef salad and steamed clear tapioca cake is similar so they are usually ordered at the same time.
For those who like fried spring roll, this place is also a good address. Spring rolls in this street are not coated with breadcrumb; they are directly fried so it remains crunchy outside and soft inside. The dish is served with sour and sweet chili sauce for greasy and fragrant taste not oily.
Ho Hoan Kiem street is located right in heart of the Old Quarter, so if you have chance to wander around Sword lake in Dinh Tien Hoang street or visit night market around Cau Go street, just pay a little attention, you will see a street known as the shortest street in Hanoi staying among high buildings. Do not hesitate to try street food here, surely you will come back to try it again.
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