We’re not planning to do a whole lot of restaurant reviewing on everywhs.com here, but we will when there’s something notably location-specific to discuss, and particularly when most of what’s out there about it is misinformation.
And today, our example of that is Lệ Mật:
Lệ Mật villages have a genious skill of cooking snake in tens of dishes, they are all tasty and nutritious.
For some reason, everyone who writes on the Internet about the Lệ Mật local delicacy live snake heart! that we found was nasty and bitter about their visit, about the politest you’ll find is that it’s an inauthentic made up tourist scam.
Well, that’s on them; figure it’s like we say about people who whine “money can’t buy happiness!” hey they just don’t know where to shop.
Us, we figured from things like that quote there that there most assuredly was a local tradition to be found and enjoyed, and indeed there is, we found out from new local friends —
— next time you’re heading through Hanoi here is where you head for your ophidian culinary apotheosis: Quán Đồng Quê Trần Bân!
Your first clue that this is not a tourist trap would be that we’ve got a picture of the business card there, and not a link. That’s because there is no English link. And as far as we can tell, the only links in any other language in teh intertubez are Yellow Pages style Vietnamese business address listings.
The second clue is, when you find the place, there’s a full crew staffing it and the only one around that understands any English is this darling 10 year old girl, who got to have “bedtime” be “when the foreigners left” that night since she was our sole translation lifeline and enjoyed all the attention immensely:
But with our precocious elementary school student there as translator, we got through the snake selection and rendering process, which we were planning to snip together a highlight video of but looks like we’re just not going to find time for that soon…
…so we’ll just provide this clip of the end of the raw-heart-and-blood bits, by which the remarkably strong Viet vodka they serve it in was already starting to go to my head. Not that you could really tell, trolls are pretty hard drinkers — as observe here Kobkaew did not realize that glass looking like water was, in fact, Viet-strong vodka until trying to rinse the snake blood taste out of her mouth:
Good times, good times. But now, it’s time for SNAKE ON A PLATE!
Course 1: Snake soup
Course 2: Snake fritters
Course 3: Grilled snake with snake skin crisps
Course 4: Snake rolls
Course 5: Snake crumble
Course 6-7-8: MOAR SNAKE and MOAR SNAKE and MOAR SNAKE!
But don’t fear, Dear Readers Of Delicate Palate: If you really can’t abide this veritable plethora of culinary delights to be found here (seriously, all that from 1 kg of snake??) — why, they’ll lay on some birds as a side so you can eat too!
So yep. You’re in Hanoi, you want to check out Snake Village, Quán Đồng Quê Trần Bân is the place and that’s how you do it!