I would give away gastronomy sometimes just for 30 minutes in bbq chicken street in Hanoi…
In the small streets far from the very crowded backpackers’ area, is the not charming and smelly bbq chicken street.
But don’t be fooled by its aspect and my easy description, as when night starts to take over magic happens and this tiny alley becomes a realm where chicken is the one true king. Around 5.30 pm, the barbecues start to crackle, the honey bread is pilling up on their side and chicken breasts, legs and other parts are put on skewers.
Everyone is choosing his table and those who speak vietnamese start to shout their order to the waiters who are a bit overwhelmed but still very organized. And for the non vietnamese speakers like me, a strategy is to approach the beast of fire (the barbecue) slowly and point the desired items… 1 breast, 2 legs, (I pass on the nails) and one beer… Here we go !
The honey crispy bread and a few fresh vegetables soon arrive on the table and it’s when it hits you… This delicate smell of sugar comes from the fact that each ingredient is soaked in honey before and during the cooking process… Now you can’t wait for the chicken to arrive.
And the first skewer finally arrives, is violently cut with some sort of a pruner and this is exactly where time stops… It’s a dance of flavours in your mouth for something which is at the end only a piece of chicken… It’s crispy, melting between your fingers and in your mouth, sweet and savoury at the same time, it’s fat… it’s so good, it’s perfect !
It’s impossible to go to Hanoi and miss the bbq chicken street.