Yes, we know. When you are hanging out in Hanoi, any breakfast other than a steaming bowl of pho ga is more-or-less sacrilege. But sometimes (often in fact), absolutely nothing other than an English breakfast will do. That’s just the way things are. Any alcoholic Englishman worth his salt will tell you this–stop him from getting his fry-up and he will likely head-butt you, without so much as spilling his cheap lager.
But where to get the perfect one in the nation’s capital? Here at Chào, we have tried a few, and now think we have a found the best in the city. It’s hardly a secret these days, but 7Fridays (soon to be rebranded as 7FryDays, surely) is where it’s at. Homemade pork sausage, British back bacon, black pudding, baked beans, fried egg, scrambled egg, hash brown, tomato, mushrooms, sourdough bread, and butter. An epic feast that until recently was only available at the weekends but is now offered all week long from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Monday. Poor Monday.
But just why is it so good? What puts this 195,000 VND beauty a few notches above any regular fry-up that that you could get anywhere in the world. Well, there are a few things: the black pudding for a start. Dried pig’s blood and fat is not an easy sell, but the moist, sage-rich herby mess made on-site and fried to perfection here is about as good as you will find anywhere.
Even the best fry-ups usually get one-ingredient wrong. Great sausages put poor bacon. Lashings of beans, but crappy toast. Overcooked mushrooms. Undercooked eggs. Somehow 7Fridays seems to have got every single ingredient in this belly-buster just right. We briefly wondered why we hadn’t been asked what eggs we liked. Our pondering was answered when our breakfast turned up and had both a perfectly cooked fried egg and some beautifully buttery scrambled eggs (they were just showboating at this point). It came with back bacon and streaky bacon. The tomatoes were perfectly sweet. Even the bread was made with proper sourdough and not cheapo stuff from off the shelf.
Dried pig’s blood and fat is not an easy sell, but the moist, sage-rich herby mess made on-site and fried to perfection here, is about as good as you will find anywhere.
The truly hungover can upgrade their meal to the Full Monty English Breakfast, which is exactly the same meal but the addition of free-flow Bloody Marys. Yup, that’s as many as you can drink for the same price most places charge for one.
There are other things on the menu here, and we have little doubt they are very good. But we are not quite sure why you would order anything else. But here’s the menu for the curious, all the same.
The coronavirus has done almost nothing good in this world, but if it has forced a once bustling hostel to refocus its efforts and pay an embarrassing amount of time to come up with a divine English breakfast, it might be the only good thing the damn virus has done. And for today at least, we will take it.
7Fridays Westlake Hostel
22 Quang An Street, Tay Ho, Hanoi
+84 (0) 24 6666 2182