BEST BREAD: A beautiful sourdough bread loaf from La Saveur called tartine.Photo courtesy of the shop
By Nguyễn Mỹ Hà
When Hà Nội announced dine-in restaurants could open again last Monday, everyone rushed out to have their much-longed-for bowl of phở. While phở recipes are widely available online, traditional restaurants with secret recipes still have a strong allure.
While restaurant owners and staff alike were thrilled to be back in business, the news that the capital had reported new community COVID-19 cases for the first time in 10 days on July 6 put a dampener on things.
So even though one can dine out, it's still important to reduce your contact with others as much as possible. If you're able to stay at home and order food, you're one of the lucky people still able to put food on the table.
Online services with a simple banking payment system make it easy to sort out home meals.
Sourdough is all the rage these days when it comes to bread and luckily, it's readily available for Hanoians.
Khói Corner is an online gourmet store that sells homemade sausages, smoked food including smoked free-range chickens, salmon and sourdough bread. One of the store's signature sausages is the cheese stuffing sausage for children (VNĐ350,000 per kilo) and coarse meat sausages for adults at (VNĐ420,000). Other smoked meats on offer include pork ribs and pork belly. Smoked salmon (VNĐ900,000 a kilo) and dried shredded salmon are some of the shop's best selling items. Smoked salmon can be mixed into salads, and shredded salmon served with rice congee.
Khói Corner also has a list of traditional Vietnamese meats including cinnamon flavoured paste (chả quế) (VNĐ350,000 a kilo), boiled chicken roll sausage (giò gà) at VNĐ340,000 for an 800-gram roll and chicken liver pate for VNĐ480,000 a kilo.
Last but not least, Khói Corner's sourdough bread loaf can be shipped to your door for VNĐ150,000 a loaf. A quick sandwich with either sausage or smoked salmon with the bread is fast and easy, yet also healthy.
FRESHNESS: Homemade salad with smoked salmon from Khói Corner.Photo courtesy of the shop
Dumpling-lovers can try Russian or Chinese dumplings, very popular and easy for a quick meal, but not necessarily instant or fast food.
Chicken, pork and beef dumplings from The Golden Ring, named after Russia's famous 'Golden Ring' scenic route, come as frozen and packed in half-kilo bags.
Known as pelmeni, the dumplings are made by two Russian ladies and taste quite delicious.
They also offer boiled or pan-seared vareniki stuffed with potatoes (VNĐ90,000), with cheddar cheese (VNĐ180,000 a kilo) or fresh tvorog cheese (VNĐ290,000 a kilo), served with either sour cream or cheese on top.
Veggie vareniki are good for non-meat eaters as they also have a tofu stuffing choice (VNĐ120,000 a kilo) and Russian traditional sourdough bread at VNĐ 60,000 per half-a-kilo loaf.
With the expertise of two Russian experts Olesia Gubaidullina and Oxana Postnikova, The Golden Ring also has a restaurant that sells a variety of Olivier, Cesar and herring-under-a-fur-coat salads. Cold and hot soups at VNĐ80,000 are available as well as stuffed meat, cabbage and marinated fish.
DUMPLING DELIGHT: Russian dumplings pelmeni from The Golden Ring cooked in a soup with some chopped dill on top.Photo courtesy of the company
La Saveur is more of a newcomer in the boulangerie scene of the city. Open since last year, it offers a range of bread and biscuits made from sourdough, which uses naturally raised yeast instead of dried.
Deemed the healthiest dough and bread, using sourdough has not only become trendy among bakers but also, more importantly, among customers.
Priced quite higher than traditional white bread loaf derived from French baguettes, the bread is tasty and healthy.
Even if COVID-19 pandemic means you're stuck at home, you can still order from the Parisian style bakery at La Saveur.
Its menu varies on a weekday basis, with Tartine sourdough (VNĐ125,000 a loaf), rustic rye sourdough and a honey oatmeal sourdough sandwich available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while chocolate walnut, purple sweet potato sourdough and Foccacia sourdough are on the menu on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Monday is a day off for La Saveur.
If you want to order sourdough bread, place your order at least one day ahead, as the bread is baked during the day and can be ready in the afternoon. VNS
Online shop at Facebook fanpage: Khói Corner
Smoked goodies (sausages, poultry and meat) and sourdough bread
Golden Ring @278a Nghi Tàm, Tây Hồ District, Hà Nội
Russian dumplings, pickles and sourdough bread (Dine in restaurant)
1A/3, Ngõ 1 Nhân Hòa, Nhân Chính, Thanh Xuân, Hà Nội
Tel: 0975.375.777 - 0362.561.568 (order one day ahead for sourdough bread)