During the two years that I lived in Hanoi, I would get up early once each week to walk 1 kilometer to indulge my 2nd favorite breakfast treat – Cháo Lòng Gà (rice porridge with chicken “innards” (that would be liver, heart, kidney, etc). In the winter months, the weather was cool – sometimes bone-chilling misty wet in the mornings. But the cháo lòng gà was a great start to launch the day.
Here in Saigon, it’s a different story. The day starts very warm and heats up from there. So, I’ve had to adjust my routine a bit to enjoy my cháo.
First forget the 1 kilometer walk to breakfast. Air-conditioned Bus #30 does just fine . Then, to enjoy a bowl of hot porridge, one needs a comfortable, air-conditioned surroundings. This is where Cháo Hà Nội comes in.
Several steps above Saigon Street Food, Cháo Hà Nội provides a cool and peaceful place to ease into the day with your bowl of hot porridge.
Simple, yet pleasant surroundings.
And, the porridge itself is very nice.
The actual porridge (rice gruel) is only slightly flavored. But, add a several drops of fish sauce and a few dashes of ground white pepper. Then, sprinkle on the chopped greens and scallions. All provided at the table. Top it all with as much chili pepper sauce as your pallet demands. Now, you have yourself some delicious cháo.
And, of course, enjoy the meaty flavors of the tim, cật, and gan (heart, kidney, liver) as you spoon your way to the bottom of the bowl. Something feels healthy about a warm bowl of porridge filled with organ meats (although, I realize many of my friends don’t agree ).
So, now you’ve enjoyed a classic Vietnamese food item. Pay your bill – about 60,000 VND ($3 USD); walk out the front door, turn right, take about 10 steps and complete your East Meets West experience with a hot (or iced) cappuccino at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf right next door to Cháo Hà Nội.
Cháo Hà Nội gets a YUM rating from us.
OPEN from 7 am-12 pm
P.6, District 3
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