Perfect and common activity in Hanoi winter is chatting or drinking with friends while surrounding a smoky and flavorful hot pot. Regarding Wikipedia, “Hot pot (also known as steamboat in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei), refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter during supper time.” Thien Nhien Quan is my most favorite place for hotpot in Hanoi. It has various types of hotpot, portion is large and full (unlike few other places) and quality has been mostly remained for years. It was originally opened and been famous at 77 Hang Chieu street, inside Old Quarter. The menu does not only have hot pot, but also congee, vegetables, meat, etc however, I guess the most famous “category” here is hot pot, and congee (rice porridge).
I highly recommended the second floor because it is warmer. We started with corn juice. In Vietnam, corn juice is often made by simmering cobs, ears and silk, hush leaves. It is one of my favorite daily drink, so I has always ordered this juice when I come here.
My German friend really wanted to try Vietnamese rice wine so I ordered this. Golden flower glutinous rice is a special type of sticky rice of Red River Delta (North of Vietnam), it is most important ingredient and always brings better quality for food, or rice wine 😉 To understand more about this glutinous rice, please watch YouTube Video in the end of this post 🙂
Most of cartilage in chicken is from its feet, I think. This dish is crunchy, crispy, good side dish paring with rice wine! However, I and my girl friend only focused on this cartilage dish and totally ignored rice wine… (sorry rice wine, we did not intend to forget you, you should blame on cartilage and its deliciousness 😦 )
Dracontomelon fruit is used in Vietnamese cuisine as a souring touch, or a candied treat, or a juice to cool down the summer heat. Although pork rip tips were not tender enough to chew easily, the soup was really good. After an hour of cooking, it delivered its deepest and most delicious flavor. I finished few small bowls of soup in the end of the meal, including yummy yam 😀
Address: 78 Tran Nhat Duat, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Update: I passed this place and took picture of the front. It closed due to Lunar New Year holiday.