When I first came to Vietnam 15 years ago I was instantly in love with the street food here. But after a certain period of time the love sort of fizzed out and I find myself craving beloved treats such as pancakes, bagels, tacos and above all, doughnuts.
That’s why I was thrilled to find a particular street cart on Ton That Tung between Bui Thi Xuan and Nguyen Trai beside Huyen Si church. You will find a classic street cart run by an old husband and wife team that sells banh tieu, banh bo, dau chao quay and banh dui ga.
Banh tieu or yau tiu is a Vietnamese snack. It’s round, slightly sweet and often coated with some sesame seeds. It’s crunchy on the outside with a hollow center. I like to call it a Vietnamese doughnut because it is truly like a crossover between an American beignet and a doughnut.
Banh bo is a sweet, slightly chewy sponge cake made of rice flour, yeast, sugar, coconut milk and water. It is normally steamed to create a round, sponge shape. It’s often eaten with a side of mixed sesame seeds, salt and sugar. It’s actually a southern Chinese pastry but the Vietnamese version tends to use coconut milk.
Banh Dui Ga and Dau Chao Quay
Banh dui ga and dau chao quay are also known as Chinese crullers or deep fried bread stick. The difference is banh dui ga is formed to resemble a pair of chicken drumsticks. It is normally a side dish to add on or dip into congee. However, it is good enough to eat on its own and especially when it is freshly fried.
At the street cart, the husband does the frying while the wife does the selling. I love these old-couple businesses and husband-and-wife teams. It’s quite like my wife and I, but we’re not quite there yet. The husband and wife at Ton That Tung start frying and selling between 1-5pm daily. The only time they don’t really sell is when it rains since it is not safe to fry oil.
They have their own loyal following and normally finish their cart by 4pm. It is really just that simple, good and popular. Drop by and feel free to let me know what you think but come early to the street cart as they sell out pretty quick.