As the very wise Chinese proverb goes, "Give a man a fish and he is fed today. Teach a man to fish and he is fed everyday." This is the precise ethos of KOTO - Know One, Teach One - started by Aussie Jimmy Phan of Vietnamese origin. This not-for-profit organisation cleverly uses the growing popularity of Vietnamese cuisine and imparts culinary and related skills to street and disadvantaged youth of Vietnam, so that they have sustainable skills to break out of their poverty cycle. A worthy cause indeed! Visit www.koto.com.au for more details.
So if you're heading to the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, be sure to make time to have a meal or drinks at KOTO, just across from the temple. Makes for a rewarding afternoon, as we found out, and the food is very decent to boot!
We had a snack platter of Vietnamese spring rolls, deep fried spring roll wtih roast duck, and mung been patties with minced pork. Served with their respective sauces, they made for an excellent afternoon snack.
The rice paper rolls were very good too. Served in a bamboo woven flat basket, the ingredients were fresh and crunchy. The shrimp carved off a sugar cane stick were also sweet and bouncy.
Wrap everything in a rice paper and you dunk in fish sauce based dip. Then wash down with seasonal fruit juices or chilled lemongrass tea.
FYI - KOTO serves full meals also and if you want to try the Bun Cha (which is supposed to be great), go early!