A roll in the rice
Banh Cuon Gia Truyen Thanh Van restaurant
Across from our Hotel in Hanoi is a nice small restaurant specializing in rice rolls, It seems to be well known as it has had a couple of positive foreign reviews (proudly displayed on the wall) that are well deserved. The place has been updated and is very clean; the woman assembling the rolls even wears plastic gloves. While retaining its authentic taste they have made the food more approachable to the tourist market.
Like most establishments the food is cooked in the front where passersby can see the whole delicious process. The rice roll batter is cooked on a linen covered streaming pot of water. This allows the steam to cook the rice roll batter when it spread thinly on top of the linen. The container is covered and the batter cooked. At the end the roll is either covered with the fried ground pork and cloud mushroom then rolled or taken off the pot then dressed. It depends on the place which way they do it. Lastly the crispy onions are placed on top along at this place pork fluff.
They also added fresh cilantro but one customer who complained explained that it should have been fresh basil as it tastes better. There was a slightly salty dipping sauce based on soya sauce rather than on the sweet fish sauce based one we find in Vancouver. I liked their sauce better but once I started eating the rolls I found the sauce was not needed. The onions, pork filling and pork fluff (salty) were more than enough taste for me.
There was also pork roll to eat along with the rolls, both types very good.
Have to say their positive reviews were well deserved and I would recommend this place to even the less adventurous travelers.