“Down this way” “no, I think it’s down this way” “oh lets just ask someone”. Finding Little Hanoi Egg Coffee shop isn’t that straightforward, as you can probably sense. Tucked away down a small alleyway somewhere off Bui Vien, a cup of a Vietnamese signature coffee awaits.
If you can spot the sign, you wouldn’t believe that such a place exists down a tight space between houses. Electrical cables hang dangerously low and incredibly motorbikes jostle their way out of the alley onto the main road. Once you’ve negotiated the course, a big smile welcomes you into the shop.
This has all the feelings of a doll’s house. Vietnam is geared towards the shorter individual and this place is no exception. The place is set on three levels, each level separated by stairs reminiscent of a child’s bunk bed. We made it to level two and sat down on the primary school-style chairs.
The room is beautiful and has a really unique charm. Matching the atmosphere is the staff’s friendly and gentle attitude. Menus were presented along with a glass of refreshing water to begin with. Going with the shops speciality, we went with egg coffee and egg cacao. These were priced at 40,000 Dong each (around £1.34).
Egg coffee is a little bit like liquid tiramisu. A whipped blend of egg yolks and condensed milk is floated on top of coffee, or in the case of the cacao, chocolate. The thick topping is almost like a sabayon, reminiscent to some of a creme brulee.
Taking a deep sip of this drink, it’s almost impossible to avoid the inevitable foam moustache. The actual whipped egg yolks produce a thick, creamy textured foam but not overly sweet. Everything balanced perfectly with the rich coffee underneath. The cacao’s bitterness matched perfectly with the sweet hint of the egg foam.
Good things definitely come in small packages. This place is an absolute gem of tranquil peace in the early morning mayhem of Ho Chi Minh City. Coffee has never been so unique in our experience. The start of another perfect day in Saigon.