Hue sweet soup is a dish not to be missed by tourists
Enjoying Hue dishes
I had a few close friends when I was a university student in Hue. After graduating from university, I am the only one who live in Hue while each of them works in a different place. As they couldn’t go anywhere due to COVID-19 pandemic for the past 2 years, together they discussed: “We will come to Hue soon. One reason is to visit you but enjoying Hue dishes is the primary reason. You have to guide us to enjoy Hue dishes “to the fullest”!”
So, I reluctantly became their “tour guide”. As soon as they arrived in Hue, we had a discussion: “Today, we must eat all Hue dishes that we haven’t got the chance to enjoy for a long time.” Therefore, I was given the task of finding decent eating establishments for conducting the “food tour” that my old friends have cherished for a long time.
Of course, it is such a waste of the whole trip if one leaves Hue without eating beef noodle soup. So early in the morning, despite being tired from a long trip, we stopped at a noodle stall that I had eaten for more than 5 years.
My eldest uncle often said that one should go early to eat beef noodle soup since the first bowls were always the most delicious and quintessential ones. Indeed, it was still the usual bowl consisting of beef, noodle and crab cakes, but our bowls of beef noodle soup were strangely delicious that day. No one said a word to anyone as we kept our heads down slurping our own bowls of beef noodle soup while occasionally reaching with chopsticks to pick up some vegetables that had been briefly dipped in boiling water.
“Food tour” is increasingly chosen by tourists
After eating, Minh Tu (from Sa Thay, Kon Tum) said: “At home, I also search for recipes online to try cooking. The dish tastes okay, but I feel like something is missing. It turns out that the ‘missing’ is Hue flavor. Only in Hue is the taste of beef noodle soup decently delicious.”
Leaving the noodle stall, we drove slowly through the inner-city streets. The cool weather in the early morning of summer made people relax and enjoy life more. The group decided to find a coffee shop located on Dang Thai Than Street, which was famous for its special drink – “salted coffee”.
It may sound strange, but everyone was amazed by the rich and unforgettable taste when enjoying the drink. The salty taste of salt mixed with the bitter taste of coffee and a little sweetness of milk made this drink more attractive. While sipping coffee, we reviewed our memories during college, and soon it was noon.
We decided that the next destination would be Dong Ba market. After taking a tour around the market, the group quickly dropped into the market's food court. In front of our eyes were countless specialties such as ‘water-fern’ - shaped cake (banh beo), flat rice cake (banh nam), tapioca dumpling (banh loc), turmeric vermicelli, spring rolls, fermented meatball, etc. So, the group continued to “rush in”, each of them enjoyed a few plates while giving compliments.
New travel trend
I encountered a few groups of young people traveling from Hanoi to Hue in just 2 days. I found out that this group of friends had been to Hue before. However, these young people are so passionate about the street food here that they decided to return to Hue just to enjoy all the dishes that have been "reviewed" on social networking sites such as Facebook, Tiktok.
Delicious and attractive turmeric vermicelli
Mr. Nguyen Duy Hieu, a 26-year-old guy living and working in Hanoi, said that his group of 3 people planned it 2 weeks ago. They did not have much time, but they loved Hue food very much. So, the 3 young people decided to choose Hue as the destination for their “food tour” on the weekend.
“Recently, the trend of taking a “food tour” to Hue is very “hot”, so we decided to come here to experience mussel rice dishes, Hue beef noodle soup , plain rice flan (banh khoai), Trang Tien banh mi, Hue sweet soup, etc. Maybe this is our most interesting and unforgettable experience,” shared Duy Hieu.
These young people also said that they would not depend entirely on reviews on social networks but would find places to eat on their own or ask for help of local people to have the most interesting experiences.
At a quite famous pressed cake (banh ep) stall on Le Ngo Cat street, it is not difficult to see groups of young people from many different provinces and cities coming here to enjoy delicious cakes rich in Hue flavor.
Ms. Hoang Anh Thi, a 24-year-old girl from Da Nang and a group of 4 friends chose to travel to experience Hue on weekends or holidays to have fun and relax. The group of young people said: “We have eaten pressed cake in many other places, but only in Hue can we enjoy pressed cake with the most decently delicious taste. The price is also very reasonable. So, even when we have to travel a long distance, we still make arrangements to visit Hue to enjoy our favorite kind of cake."
Recently, “food tour” has become quite a popular trend. This is considered one of the most interesting experiences for tourists or young people who have little free time but still want to travel in combination with stress relief.
A “food tour” is often scheduled in advance, with the distance being calculated and the places you want to go to being pre-determined. Thence, people can eat as much as they want on schedule without worrying about price and time.
Story & photos: Bach Chau - Quoc Viet