Thursday, February 4, 2010

Binh Minh Ga Nuong on Chicken Street - Hanoi, Vietnam (Old Quarter)

After we got our bikes, we decided to ride through West Lake and Lake Truc Bach. We started getting hungry again so we thought a snack would be a good idea. So up next on our list was to go eat some grilled chicken on Ly Van Phuc street, which is also known as the Chicken Street, where vendors grill up tasty treats on charcoal grills. I think it comes alive at night, but since it was nearby, we hoped they would be open for lunch. I didn't have a name of a place in mind, but I was told to go to the one at the very end.

Ly Quoc Su Street is a small alley that runs south of Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, but it wasn't on any of our tourist maps. We asked people on the street for help and they luckily pointed us in the right direction. We also ended up riding around in circles quite a bit because it's really hard to bike along with traffic, be mindful of the sea of bikes and motorbikes next to you and read the street names at the same time. We ended up having to turn around quite a bit, but we didn't mind, we needed to burn off plenty of calories if we were going to keep eating at the rate we were going.

We finally made it to Ly Van Phuc street and rode all the way to the end. It was a pretty short alley with a dead end and there weren't that many vendors that were open during the day. We rode back out and saw that one vendor near the entrance of the street was open and had some patrons so we stopped there.

I guess we really looked Korean because the owner gave us a Korean menu. I love the handwriting, it has the feel of an elementary school homework assignment. It was adorable.

We ordered two orders of the chicken, wings, sweet potato and some cold draft beer. It was the perfect afternoon snack. The first one that came out was the grilled chicken, which looked like it was the thigh and leg.

Seriously all I tasted was crispy, golden, sweet pieces of skin and I was as happy as I could be. It was amazing. I think maybe hunger might have played a factor in why this tasted so freaking good, but it did. Cold beer and hot grilled chicken after dodging through manic cars and motorbikes will make you grateful to be alive and eating such tasty food. Jung and I just gobbled this up right away.

Next, we got the chicken wing and sweet potato.

We didn't like the wings as much because the skin wasn't as crispy and there wasn't as much meat to this one. The sweet potato ended up being pieces of potato grilled with the same sweet sauce. I say skip these two and just get lots and lots of the thigh and leg. I was so tempted to order more, but there were so many other places to try, so I resisted.

They had short ribs and chicken feet as well, but we passed.

This is the charcoal grill where they cook the meat.

Here's the little jars of sauce that they use to baste the meat. Man, what I would give to get the recipe for that marinade.

The owner was really nice and gave us a bunch of business cards to give to our friends. So friends, I pass this on to you. I think you will really enjoy it.

Binh Minh Ga Nuong
5 Ly Van Phuc (It's on an alley south of Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, slightly west of the Temple of Literature)