I would think I know most of the treats Vietnam has to offer. I’d thought that multiple dozens of days spent on ransacking the streets and pavements, peeking into hole’s in the wall and other nooks and crannies, going through food blogs, google images and dictionaries would make me some kind of an expert. Well… no. The first couple of days in Hanoi proved me to be wrong. The Vietnamese coffee – my passion. I drink it for years now, learn and read all I can about it yet still it was hiding one of its faces from me. Ca phe trung – the egg coffee. You might imagine a variety of mixtures based on those ingredients but just try to pick up what you consider to be the tastiest. If you grew up in Poland of the 80’s/90’s you would remember the sweet treat of the time – an egg yolk pounded with sugar to make a wonderful, creamy and thick paste… kogel-mogel! The Vietnamese with their perfect sense of balance brought this egg blend to another level! By adding their strong, black coffee they created the best damn drink of all times!
The locals profess not only the harmony but also moderation so don’t expect to get a big mug of this treat as that might only result in sugar overdose. What you’ll be faced with is a tiny cup with a micro spoon which might help you enjoy your coffee for more than 30 seconds.
It seems that every coffee shop has its own recipe for the egg version. As for brewing, the idea is the same – strong, black Vietnamese coffee prepared in the special ca phe phin. Whereas the kogel-mogel might be prepared by pounding yolk with condensed milk and either sugar or honey, it may be mixed with the sweet, whipped egg white, butter or even the cream cheese! For those of you who don’t drink coffee, there is an alternative – super sweet and super tasty egg cocoa.
My number 3
Cafe Giang, 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Cafe Giang seems to be the most well-known egg coffee (20 000 vnd) spot in Hanoi. The place was started by the father of the owner and you can see the family pride with many black and white pictures on the walls. Add the dozens of plants which took over the whole 2nd floor (luckily leaving some room for the clients) and you have a great place for a little break from the heat and noise of the city.
My number 2
Dinh Cafe, 13 Pho Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi (wchodzicie w wąziuteńkie wejście obok sklepu z plecakami i schodami na 2 p.).
It’s my number 2 for the ca phe trung but when it comes to the location, ambience and the views it’s a definite number 1! This place serves coffee for over 70 years now and keeps it very fairly priced. The clientele is mostly young and pretty hipster which does not surprise – the fancy location just by the Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quater, picture friendly shabby walls and loud music do their work.
My Number 1
Lu Cafe, 15 Dang Tai Mai, Tay Ho, Hanoi.
It’s 25 000 vnd for egg coffee but the serving is the biggest and I find the kogel-mogel mixture the most soft and thick. This cafe is hidden in a vast, green garden in the area of Tay Ho Lake and it’s open in the morning hours (longer over the weekends).
Delicious egg cocoa at Lu Cafe, 25 000 vnd.