Let me explain a bit for someone who has not been familar with life here in Hanoi, ‘Shouting Noodle Soup’ stands for noodle shops (very popular breakfast dish in all over Vietnam) that the owner treat their staffs and customers by shouting at them with different level of bad language (sometimes they really swear to people). Reasons are heaps, but I think one of the main reasons is the consequence of subsidy period that dated back before early 1990s in North of Vietnam. Society was subsistence and corruption violently occurred. It arise a habit of dependence. Further more, the buyer had no choice and totally depended on government supports so service culture was not existed. After ‘Đổi mới’ (The renovation to socialist-oriented market economy), people realized the old business minded is no longer suitable but likely is hard to be changed a habit that existed in years.
I came to a famous noodle soup in the other day with my wife and ordered 2 bowls of Beef Noodle, after about 10 minutes, I recalled and the owner said with cold face: ‘just sit there’! Well, I was in rush and nicely asked one more time after another 5 minutes waiting, the answer was: ‘do you see how busy I am? You can go if you can’t wait’! I was actually lucky because I over heard that there were much stronger worded in other places that now officially added in Vietnamese modern dictionary as ‘Shouting Noodle, shouting Congee , rice and so on’
Some locals event find it normal as they get used to with it, later on they accept it. Shouting shops are still packed (trust me, their foods are great). Many people go there cause of curious too. It arises a question, is it a culture of Hanoian cuisine? and refuse it or not? That is now being a hot topic in most of famous Vietnamese forum discussion.
Good news for tourist, you will be alright I think, as shouting shops most located in small alleys and untouristic places. English also does not exist!
In case of someone wish to try your luck, here are couple of addresses you may want to go. Some I have been, some not. And of course, I am not the shop owner, don’t shout at me 🙂
1, Tongue (pork) noodle shop (Bún lưỡi)
- Address: Ngô Sỹ Liên Market – Đống Đa – Hà Nội
- Shouting hours: 11:00 to 15:00 daily
2, Chicken congee shop (Cháo gà)
- Address: Lý Quốc Sư street (nearby Church)
- Shouting hours: Day & night