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“A must do when in Hanoi!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hanoi Cooking Centre

Hanoi Cooking Centre
44 Chau Long St. | Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 4 3715 0088
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Ranked #56 of 456 Activities in Hanoi
Type: Classes/Workshops, Classes
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: First visit the famous Chau Long Market, then take your wares back to the kitchen to prepare a meal, perhaps street food, traditional Hanoian dishes or coastal cuisine. If you don't want to cook, a five-hour tour of street food and other venues ends with Vietnamese tea and dessert.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A must do when in Hanoi!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Spent the morning on the Street Eats and Market tour. Well worth it! The only downside was there was so much food I couldn't eat it all...what a great way to see Hanoi and learn about the famous "street food scene".

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“Eat, Drink and be Merry (and then eat some more)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

One of the best things about Vietnam is their street food and a great way to dive into the scene is to do a food walking tour with a local.
We meet at the Hanoi Cooking School in the morning and were served a local tea in a beautiful courtyard.
Our guide was chef Ling; we started by having the most fragrant and delicious bowl of Pho and then it was off to the market and checked out different rices, meat and vegetables.
We then hopped in a cab and went to the old quarter where the food sampling started in earnest, steamed rice pancakes with a special condiment (you’ll have to do the tour to find out what it is), local beer, snail soup, Bánh xèo and Bún chả. The tour ended with fresh fruit and a trip to the oldest café in Hanoi.
Ling is an enigmatic, knowledgeable and friendly host.
The tour goes at an easy pace, Ling is Hanoi traffic controller extraordinaire and at several points during the tour a taxi magically appears and whisks one to another wonderful location.
The booking process is really easy and getting there is a cinch (just a few dollars and about 20 minutes from the Old Quarter)
We were deciding between this foods walking tour and another and our hotel suggested this one. While it is more expensive it’s a great tour to do, it’s well run, and you taste amazing, local food. Because the tour is hosted by a chef who is also local he is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and keen for you to have a good time.
You can choose to either do the street food tour or a cooking class. Next time we will do the cooking class – I hope Bánh xèo and Bún chả are on the menu!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Street food tour amazing - cookery class a little lacking”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

My husband and I did a cookery class and a street tour with Hanoi Cooking Center. About my rating - I would give the street food tour five stars, and the cookery class three stars, so I've averaged four stars for this review.

Street food tour:
We met with our guide at the centre - it was only the three of us on the tour which was great. We went to have pho first nearby while we got chatting. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about cuisine - he was a chef in a five-star hotel for years and I don't think there's anything he doesn't know about food, especially Vietnamese street food. After our pho, we took a taxi to a place that did Banh cuon, prepared by two extremely skilled and nimble women. They made it look easy but I know I would have made a mess of it! After that, we walked to a Bia Hoi place and had a few beers while we chatted about Vietnamese food, culture and history. We then moved onto a Banh xeo and then a Bun Thit Nuong seller, both delicious. Dessert was a famous place that did a Vietnamese fruit salad with condensed milk. I usually dislike fruit salad but this was delicious, I gobbled it down despite having eaten my weight in previous dishes! The finish was something we didn't expect but absolutely loved - our guide took us to a shop that sold rucksacks and bags, which completely confused us, before beckoning us down a hallway at the back of a shop and up some stairs. Turns out there was a Vietnamese cafe on the first floor with a fantastic dive bar vibe, manga art on the walls and indie music. We tried coffee with egg added, it had a rich meringue flavour which we loved. We were then brought back to the centre where we were given aprons as a gift. We left feeling very well looked after and having learned a lot about Vietnamese food and culture. An amazing experience.

Cookery Class:
My husband and I took part in the Vietnamese street food cookery class. We were taken to a nearby market where our guide pointed out many produce and proteins available, explaining how they were prepared and how the market worked. She was very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. The market was a very foreign experience for me and I absolutely loved it! We then returned to the centre to take our cookery class. That's when things became a little chaotic. Along with the group that went to the market, a woman and three children joined us, and it became apparent that the children were Korean and the woman was translating for them. We were asked to wait ten minutes until a group of four men turned up and joined us also. At this point there were 19 people - several had to double up on the tables. At this point the room was very hot and the noise level was rising. We were then asked to gather around the chef, who showed us, in turn, to prepare Pho Bo (the beef stock and beef had already been cooked for us), which we then ate as breakfast; West Lake prawn cakes; Pho Cuon with a vegetable pickle dip; green pawpaw salad with a Nuoc Cham dressing; and Banana Che as dessert. The chefs did a good job explaining the preparations but with someone translating in the background it was a little noisy and difficult to follow sometimes. After every demonstration we returned to our tables and prepared the dishes on our own. Staff would walk around, providing advice and answering questions, but they couldn't always get to everyone because it was so busy. There were no burners at our tables - anything that required actual cooking was done by the chefs at the top of the room, apart from the prawn cakes which we deep fried in woks at the top of the room. This really disappointed us as a cookery class should involve actual cooking. What we were doing was prepping. At the end of the class we went upstairs and sat together with other participants while we ate our food, which was really nice. We were told that we could bring our aprons with us when we left.

I really felt that for the price that we paid for this cookery class we should have had less people in the room, and it should have involved actual cooking. Having so many people in the room smacked of just packing in the numbers without thought of the quality of the class for people who had booked in advance. The street food tour, however, was truly excellent and worth every cent that we paid.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Street Treats- Hanoi cooking centre”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

This street treats tour was one of the highlights of our stay in Hanoi. Two energetic young chefs from the center, guided our group easily through the city to 3 different markets and 5-6 different food vendors to taste the food and see how it was prepared. They easily accommodated my vegetarian needs and loved talking to us about all aspects of vietnamese life beyond the kitchen. This is a must do for anyone mildly interested in food or culture.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“One of the best cooking classes I have attended”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The Hanoi Cooking Centre was an awesome experience that I can highly recommend. The market tour where we bought fresh produce for our class was guided by expat Aussie Tracey and was inciteful, and entertaining. I plucked up the courage to buy a Belut which was cooked and eaten during the course. The Food from the Coast course featured some delicious Vietnamese seafood dishes such as Squid Cakes, Crab and pomelo salad and Prawn and Green Rice in Betel Leaf. Making them was fun, and eating them delightful. A clean, professional, and efficient cooking school.

Visited April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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