Tingling tastebuds in Hue, Vietnam.
Many people will tell you that Hue is a must see city when visiting Vietnam, and we don't disagree. However, our reasons may slightly vary from those of other travellers. Simply put, we spent our days trying new foods rather than racing to the tourist attractions; we don't regret it one bit!
Hanoi was our culture trip, we wanted to see all there was to see, from both old and new. We did our share of cultural outings; visiting the pagodas and temples, exploring museums and markets as well as wandering through both the city and the Old Quarter.
Da Nang was stunning in its own right. We spent most of our time in the ocean, enjoying the fact that not only could we see the ocean floor but also feel the warm temperature of the water against our skins. We enjoyed coconuts at the beach bar, walks along the promenade and visiting the Golden Dragon Bridge.
But Hue, Hue stole our hearts. The friendliness of the locals, the quiet streets, and the food. Oh the food! I don't think I’ll ever forget some of the meals we had there. I also conquered my fear of chillies (between you and me, I may have put on a brave face the first time I ate a Jalapeño chilli, but internally I felt the burn for what felt like eternity), which is a pretty big deal.
Our first tasty experience was Bistro 34.
You’re lured in by an eclectic interior of wrought iron furniture and an old school double seated porch swing. The menu has a wide variety of food, from classic Vietnamese cuisine to more Westernised dishes. Strategically places a few hundred meters from the Imperial Citadel, this is a definite must try restaurant. If we’re being honest, we went there for lunch twice.
Address: 34 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hue 530000, Vietnam
Business hours: 10:00 to 19:00
Strolling down a small alleyway looking for a dinner spot, we inadvertently stumbled into Nina’s Cafe. Here the menu boasted great varieties; local Vietnamese dishes, Western meals as well as a few of Hue’s specialities.
I had my first clay pot dish at Nina’s, this technique is used across many cultures and allows for the food inside the pot to lose little to no moisture, creating a tender and flavourful meal.
After a long day of adventuring and grumbling tummies, there is no photographic evidence of our wonderful means at Nina's, but trust us - it's so worth the visit.
Address:16/34 Nguyen Tri Phuong Laneway 34, Hue 530000 Vietnam
Business hours: 09:30 to 22:30
Before arriving at Nina’s, we had seen a quirky looking restaurant called Nook, and made a mental note to try it for lunch. So that’s exactly what we did the following day.
If you think the outside looks inviting and quirky, wait until you're greeted by an equally quirky, warm and inviting atmosphere.
We were spoilt for choice when flipping through the menu, food options varying from vegetarian meals to Vietnamese cuisine infused with an Asian twist. William opted to try a honey glaze pork dish and I went with another clay pot meal (adventurous, I know).
Address: Alley 34/7 Nguyen Tri Phuong, Hue 530000 Vietnam
Business hours: 08:30 to 22:00
Like I said earlier, both Hanoi and Da Nang were mesmerising but I could get lost in Hue’s atmosphere any day. Looking back, neither of us regret not visiting the Citadels or Emperors tombs. After our time in the busy cities we needed a small getaway, and what better way to relax than with some really good food.