When I first heard about egg coffee it was through my wife, who has a liking for that stuff. It is a truly Vietnamese delicacy and even if everyone knows that the drink is mostly consumed in the North. We live in Saigon, so we had to rely on local egg coffees for years.
However, it is not easy to find good egg coffee in Saigon. Many claim it, but few have it. That's why the origin of Vietnamese egg coffee, Giang Cafe in a tiny place in Hanoi's Old Quarter, was on top of our Must-Visit-List when we spent a day in the capital this March.
It is quite easy to find, just follow Nguyen Huu Huan Street until you reach number 39 - there are may egg coffee shops around, but Giang Cafe has a tiny entrance that is just wide enough to push our daughter's cart through.
The place itself is just beautiful. So old, so simple and so focused on its product. The kitchen is tiny and the owner, Mr. Nguyen Tri Hoa is managing the place himself. He is a friendly man, proud of his product and yet so modest in accepting praise.
It is said that his father, Mr. Nguyen Giang, who worked for the 5-star hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in 1946 as a bartender, developed the recipe and founded Giang Cafe. The place has been relocated twice, but the recipe for one of Vietnam's most famous coffees is still almost the same as in the good old days: Strong Vietnamese coffee topped by a creamy, fluffy mixture of egg yolk, condensed milk, butter and cheese.
We paid 115.000đ for a total of 2 egg coffees, 1 egg chocolate and 1 egg coffee with rum. The chocolate was not really my thing, but our daughter loved it and guarded it jealously (yes, in our family you have to guard your food). The egg coffees were perfect and the best I ever had. And the egg coffee with rum had a proper amount of real rum in it. Delicious.
So - if you are up in Hanoi for some reason, I hope you give Giang Café a try on the pursuit of Vietnamese coffee specialities. It's totally worth it.
For more information, check out their website over here.
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