There is a certain zen moment that I like about Vietnamese coffee. The time I wait for the coffee to brew and drip from the phin (a small Vietnamese brewing device) to my is a quiet still moment I savor every morning. I like the unhurried air it brings. There’s also the yin and yang combination from the ironically smooth yet strong coffee and the creamy sweet layer of condensed milk. Their perfect blend is just a satisfying reward for that short wait. More than the coffee, I also appreciate the surrounding of the cafe which adds to the experience of drinking coffee. That’s why in Hanoi, Cafe Pho Co, was a delightful find, tucked deep within rustic buildings past the souvenir shops fronting the streets. Ancient walls, a charming cat, unique coffee with egg and views one can get lost in moments.
Imagine a restaurant with only one item in the menu. Hmmm, we even forgot if there was a menu at all. There is such a place – it’s Cha Ca La Vong and it’s in Hanoi. At a time when most eating establishments adopt “the more, the merrier” approach when it comes to food offerings, this restaurant in the Old Quarters of Hanoi takes simplicity to the other extreme. Who would argue with this formula when it’s over a hundred years old? That this institution is listed among the must-visit places in Vietnam gives us an incentive to try and see what’s the fuss is all about.