The last of seven random excerpts from my Eating Việt Nam book, which was published this week.
This passage refers to the place on Phùng Hưng street in Hà Nội where I first tried Bún chả in 1997. It’s also where I took my wife for our first ever lunch together. I went back here in October 2013. The stall had long gone. However, Bún chả is still available in the vicinity. The white ring of paint I mention is, apparently, to stop insects burrowing inside the tree and killing it. Unfortunately, in present day Hà Nội, these old trees are under threat. Many of them are being cut down. It’s beyond sad to see them getting cut down like this. Below are two photos from this street and a photo of Bún chả taken in the south of the country. The old stall I used to go to regularly was located here on Google streetview. Thanks to Ben Stocking, former AP bureau chief in Hà Nội for the link to the story about the trees in Hanoi today.