Learn a deliciously handy skill
Published/Last edited or updated: 3rd August, 2017
Hanoi offers cooking school options worthy of consideration so you can keep eating the delicious dishes you discovered on your trip here once home.
First up, Hanoi Cooking Centre was set up by Australian Tracey Lister, who was a founding chef trainer at Koto (Know One Teach One) and author of the gorgeous Vietnamese Street Food and Real Vietnamese Cooking.
Classes cover six themes: Hanoi and the northern highlands, food from the coast, Vietnamese street food, spring rolls, barbecues and salads, and vegetarian. All courses cost 1,350,000 dong. Kids classes are also offered. The centre is based on Chau Long, near Truc Bach Lake, and has a lovely courtyard cafe attached as well as being next to the cute little bookshop Bookworm, so there’s plenty of reasons to visit.
As well as its street food tours and language classes, Hidden Hanoi also offers cooking courses, held at their purpose-built kitchens on Nghi Tam. All recipes have been developed by Hidden Hanoi and use ingredients that can be found in Asian grocery stores internationally, meaning you should be able to replicate them back home.
They aim to teach people about Vietnamese culture as well as cooking, looking at for instance the traditional Vietnamese kitchen, rice and its cultural significance and Vietnamese spices and markets, among other topics. The first person to book each course gets to choose from among six menus for the day—so get in there early! Courses are: village, pagoda vegetarian, seafood, monsoon, pho and bun cha. Classes are held Monday to Saturday, 11:00-14:00 and cost $45 or $55 including a market tour.
Koto, a scheme for disadvantaged youths, offers four different cooking classes, each including five dishes. Choose from Traditional Hanoi Street Food, Spring Class, The Art of Pho and Strictly Vegetarian. All classes include a local market tour and you’ll leave with a Koto apron, a full recipe folder and pen and a certificate of completion as well as the knowledge gained from the course. Prices range from US$35 to US$42 depending upon the course selected.
Finally, Old Hanoi is a long-running Hanoian restaurant with its Mr Rice running well-rated classes held 09:00-13:00 weekends and 16:15-21:15 weekdays. For US$100, he's more expensive than the other offerings, probably due to him appearing on a Gordon Ramsey show. His class includes a market visit and hands-on cooking experience, with a choice between two menus.
Hanoi Cooking Centre: 44 Chau Long Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi; T: (04) 3715 3277; www.hanoicookingcentre.com.
Hidden Hanoi: 147 Nghi Tam, Tay Ho, Hanoi; T: (091) 225 4045; www.hiddenhanoi.com.vn.
Koto Restaurant: 59 Van Mieu Street, Dong Da, Hanoi; T: (04) 3747 0337; www.koto.com.au.
Old Hanoi Restaurant: 4 Ton That Thiep, Ba Dinh, Hanoi; T: (04) 3747 8337; www.oldhanoi.com.
Samantha Brown is a reformed news reporter. She now edits most of the stuff you read on Travelfish.org, except for when you find a typo, and then that's something she wasn't allowed to look at.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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