Hue Restaurant An Cuu Quon

Restaurant An Cuu Quon (Hue Cuisine)        

150 Nguyen Khuyen (at the junction with Van Mieu), Hanoi

Hue, in central Vietnam, is a city renowned for its cuisine which was developed  for the Nguyen Emperors when it was the Royal Capital between 1802 and 1945. Unfortunately, we dared to go to Hue without a local’s restaurant tip and so hence ended up with a greater emphasis on carved vegetables than the food…. These were rather incredible – sadly I did not bring my camera, however, I was determined to show my parents that Hue cuisine could be more exciting than staring at an inedible dove shaped turnip!  So off we went to An Cu’u Quon in Hanoi, an inexpensive, very simple little Hue restaurant halfway up Van Mieu. The lady who runs it is always very smiley and helpful and there are pictures to help the confused, although it is usually best just to order all the little sharing dishes which makes for a perfect lunch. Bun Bo Hue (noodle soup) can be shared or devoured by the hungriest at the end.

Some recommendations are:

Banh Beo, Banh Nam, Nem Lui, Banh Ram it, and Banh Khoai (The pork – not pictured – comes with an extremely fermented thick sauce with tell tale little bubbles and a rather intense and cloying scent… perhaps not for all palates).

Banh Beo (small steamed rice pancakes with dried shrimp and pork scratchings) and Banh Ram it (similar but stuffed and on a crunchy little cake)
Banh Nam (flat rice flour dumplings with minced pork – steamed in banana leaves) Moorishly delicious but one would need about 10 to fill up.
Nem Lui (Minced pork/shrimp on a skewer – sometimes found on a stick of lemongrass) It is then wrapped up in rice paper with banana flower, cabbage, basil etc. and dipped or drizzled with a peanutty sauce which has some other mystery flavours too… I have heard perhaps offal?