NEWS: In 2018, we will not be available to conduct tours at the following times:

September 5 - October 7, October 18-21, December 7-17

The food available in Hanoi's narrow alleys and tree-lined boulevards is just as much a part of the city as its lakes and old world architecture. In fact, all of these elements combine with the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people to produce a lively culinary scene that is both diverse and confronting.

Over the past twelve years, 'the god' (Van Cong Tu, author of the blog 'Vietnamese God') and 'Sticky' (Mark Lowerson, author of the blog Stickyrice) have been traversing the streets of Vietnam's capital, as well as cutting a wider arc through other regions of Vietnam and beyond, wolfing down between us virtually everything on offer.

Tu is an accredited tour guide with more than 17 years experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. He is an expert on the cuisine of the south-central coast, having grown up in Nha Trang and frequent visits to Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc Island make him very well-versed in what people are feeding their faces with in the south, too. But Hanoi is where he dwells and its chaotic web of lanes and alleys are where he eats most. Tu knows the market vendors and they like him.

Mark has been resident in Hanoi since January 2002, eating on the streets here from day one. The blog 'Stickyrice' is one of the longest running foodblogs, with the first post dated May 2005. Named in The Times Online's 50 Best Foodblogs in 2009 (at #22), 'Stickyrice' has been featured on 'Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie' and as part of SBS's Featured Foodie series.

We specialise in Vietnam's streetfood and wet markets and have recently designed a series of itineraries for travellers and food enthusiaists. These tours have been carefully planned to give visitors to Vietnam an authentic taste of a country very attuned to the rhythms of food through the day and through the seasons. Together, we visit the street stalls and markets, sampling the produce and eating from their dishes and bowls, as well as cooking with the ingredients at home.
Our tours range from three hour morning, afternoon or evening walks to a full-day eat-a-thon. The most popular tour is the 3 hour (8.30am-11.30pm) morning tour which typically includes a street market walk (with ongoing explanations of food practices, strange food items, some delicacies), a visit to ceremonial cake stalls, a special French dessert, the food sections of Hanoi's main Dong Xuan market, a streetfood alley for a noodle lunch, fruit stalls and coffee at an historic old quarter cafe.

A full day (9am-3pm) itinerary for foodie tragics (including more market visits and more street snacks and drinks) is also available. It encompasses a deeper look at ingredients and is ideal for those in the food industry, whether they be chefs, food writers, indeed anyone with an enthusiasm for food, whether it be in the eating or the cooking! All tours are inclusive of all food/drinks and are conducted entirely on foot after Tu meets and greets at the hotel.

Tu and Mark can also customise tours for particular interests if given sufficient advance notice. For more information and/or to book a tour, email both Tu: and Mark:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Braised Eggplant with Pork


Like most Vietnamese people, I can cook some basic daily dishes but I really enjoy cooking for my good friends. I love trying new recipes but I always put my own interpretation in there and don't always follow the recipes or the rules for cooking. Luckily the dishes normally turn out pretty tasty. I would like to introduce this recipe on our Street Food Tour website one of the dish called Braised Eggplant With Pork. I cooked it over the weekend for some friends.

Vinh Long - Eggplants

Cooking Vietnamese food doesn't take lots of time or preparation. I cut preparation time by asking my vegie vendor, who is fantastic, peel and sometimes chop the vegetables at the market. This dish takes next to no time to prepare but the key is allowing the eggplants to soften and take on the other flavours.

For 4 to 6 people:
Eggplant 4 : slice into batons
Pork 200 grams : slice into batons
Gala Thau - Pickled dried radish : slice into batons
Ginger : thinly sliced
Chilli : thinly sliced
Onion : diced
Garlic : finely chopped
Chicken powder
Oyster sauce
Soya sauce
Coriander to garnish


Stir fry the eggplants in oil for a few minutes for color and tenderness then put them on a plate. Stir fry garlic, add pork then Gala Thau for three minutes. Add chicken powder, oyster sauce, a little bit of sugar and soya sauce. Keep stir frying for 5 minutes then return the eggplants, ginger, onion and chilli and stir fry for a minute or two more.

I think this is such an easy (but very tasty) dish in which eggplants are the star.


  1. It looks delicious. We dont have green eggplants here like yours. Thanks for sharing

  2. Very impressive webpage, beautiful photos. What is chicken powder? Can I use salt instead? Thanks

  3. YUMMMMMMMMMNNNN! Thank you I'd love to make it and thanks again for the invitation and opportunity to be a taster, it was a perfect evening- great company, plenty of vino and fabulous food!!!


  4. Hi, I'm vietnamese and I never heard about Gala Thau. Where did you buy and what it made from? Thank you very much.
    you have beautiful photos too
    Duyen from Hanoi

  5. Michael - we have all kinds of different eggplants in and purple, different shapes, too.

    Tan - chicken powder is a kind of seasoning - but you could use salt, too. Thanks

    Cynthia - glad you enjoyed the evening!

    Duyen - Gala Thau is like pickled daikon. You can buy it at the Chau Long market in Hanoi

  6. great post, I really like it. Thanks for posting. :)

  7. Hi Tu, how can I organise a food tour with you when I'm in Hanoi in May? Would be great if I can get your contact details.


  8. Sorry just seen that you have provided contact details above. I'll send you an email. Many thanks! Excellent blog!


  9. I love this... So good.

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