ExperiencesFood & DrinksLa Vong fish cake: Exquisite Hanoi taste for guests from all over the world
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Food & Drinks

La Vong fish cake: Exquisite Hanoi taste for guests from all over the world

Translated by Bing
A pan of hot and fragrant grilled lentil fish cake not only brings unforgettable flavors but also an experience with the whole senses.

If you were to encapsulate a city's culinary experience into one or two adjectives, what kind of words would you use to describe the flavors of the places you've visited? In exchange for those adjectives for a typical delicacy of Hanoi, I will not hesitate to introduce to friends four directions La Vong Fish Cake.

Not as popular as the bean noodle soup or as famous as the hot pho that has become the national brand, La Vong Fish Cake is more cowering as a typical cuisine, rare and difficult to find for diners who have visited Hanoi and had the opportunity to enjoy. A pan of hot and fragrant grilled lentil fish cakes not only brings unforgettable flavors but also an experience with the whole senses; From the cozy feeling by the fire, the sizzle of boiling fat, fish - vegetables stirring evenly, to the aroma brought up with the warm smoke and delicious pieces spreading from the first bite... All bring a unique flavor full of nostalgia.

A table full of La Vong fish cake (Source: New Hanoi)

Exquisite cuisine passed down through generations

Originating from a small restaurant at 14 Hang Son (now renamed Fish Cake City. La Vong fish cake has quickly become famous throughout Hanoi. La Vong fish cake is usually served with 03 parts: lentil fish cake is picked up on a hot pan, dipping sauce with shrimp paste served with sugar - lemon - chili for diners to serve themselves, and side dishes with puppet noodles, cakes, roasted peanuts, onions, chopped onion heads are brought out in turn. The ingredients do not sound very sophisticated, but for customers who have enjoyed it, just a small spice is missing, . The dish will also no longer be complete.

In addition to the delicate combination of ingredients on the table, the special feature that makes the reputation of each fish cake restaurant also lies in the secret of marinating and processing. With four indispensable typical aromas including spicy turmeric, harsh sour taste, fragrant galangal root juice and smelly shrimp paste, fresh pieces of lentil fish cut into chess pieces are marinated for at least 02-03 hours. So that, when the worker turns over evenly, the grilled fish is cooked and not dry, golden like the color of patio flowers, the sweetness of the meat radiates fragrance all over.

The name Lü Vong was named after the memory of the guests about the ancient statue "Khuong Tu Nha fishing for time" placed in the first restaurant serving this dish (Source: Fisher Pho)

Goldfish patties are colored from turmeric, dispelled fishy taste thanks to galangal and enhanced sweet aroma thanks to batch and shrimp paste (Source: Vnexpress)

The old place - new perfects each other and the value remains intact forever

Over time, Lü Vong Fish Cake today has been streamlined compared to the early days when this delicacy appeared. Firm, sweet, low-bone chips are sometimes changed to banana fish or blister fish at a cheaper price. Hot coal stoves occasionally crackle on the dining table for diners to enjoy the slow beast of grilling fish replaced by a handy gas stove. Coffee essential oil used to be sold in drops to mix with lemon shrimp paste or batches of vermicelli noodles that were custom-made to fit the bite are now not easy to find.

It's simpler, but La Vong Fish Cake restaurants are always crowded with locals who book tables in advance or people from far away to pay attention. Because although there are no more elaborate "reductions", although the somewhat stylish way of enjoying has been modified to be faster and more compact, Lü Vong Fish Cake has always been a standard. Although the outer whiskers have been cut, the ingredients and processing are still intact as before, which are the most core parts that make up the characteristic flavor of this dish.

Hang Son Street has long changed the name of the city because of the love for this dish of Hanoians (Source: New Hanoi)

In addition to the long-standing main dish, many restaurants also serve crispy fish hearts that are worth trying (Source: Lang Lieu fish cake) 

If you have never enjoyed La Vong Fish Cake, here are a few places you can visit right when thinking of this dish.

Lü Vong fish cake

Address: No. 14 Cha Ca Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

The first address serves and makes Hanoi diners know the name La Vong Fish Cake

(no FB)

Thang Long fish cake

Address: No. 19-21 Thanh Street, Hoan Kiem Hanoi

The restaurant does not have a second branch and is suitable for small groups of 4-5 people sitting together at a small table

Facebook: fb.com/Chả-cá-Thăng-Long-501887599897260

Fish Cake King

Address: 09 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

The system has many branches to choose from. The restaurant is large, always busy with customers whenever I visit, but is a more ideal place for large gatherings such as a meal with an extended family of three generations or a group of colleagues at the company

Facebook: fb.com/vuachaca.vn

King Fish Cake for the souls who eat and drink Saigon

By chance and unintentionally, it was my colleague who loved me and took me to this restaurant. If you belong to the people of Saigon "every time you go to Hanoi, you have to eat La Vong Fish Cake to reduce your cravings," do not forget to save this address!

Facebook: fb.com/ChaCaDeVuongVN

Written by : Leisure by Kris

Image source: Multiple authors
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