Bún chả obama hương liên

Former US president Barack Obama emerges from a meal with Anthony Bourdain at Bun cha Huong Lien in Hanoi, May 23, 2016. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Bun phụ thân Huong Lien is one of the hundreds of cheap, delicious street food restaurants you’ll find scattered liberally around the Vietnamese capital.

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Its specialty is a local classic, bún chả – a set of grilled fatty pork (chả) in a plastic bowl of sweet, clear, unctuous broth, with rice noodles, leafy greens & fresh herbs. The decor of the narrow two-storey diner could best be described as prison canteen – stainless steel tables, the small plastic stools that are ubiquitous around the city & while tiles – that could be easily hosed out before the next wave of diners.

Dirty plates & empty beer bottles are stacked haphazardly against the walls.

And there are a lot of people dailykhmerpost.coming khổng lồ eat at Huong Lien, because in May 2016, this happened:

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The President’s chopstick skills are on point . #buncha #hanoi

A post shared by anthonybourdain (
anthonybourdain) on May 23, năm 2016 at 7:22am PDT

The recently retired US president caught up with the chef turned TV presenter at Huong Lien for beers và a bite as part of Bourdain’s CNN travel show Parts Unknown.

The meal cost them about $AU5, including a beer.

Then things got weird.

Before Bourdain died suddenly & tragically in June this year, he returned khổng lồ Huong Lien and discovered their table had bedailykhmerpost.come a shrine.

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Not sure how I feel about this ???? via

A post shared by anthonybourdain (
anthonybourdain) on Mar 11, 2018 at 6:24pm PDT

And that’s very different lớn the way Obama remembered it in paying tribute to his friend when he died.

“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability khổng lồ bring us together. Khổng lồ make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him. Pic.twitter.dailykhmerpost.com/orEXIaEMZM

— Barack Obama (
BarackObama) June 8, 2018

When Business Insider visited Hanoi recently, we went lớn lunch at Bun phụ thân Huong Lien too.

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It was great fun, & we’d redailykhmerpost.commend you try it too if you’re ever in the northern Vietnamese city. You’ll be in và out in no time for very little money with a full belly, still licking your lips, và ready lớn face Hanoi’s bustle once again.

Here’s what happened on our visit:

Nothing makes the restaurant stand out, except for the fact that it’s really busy – and when I turned up, a woman asked me if I could take a photo of her standing outside the front of the restaurant.


It’s a narrow terrace with canteen-style tables on two floors. There are photos of ‘the moment’ everywhere – on the walls, the menu.


We headed up a narrow tiled staircase to lớn the đứng đầu floor and adjacent to lớn where Obama & Bourdain sat. As you can see the decor has that if-there’s-couple-of-wires-sticking-out-of-the-wall-no-worries casual vibe.


The thực đơn is simply bun thân phụ (grilled pork) và beers, although you can địa chỉ a deep-fried seafood ball if you’re feeling fancy. The 85,000 Vietnamese dong meal giảm giá works out at about $AU5.10. The local Hanoi beer costs about 90 cents, the bun phụ thân itself about $2.50.


The table is laid out with plates of cold rice noodles, leafy greens và herbs, cut chilli, minced ginger & garlic, and pickled vegetables, all lớn share, as well as a dipping sauce made from fish sauce.


We all get individual bowls on the grilled pork in a sweet vinegary broth that helps cut through the fattiness of the meat. You địa chỉ the flavours you want khổng lồ make it more interesting. Hit the chilli sauce hard & you’ll break out in sweats.


The bill. Yes, you pay (about 20c) for the hand wipe towelettes. The ‘nem cua be’ is the crab spring roll, which didn’t deliver a lot of thrills, although if you lượt thích big fat fried things, you’ll be happy.


Here’s the pork being grilled and some of the spring rolls. All the food dailykhmerpost.comes really quickly, then you scoff it và run.


The Obama meal made Bun phụ thân Huong Lien, but unless you knew, you wouldn’t pick it from the outside. There are plenty of great places khổng lồ eat in town. One of my favourites is KOTO, which stands for Know One, Teach One, which Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham launched as a hospitality training centre at-risk & disadvantaged youth in 2000. Bill Clinton’s been lớn eat there. The thực đơn ranges from bun phụ thân to a rib-eye steak & spag bol.​


Owner Nguyen Thi Lien (top right) sits in the front window of Bun phụ vương Huong Lien. She’s made the most of her opportunity.


Bun thân phụ Huong Lien 24 Lê Văn Hưu,Phạm Đình Hồ,Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam

* Business Insider australia visited Vietnam as a guest of Vietnam Airlines, which runs daily flights from Sydney & Melbourne to lớn Hanoi và Ho đưa ra Minh City, as well as special flights from Sydney khổng lồ the resort thành phố of Danang.