May Schooling (L, 3rd), mother of swimmer Joseph Schooling, and members of Singaporean sports team try 'bun cha' at Huong Lien Restaurant in Hanoi, May 17 2022. Photo courtesy of May Schooling The mother of Singapore's first Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling who is competing at the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam, has enjoyed Hanoi’s signature street dishes.
May Schooling, known as Singapore’s most famous mum and a local celebrity, came to Hanoi on May 13 to support her son who won two gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly and 4×100-meter men's relay on Monday night.
She has tried some of Hanoi's iconic dishes like chicken noodle soup, fried catfish, egg coffee, banh mi, bun thang – a special kind of noodle soup comprised of rice vermicelli, thinly sliced chicken pieces, omelet, mushrooms, and chopped fresh herbs and bun cha – char grilled pork with rice noodles.
She quite liked the eel porridge and stir-fried eel.
"This is the first time I have eaten eel prepared like this, it is suitable for drinking beer," she said.
She was interested in spicy eel vermicelli and chose Ms. Ngo's stall on Minh Khai Street to try this dish.
May also hailed bun thang, sharing that she enjoyed it at the Ba To-Hang Be restaurant.
In the early morning, May enjoyed breakfast like a local including a cup of coffee and bread served with fried egg.
"Good coffee keeps me awake in the morning to cheer up my son," May said.
The most impressive experience is trying "Bun cha Obama" at Huong Lien's restaurant that welcomed former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016.
She was surprised by the restaurant having preserved the things that Obama used during his visit, lending it a global fame.
Her group also sat at a table where Obama did.
Another interesting experience is to try egg coffee at Giang's shop, the most famous address for it.
"In a narrow and dark alley is the best cafe," she said.
May said egg coffee tasted quite unusual but delicious.
Egg coffee starts with a layer of condensed milk at the bottom over which is poured strong black coffee. A whisked egg yolk is placed on top.
It was invented in the 1940s when there was a scarcity of milk in the city, prompting a bartender to use a replacement. The alternative, whisked egg yolk, turned the coffee into one of the most renowned drinks in the country.