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Little Hanoi

Posted by Debasri on 23 September 2007

One of the best things about London that I have discovered is that one can be in this city but at the same time experience a slice of life (and a pint of the local brew) from almost any culture or civilisation in the modern world.

This was a long weekend and that too a badly planned one. The weather was nice, mostly sunny, my Indian bones weren't chilling and would have been the perfect occassion to have planned a trip to the continent or at least to some place outside of London. Since the realisation dawned only about Saturday evening leaving me with not much time to venture out of the city, a fellow foodie and I embarked upon a project to make the most of what remained of the weekend and to try out some unusual cuisine, the choice for the evening being, Vietnamese.

We went to a place called Little Hanoi (about a 15 minute walk from Bank Station), where the main street is lined with Vietnamese restaurants on both sides, offering a wide variety of Vietnamese cuisine at very affordable rates (read student rates). We chose a place called Cafe Vietnam (or thereabouts) and plunged into ordering roast duck, beef noodles, chicken starters (some form of chicken wings) and my favourite part, Bia Hue! Even though my friend seemed to have enjoyed the food greatly, I am afraid I preferred the Bia Hue! It's in these moments that I tell myself, that it is often not the destination (here, liking or not liking the food) but the journey (the experience of trying out new things) that matters. [In case you would like some more follow-on on this line of profundity, do make it a point to read Ithaca by Constantine P. Cavafy.]

We then went on to Oxford circus (or was it Picadilly) and walked around looking for the Haagen Dazs store - what better way than to wrap up a big meal with some Belgian dark chocolate ice cream. We couldn't find the store and I had to come back home, to crash into bed and into deep slumber, dreaming of the cup of belgian...

It was a great evening, despite the chopsticks playing truant (and moi having to use a random, often messy combination of forks and fingers!) and I intend to make a habit of trying out a new cuisine and explore a new part of the city every weekend that I am in London.

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