The Ultimate Old Quarter Bar Crawl to Chops

Chops Old Quarter is now open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. To celebrate, we’ve put together the ultimate OQ bar crawl to get you nice and merry before ending your night with the perfect burger…

Down at the most bangin’ burger joint in town, we’ve managed to wangle ourselves a late-night license, letting us stay open way into the wee hours of the morning.

To celebrate, we’ve put together the ultimate pre-Chops bar crawl in Old Quarter. Just remember to hit us up when you reach your peak burger-munchie moment at the end of the night. 

Durty Bird

It’s always best to start your night off with a stomach liner – so why not try some world famous chicken? Back when Trump and Kim rolled into town, our mates over at DB hit the headlines with their signature Durty Donald and Kim Jung-Yum burgers. 

If you can stuff two burgers down your gullet in one night, by all means, give them a go before you hit us up later. 

For anyone not quite at the Chops level of burger appreciation, we’d recommend pairing a plate of their tasty wings with a can of Bird Brew – their very own craft beer tipple.

The Durty stop off: 37 Ngõ Hàng Hành, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 10000

Polite & Co 

The first leg of your journey is pretty simple. Head just 30 seconds left of Durty Bird to Polite & Co., your second boozy stop. 

Cocktails in Hanoi
A winter cocktail at Polite & Co

This upscale cocktail venue has become one of Hanoi’s drinking institutions, with a extensive range of cocktails and extensive beer list. 

From the abstract art that lines the walls, to its ‘1920’s gentlemen’s club’ atmosphere, Polite & Co adds an enjoyable dash of pretension to what could descend into a philistine booze cruise. 

The swanky stop: 5b Ngõ Bảo Khánh, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Ne Cocktail Bar

We’re taking the cocktail bar theme and running with it, but not literally. There has already been too much alcohol consumed for that. 

This is what you could look like at Ne Bar.

Ne are serious cocktail makers. And while it may take an age and a small fortune to finally get your drink, it will all be worth it. Fans of Hanoi’s famous pho should try Ne’s pho cocktail. It’s unphogettable. 

The cocktail stop: 3B Tống Duy Tân, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Bee’Znees 

The secret spot

This vintage 1920s speakeasy is currently one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets. Like every good murder mystery, you’ll find the entrance hidden behind a bookcase. Just tug on the blue book, nhe. 

This spot his ideal for anyone already exhausted from the hubbub of Hanoi. In the comfort of a cosy fireplace and relaxing balcony setting, Bee’Znees serve up an extensive list of cocktails made with homemade ingredients. 

The secret stop: 163 Phùng Hưng, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Tannin Wine Bar

When it comes to drinking in Vietnam, beer reigns king. Sadly, that means that wine lovers are a little hard-up. Until now. Fear not fans of fermented grapes, Tannin Wine Bar has what you desire!

A fancy tipple at Tanin

This small bar lures you in with its warm lighting and keeps you there with their expansive selection of international wines and nibbles.

With a wine list ranging from 100k to 360k, you’re sure to find something to get you sloshed before taking a left out the door towards Ma May.

The classy stop: 46 Hàng Vải, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Bia Hoi Corner 

No Old Quarter bar crawl could come to a close without a penultimate stop off at Bia Hoi Corner.

Where the night really begins. Source: Robert M

Bia Hoi Corner, or Ta Hien, is a right of passage for any drinker visiting Hanoi. It’s busy, the stools are tiny, and it flows with cheap beer and conversation with strangers.

Hitting the manic streets of Ta Hien, you’ll be met by tiny blue stool after tiny blue stool outside of a range of bars that appear to merge together. Don’t fret, just pick somewhere with enough space for yourself and your bar crawl crew and indicate to the closest person how many beers you would like.

Your only job after that is to drink. 

The corner stop: Tạ Hiện, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Chops 

Here it is, the final call on your tour. We hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves, please alight on the left and fill your faces with juicy burgers. 

We haven’t shuttled you here just to eat though. If you’ve sufficiently filled yourselves with the finest wines and cocktails that Old Quarter has to offer, we’re here to give you a selection of Vietnam’s best craft beers.

We’ve been serving up a range of local brews, along with our bangin’ burgers, since we opened up some four years ago. In that time, we’ve watched the scene explode.

While our range may vary depending on what’s seasonal, or which are the best brews around, you’ll be able to get a taste of what we’ve got on our craft beer menu.

Late-comers can enjoy anything from our triple cooked fries with homemade truffle mayo, to a mouthwatering, shirt soiling Philly Cheesesteak, with NZ sirloin steak, bell peppers, jalapenos, onions, Swiss cheese, and garlic mayo.

We also advise ending the night with 2-for-1 Hai Ba Trung lagers between 10PM and midnight, or a free Hai Ba Trung beer with any food menu item from 11PM to 1AM.

Call it our way of keeping the party going!

The Chops stop: 12 Hàng Bạc, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội – open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, 12pm on other nights

READ MORE: CRAFT IN HANOI: FROM BIA TO BEER

READ MORE: AROUND THE WORLD IN 8 BANGIN’ BURGERS 

READ MORE: WHY CHOPS VIETNAM USES WAGYU BEEF FOR ITS PROPER BURGERS

READ MORE: THE CHOPS GUIDE TO HANOI STREET FOOD

Craft in Hanoi: From Bia to Beer

When we opened our first spot in 2015, finding craft beer in Hanoi was as hard as getting your hands on a proper burger. But all has changed: the capital’s craft beer scene has made a name for itself, and it’s just getting started… 

Whether consumed on a small stool with ice on the street, a generic lager from a bottle, or from a chilled glass in a taproom, Vietnam’s appetite for beer is insatiable. 

At Chops we’re all about championing local talent, that’s why we’ve got a rung of guest beer taps at every restaurant, showcasing local brewers. It’s the ideal choice for anyone hoping to try the best beer throughout the country, along with a bangin’ burger.

Now, we want to show the world-standard craft beer we’ve got on our doorstep.

Hanoi’s Bia History

While Saigon may have managed a head start on the craft beer market, the original product originated right here in Hanoi. Like with bread and mass illiteracy, the colonialist French can be thanked for beer in Vietnam. 

It all started back in 1890 with Alfred Hommel. His goal was to satisfy the beer desires of French and Vietnamese, alike.

After the French left the north following the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the Hommel Brewery became a treasured possession of the new government. It became the official Hanoi Beverage Company (Habeco), and would go on to create affordable beer for the masses including the well-known favourites of Hanoi, Truc Bach and the Hanoi’s evergreen bia hoi

Such beers have become a staple of most Hanoian diets, and it would be hard to imagine the city without them. 

Bia hoi by the glass, the first form of a Hanoian craft beer.
Bia hoi intertwined with Hanoi’s streets. Photo by Quynh Trang via Zing.

In an interview with the Saigoneer, Le Huy Van, creator of the iconic thick, bubbly, recycled bia hoi glass, affectionately explained what beer really means to Hanoi. “More often than not,” Huy explains:

“Hanoians love drinking beer, not because of its taste, but because they’re fond of the ambience of the pavement: hanging out with their best buddies shooting the breeze amidst a sweltering afternoon after finishing work.”

The New Beer of Hanoi

The challenge for craft brewers is translating this love from 7K a glass to 70k, and trying to explain the purpose of quality over quantity. 

There’s one Hanoi-based brewer that is changing the way locals think about craft beer; Cuong Nguyen, owner of C-Brewmaster, a Hanoi-based brewery that has extended his reach throughout the country.

Coang, owner and bremaster at C-Brewmaster.
Coang, owner and bremaster at C-Brewmaster discusses his life in beer.

He started in Vietnam in 2016, just a few months after Pasteur Street in Saigon, and has been present throughout Hanoi’s craft beer boom. 

“When I first started, people asked me what kind of beer it was,” Cuong tells us. “They were used to drinking yellow beers, and suddenly I was asking them to try something brown and hazy.”

The tests, however, proved a success, and Cuong took his first batch and headed to Ete, a small bar in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh district. He sold out in half an hour. Hanoi was clearly thirsty for craft beer.  

There were, however, still minds to be changed. Cuong explains that when he first opened up his outlet in Old Quarter, 90% of his customers were foreigners. “I had to stand there for eight months convincing people that craft beer was different from industry beer,” he tells us. 

But it worked. Cuong says that now around 70% of his customers are locals, with an ever-rising number of young people, who, he states, love the stuff. 

Now with seven Hanoi-based brewers with breweries and taprooms within the city limits, it is safe to say that Hanoi has successfully embraced the craft brew. We see it every day, a relative boom in the amount of people drinking it, and we couldn’t be happier.

Flavour Country

Coming from the opinion of restaurateurs, there is one thing that we are absolutely sure of, and that is that Hanoi is a city of flavours. Strong, punchy, sometimes stomach churning, but always distinct. 

Vietnamese flavours and ingredients at Chops Hanoi
A taste of local flavours with a western touch at Chops.

While its beer may not fill into all of the categories above, it certainly remains unique. Brian McDonald of Taste of Hanoi has been running craft beer tours of Hanoi since 2016, and has been on the ground throughout its drastic change.

Brian tells us that the flavours and essence of Hanoi’s craft beer makes it stand out from Saigon. “The breweries across Vietnam always try to be uniquely Vietnamese,” he explains.

“Be it the coffee beans, vanilla, apricots, or uniquely Hanoian ingredients like mulberry sour or pho beer at Furbrew.”

This is where Vietnam stands out in the craft beer crowd, the fresh, easily sourced ingredients available throughout the country. 

Alex Violette, co-owner of Pasteur Street Brewing Company on a brewery tour.
Alex Violette, co-owner of Pasteur Street, fitted with adequate merchandise.

Alex Violette, a born and raised American and Co-Owner of Pasteur Street in Saigon, tells us that you’ll find a lot of breweries in the states using tropical beer, but when they opened up their now iconic brewery in Vietnam, there were almost no breweries in the tropics! 

“We had to grind ourselves geographically,” Alex tells us. “It’s widely known that Vietnam has the best ingredients in the world, so we said to ourselves, let’s not just do a saison, let’s put black pepper and ginger in it.”

Alex and his team went on to lead the way in Saigon’s craft beer scene, with their pioneering Pasteur Street taproom with between 10 and 15 beers on draft at any time. Alex explains:

“It helps us tell the story of the beer about how you use local ingredients, about why you’re in Vietnam. We’re here for the food and drink, we’re here because you can grab some of the freshest dragon fruit in the world and go to Marou farmers to get your cacao.”

Alex continues to explain that it’s not just the availability of fresh ingredients that makes this beer uniquely Vietnamese, but his diverse team too.

“There are six people on our team,” he explains. “But only one of them is from the west. We’re always bouncing ideas off of each other. Many of the local guys come from major brewing companies, so they know the technical elements, but they’ve never had craft beer. When you combine their knowledge, their interest in craft beer and their experience with local ingredients, you get this creativity, where light bulbs are constantly going off.”

Hanoi’s Crafty Future

While Vietnam’s capital city may have been a little late to the scene, brewers within the country are in agreement, Hanoi’s crafty future is looking bright. 

Pasteur Street Hanoi, craft beer in their northern taproom
Pasteur Street’s Hanoi taproom explains the details of their operation.

From the opinion of a brewer in southern Vietnam, Patrick Davenport, owner of Fuzzy Logic, tells us that he’s excited to watch Hanoi’s craft beer scene develop, in part, because the Hanoi community appears to appreciate quality. “I think Hanoi has the potential to be bigger than Saigon,” Paul explains.

“I think Hanoi has its own character.

“The weather creates more seasonality than in Saigon. For example, heavier beers like stouts are a favourite in Hanoi in the winter. This is not the same in Saigon. In general, the Hanoi public seems to have a more developed palette.”

From where we sit, with our selection of craft beers, we’ve witnessed a boom in the scene. Opening up within a few months of Pasteur Street, we were the first people to convince Alex and the gang to send their beers all the way up here to Hanoi.

With the likes of Standing Bar, Three Blind Men and The Bottle Shop also dedicated to championing the supply and enjoyment of craft hops in Hanoi, we’re excited to see what’s next for beer in the capital city.

READ MORE: AROUND THE WORLD IN 8 BANGIN’ BURGERS

READ MORE: WHY CHOPS VIETNAM USES WAGYU BEEF FOR ITS PROPER BURGERS

READ MORE: THE CHOPS GUIDE TO HANOI STREET FOOD

READ MORE: THE CHOPS GUIDE TO TINDER DATES IN HANOI

Around the World in 8 Bangin’ Burgers

It’s international burger day! So what better time to look at the most excessive burgers from around the world… Any you’d like to see on the menu at Chops?

We think a bit of experimentation is what makes a burger the tastiest food you can shove in your gob.

It’s the food of the people. It can be spiced, diced and riced, and each country seems to have its own approach.

So in celebration of International Burger Day (yes, really!), we’ve listed our favourite eight from planet earth…

1. Malaysian egg-wrapped burgers

The Ramly Special is a Malaysian institution, due to its unusual approach to burger preparation. The burger is wrapped up into a cosy bed of fried egg, creating an egg-pocket that stops those precious burger juices getting away.

It’s then doused with a dollop of margarine, Worcester sauce and Maggi seasoning, for a serious flavour-punch, and finally topped with cheese, lettuce and ketchup.

THE CHOPS STOMACH RUMBLING RICHTER SCALE: Worcester Sauce you say? 7/10

Photograph: Daniel O’Sullivan

2. Finnish Antler Bap

Apparently eating Rudolf is completely fine in Finland. So fine in fact that two restaurants in Helsinki’s airport sell reindeer burgers.

Reindeer meat, if you’re curious, is extremely lean, with a very different taste to your everyday beef burger. Disclaimer: unless Santa starts stopping in Vietnam, don’t expect to see this one on a Chops menu any time soon.

THE CHOPS STOMACH RUMBLING RICHTER SCALE: Yes going lean, no to eating poor ol’ Rudolf: 5/10

Image from Newscancook.com

3. India’s Carb on Carb

There could be no better way to stray away from the traditional beef patty than with some carb-on-carb action with the Vada Pav. A well-spiced, deep-fried potato dumpling is topped with spicy chutney, chillies, and onions, and consumed within a pav (bread bun).

THE CHOPS STOMACH RUMBLING RICHTER SCALE: Deep fried deadliness? A knee trembling 9/10

Image by La Petit Chef

4. Uruguay: Chivito

The Chivito Común (common Chivito) is a burger so highly stacked that it could give a Chops burger a run for its money. It’s a buttered bun with tender slices of beef steak spilling out of the side, ham is added, along with melted cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise.

There are endless variations though. You could get a Chivito with beetroot, peas, red peppers, or a whole range of ingredients. If you’re unsure how we feel about a burger with beetroot, please see below for more info.

THE CHOPS STOMACH RUMBLING RICHTER SCALE: The Uruguayans don’t take prisoners with this beef steak topped with ham. An excessive 8/10!

Image from www.rachaelrayshow.com

5. New Zealand’s Kiwi Burger

The Kiwi Burger is made out of neither adorable birds nor people from New Zealand, just regular, everyday cow meat.

The Kiwi burger can be a pretty divisive subject but here at Chops we all agree that a burger with beetroot in it is surely the only dish on the menu in hell. A juicy beef burger, topped with lovely cheese, onions, mustard, lettuce, ketchup, then completely destroyed with the addition of, for some reason, beetroot.

THE CHOPS STOMACH RUMBLING RICHTER SCALE: It does look pretty decent. But this could 3/10 or 9/10 – it all depends on whether you like it purple between ya baps.

Image from CNN/Fergburger

6. Pakistan’s Wala Street Food Burger

Also known as the Wala Burger or Papu Burger, this dish takes on a whole new approach to patties – and Pakistanis take it seriously!

A ground beef and lentil mix is dipped into egg whites, fried, then put into a toasted bun with a dollop of chutney.

THE CHOPS STOMACH RUMBLING RICHTER SCALE: It’s a street food celebrity in Pakistan, which makes it good enough for us: 7/10. We love street food too

Image from Reddit

7. Japanese Rice Burger

It wouldn’t be an article about global burgers if we didn’t include a burger with rice patties as buns. Japan always takes a thoroughly Japanese spin to western cuisine and the Rice Burger is no exception. 

THE CHOPS STOMACH RUMBLING RICHTER SCALE: A joyously moist patty marinated in Teriyaki sauce from the land of Wagyu? 7/10

Image from Chopstick Chronicles

8. Vietnam’s Proper Gourmet Burger

Wheyyy! You didn’t think we were going to let someone else take Vietnam’s burger crown?

Burgers may have been around before we got here, but they weren’t Chops burgers. We make burgers to dislodge your jaw.

Come and try them for yourself and pull up a craft beer while you’re at it. 

 

READ MORE: WHY CHOPS VIETNAM USES WAGYU BEEF FOR ITS PROPER BURGERS
READ MORE: THE CHOPS GUIDE TO HANOI STREET FOOD
READ MORE: THE CHOPS GUIDE TO TINDER DATES IN HANOI
READ MORE: HOW TO PAIR VIETNAM’S CRAFT BEERS AND PROPER BURGERS

The Chops Guide to Hanoi Street Food

Be like Netflix and up your street food game with our list of favourite Hanoi street food vendors…  

By Richie Bardsley

As a long term restaurateur in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, it’s fair to say that I’ve been around the street food block. I’ve found myself on the same plastic stools, asking for the same dishes, week in, week out, for years.

As with most hidden gems, they can be hard to find. Some are tucked down Hanoi’s crumbling alleyways, guarded by surly old women who, fear not, can be wooed with just a whisper of Vietnamese.

Try your best to eat at them all. You’ll be rewarded with street eats good enough to take a Tinder date to – once you’re done getting messy at Chops, that is.

1. Bun Ngan

A short walk from Dinh Liet in centre of Hanoi’s chaotic Old Quarter you’ll find Trung Yen’s wet market. Inside is the finest bun ngan in town – noodles with goose, for those who don’t yet know. Make sure you get there early as I’ve seen queues 30-deep by 12pm.

11 Ngo Trung Yen

11am-2pm

Ask for: Một bát bún vịt không tiết và 1 bát lườn vịt 

 

2. Pho Ong Vui

One for the late night beef noodles gang: located right in the heart of the Old Quarter, this spot will whip up the perfect snack after too many shandies on bia hoi corner. Ask for the deep fried crunchy strips of doughnut.

25 Hang Giay

Open until (very) late

Slur your way to saying: Một bát phở tái chín và một đĩa quẩy

 

3. Pho Bo Sot Vang

This one came as a total revelation to me. Two of my favourite Vietnamese dishes in one brothy bowl – beef noodles and a rich wine sauce. Think succulent slabs of beef brisket, braised to perfection, with plenty of onions, cinnamon, star anise and garlic, with ginger chucked in for good measure.

Tu Lun 68 Hang Ma

Open late

Calmy state that you would like: Một bát phở sốt vang và một bát sốt vang nữa

 

4. Bun Bo Nam Bo

If you’ve spent any time reading about Hanoi’s Old Quarter street food, you’ll have probably heard about this place already. It’s worth mentioning it again, though. It embodies the pace of the Old Quarter – pumping out an enormous number of bowls of beef salad noodles at a time. But this doesn’t impact on the service or quality; it remains speedy and consistently delicious.

67 Hang Dieu

Open all day

Wait patiently before asking: Một bát bún bò nhiều thịt 

 

5. Bun Cha

Many love this place, others don’t think it deserves to be as famous as it is. I say it’s worth a try. While it may be a touch more expensive than your average bun cha joint, you’re guaranteed to get a healthy portion of chargrilled pork patties and deep fried spring rolls. Get your chopsticks around the white sticky noodles, dip them into the fish sauce broth, add the usual herbs and slurp it all down.

1 Hang Manh

Open all day

Ask politely for: Một suất bún chả đầy đủ

 

6. Xoi Ga

Just a stone’s throw away from Durty Bird, its primary rival for the best chicken in town, this sticky rice and boiled chicken place has been a key destination for impromptu breakfast meetings by myself and the gang. Try it out, do a lap around Hoan Kiem lake and pop back to see Ol’ Durty for dinner.

29 Hang Hanh

Breakfast and lunch

Boldly declare that you would like: Một suất xôi gà nhiều thịt gấp đôi 

 

7. Banh Mi Pate

This baguette spot was the first place I ever ate at when I first arrived to Hanoi in 2011. The bread is warm and crispy and blankets the homemade pate, pickled carrot and papaya. If you haven’t had your fill after one, you can always grab a tub of pate to go.

Nguyen Sinh 17 Ly Quoc Su

Open all day

Request: Một bánh mì pate đầy đủ

 

Why Chops Vietnam Uses Wagyu Beef For Its Proper Burgers

Wagyu beef isn’t all sakki, massages and classical music – as you’ll discover when you bite into a Chops burger…

By Richie Bardsley

Eccentric farmers giving their cows bonus luxuries may have given wagyu its reputation, but for most people, wagyu is defined by the taste – you know, that melt in your mouth, rich, rib-eye flavour.

We use wagyu in all of our Chops beef burgers, which just one reason why they’re so bloody delicious.

The Wagyu Secret

It’s all in the genes.

Wagyu cows are genetically fatter than their cownterparts and it’s these fatty acids that produce that lovely marbling look and that “mouth feel” to die for.

Doctor’s Say Do It

The marbling isn’t just there to look good.

Doctors believe that the monosaturated fats found in wagyu beef are a crucial part of a balanced diet – like olive oil and salmon.

Wagyu beef is full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are not only essential, but can help to lower bad cholesterol and protect against alzheimer’s, arthritis, depression and heart disease. Result!

Happy Cows Don’t Lose Their Marbles

There’s a reason people believe that cows benefit from classical music and sensual rub downs: the marbling that makes wagyu so unique has a tendency to disappear if the cows get stressed out.

A Rancher’s job, and I’m quoting here, is to “raise [them] with care and shelter them from fear”.

But Where Are You Really From?

While all wagyu beef is Japanese, not all wagyu beef comes from Japan. These days, you can find wagyu cattle all over the globe. All of Chops’ wagyu beef comes straight from Margaret River, a charming town just south of Perth.

It’s ground in our central kitchen in Hanoi on the same day it lands on your table. To make it fresher, we’d have to fly you to Australia.

Read More: CHOPS VS FAST FOOD? CHOPS WINS!

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Chops vs Fast Food? Chops Wins!

Burgers don’t have to be quick, cheap and packed with more chemicals than Lance Armstrong on race day…

By Richie Bardsley

Fast food is naff. We knew it when Morgan Spurlock almost died from too many stops at the drive-through in Supersize Me, and we still know it as fast food chains pretend they’ve changed. 

The thing is, that’s fast food. That’s not burgers. 

At Chops we had a dream where burgers weren’t flimsy. Buns weren’t pulled from the back of a freezer, the salad was fresh, and the sauces? Homemade.

These weren’t just burgers, these were gourmet burgers – paired with craft beer and eaten messily with hands. Not an oversized chopstick in sight

Proper Beef

More and more fast food joints are claiming to be rid of the ‘pink slime’ and lean beef trimmings that gave them such a bad reputation. As far as anyone can tell they’re telling the truth. Getting called out again and again isn’t worth the bad press.

That isn’t to say that the ingredients they’re using are good. It’s more like a celebration of doing the minimum.

At Chops, all of our beef is wagyu. It’s sourced from Margaret River in Western Australia, a charming little town just south of Perth – known, like us, for its craft beer.

While fast food chains churn out their burgers on a conveyor belt and freeze them, our wagyu beef is ground every morning in our central kitchen and made into Chops patties. 

Proper Recipes

Everything happens in house. Our beef is ground, our buns are baked and sauces sauced. This is where the magic happens, and this is what makes our food so fresh: your burgers at our West Lake, Old Quarter or Ngoc Khanh restaurants have been fully prepared by hand the same day.

This is a poster about Chops Vietnam, a burger restaurant that makes its sauces in house

Take a look at our buns. They’re thick and fresh. They’re not shipped in frozen, then lightly toasted to bring them back from the dead.

This is a poster from Chops Vietnam, showing its homemade burger buns

We do have one thing to confess, though. Our lovely skinny fries. They’re not made by us. We tried our best, but Vietnam’s potatoes can be inconsistent. Sometimes they’re waterlogged, full of starch, and sometimes they’re too sweet. You just never know what it’s going to be, and we like consistency so you know exactly what you’re getting with Chops every time you visit.

Proper Chefs

Fast food is delivered to you in a few minutes. To achieve this, a fast food kitchen looks more like a factory. They’ve got a station for each stage of the food. There are no chefs, but workers on a production line. It’s efficient working, but it’s not gourmet burgering.

We consider ourselves proper chefs but call us glorified burger flippers, we don’t mind. All we care about is our food being the highest quality available and making sure that our proper burgers never get mistaken for fast food.

Read More: HOW TO PAIR VIETNAM’S CRAFT BEERS AND PROPER BURGERS
Read More: THE CHOPS GUIDE TO TINDER DATES IN HANOI

How To Pair Vietnam’s Craft Beers and Proper Burgers

Need help matching our proper gourmet burgers with some of the country’s finest craft beers and ciders? This series is for YOU…

Pairing food and booze doesn’t need to be saved for Francophiles, small portions, cutlery and good manners.

Just because we eat huge, messy burgers and belch a lot, it doesn’t mean we don’t understand the fine dance of complementary flavours. It just means that when we say “complementary flavours” we’re talking proper burgers and top notch craft beers and ciders.

It’s as simple as this: if you’ve got a big beef burger, chock of flavour, you’ll want an equally hearty beer to go with it. But if your burger is on the lighter side, such as a subtle fish burger, you’ll want an equally light and fragrant beer.

Essentially, you’re trying to meet that perfect balance of flavours. Give it a shot next time you visit one of our restaurants in Hanoi.

Here’s three of our favourite burger and craft beer partnerships to get you started.

1. Off Chops Chili Burger and 7 Bridges Imperial IPA

This burger comes in hot with some bold flavours.

We start with our signature burger patty, made with wagyu beef, which has a tender, almost rib eye-like flavour.

Next we add the heat: tangy spice from our jalapenos, and the cooling heat from the pico de gallo and harissa yogurt. The cheddar cheese and Chops homemade mayo cools the whole thing off nicely.

This is a studio image of the Chops burgers, 7 Bridges, Barett and Hanoi Cider - the perfect combination

“A bold, spicy burger like the Off Chops Chili Burger needs an equally robust partner – 7 Bridges Imperial IPA,” says Stanley Boots, from 7 Bridges, who have just opened up a new tap room down the road from our West Lake restaurant.

“Our big 9% double IPA features a strong citrusy aroma and rich malt body, with a perfectly balanced sweetness that pairs well with aggressive and spicy foods… it surprises the palate with its smoothness, making it highly drinkable for such a large ABV beer.”

2. Moby Dick’s Chopper and Barett Lemongrass Weizen

The Moby Dick’s Chopper doesn’t come with the massive punch in the face that you’ll find in the chili burger, so it needs pairing accordingly.

Its patty is a delicate and subtle crumbed fish of the day. Chops homemade mayo and coleslaw sit atop the burger, with a creamy homemade tartare sauce on the side.

This is a studio image of The Moby Dick's Chopper Burger and Barett craft beer in Vietnam

All these creamy elements need a beer that’s heavy on the hops to cut through the rich flavours, but not too high in alcohol. Don’t overpower the burger!

The Barett Lemongrass Weizen does just the job. Its light ABV brings out the lightness of the fish, while the hops cut effortlessly through the rich tartare sauce, making it the perfect partnership.  

3. Wham Bam Thank You Lamb and Hanoi Cider Co. Lemongrass & Ginger

This burger is fresher than 90s Will Smith sitting in a fridge with a mouthful of cucumber, so it needs something light with a citrusy pizzazz to complement the rich lamb flavour and bring even more energy to the burger.

It’s got feta tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, tobacco onions and Chops homemade mayo sitting on top, so it needs flavours that avoid overpowering the lighter elements of the burger but with enough umph to cut through the lamb.

This is a studio image of the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb Chops burger and Hanoi Cider's Lemongrass and Ginger cider - the perfect combination

 

Hanoi Cider Lemongrass and Ginger, come on down!

“This one is a refreshing and zingy cider loaded with local aromatic flavours and a zesty finish” says Hanoi Cider’s Guy Dickson. “Perfect for a hot sunny afternoon, it goes well with both the lamb and feta tzatziki, the latter helping to calm the warmth of the ginger in our cider.”

Look out for part two in our How To Pair Vietnam’s Craft Beers and Proper Burgers

Read More: The Chops Guide To Tinder Dates In Hanoi
Read More: Announcing – Durty Donald and Kim Jong Yum Burgers

 

The Chops Guide to Hanoi Tinder Dates

We’ve seen our fair share of awkward dates at our restaurants, so we’ve got a few words of advice for those in Hanoi who Tinder…

We’re burger experts, not relationship counsellors. But if there’s one piece of advice that we can give you confidently, it’s this: couples that get messy at Chops together, stay together.

We’ve seen a greater return from couples who have truffle mayo running down their faces than we have from the shy nibblers.

So while “bring your date to Chops” is definitely the first and by-far-the best tip we’ve got for your badass Tinder sesh, we’re sorry if the rest of our advice leaves you single and lonely…

1. Pick a winner 

Choosing the location is key to getting the date off to a decent start. It needs to have the right kind of vibe. And while nothing brings people together quite like complaining, the food and drink needs to be spot on too; it is representative of your tastes, after all. Consider it personal branding.

Tip: Rarely is a person wooed by tofu in tomato sauce and countless Hanoi Beers. Try gourmet burgers and craft beer?

2. Do it in downtime 

Head out to a decent restaurant on a Friday night and all you’ll be rubbing shoulders with your previous dates. Make a booking for a Monday or Tuesday dinner for a decreased chance of awkward run-ins.

Tip: Book a table at Chops, tell us it’s a Tinder date, and we’ll sort you the best seat in the house 

3. Mix it up

When you find the perfect location, don’t swing back there every time you’ve got a new date lined up. While we love to see your pretty faces all dolled up for a good night out, we don’t need to see your relentless rotation in real time. It makes us feel like we know too much. 

Tip: Lucky for you, we do have three restaurants across the city you can switch between – West Lake, Old Quarter and Ngoc Khanh

4. Be nice?

Forget what people say about there being plenty of fish in the sea. Hanoi is a small place. Consider the sea of Hanoi to be more like a puddle, with a lot of already paired up fish in it. If you’ve been around the block, you’ll start to see the same old faces, and word gets around if you’re not great to hang out with. 

Tip: Be nice. We shouldn’t have to remind you of this, but it is 2019

5. Stop swiping!

You’re on a date – isn’t that enough dopamine? We still see far too many people on dates scrolling through their phones. Poor form, guys. 

Tip: By all means, keep your phone within arm’s reach for those all-important Instagram food shots. Yes, that’s how seriously you should take our dating advice

6. Don’t do “me, me, me” 

Keep it light, honest and be yourself. But don’t just talk hot air air about yourself.

Tip: Your tinder dates won’t care what you made of Chops’ recent Trump and Kim burgers or which craft beer you like to pair with your wagyu beef patties. Get over yourself! 

7. Don’t get sloshed 

Maybe you got a bit boozy beforehand to settle the nerves. Maybe you’ve decided to pound the 9.0% 7 Bridges Imperial IPA as the date goes on. Either way, it’s not going to end well on a first date if you get hammered.

Tip: Don’t want craft beer? Try a Chops badass milkshakes instead

8. Don’t be a try hard

Nobody likes a show off. Or a try hard. For all of you foreigners out there who attended a couple of Vietnamese lessons and want to impress your dates by showing off your loose understanding of Vietnamese: our staff speak pretty good English.

Tip: Avoid our Juicy Lucy challenge on the first date – probably not a great look

9. Bonus tip: use and abuse Chops the next morning

“Don’t forget the morning after, when you’re regretting your life choices because you slept with a backpacker and you swore last time was the last time, but at least Chops is around the corner in the OQ to ease the pain with a brekkie burger to soothe the hangover and walk of shame,” says a Chops fan on Facebook.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Tip: If you’re feeling proper filthy, order the smashed avocado with poached eggs and pico de gallo – it will put you in the right frame of mind to call mum 

Read More: Announcing – Durty Donald and Kim Jong Yum Burgers

Announcing: The Kim Jong-Yum and Durty Donald Burgers

As Kim Jong-Un and President Donald Trump get set to touch down in H-Town this week, we’ve come up with the perfect Chops burger specials to get in on the fun 

We love an opportunity to get our creative burger juices flowing here at Chops R&D. And what better reason than a world leader royal rumble summit in our hometown of Hanoi?

Introducing first: The Kim Jong-Yum Burger…

And yum it is – packed with smoked pork belly, pulled wild boar, kim chi mayo, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and crispy kim chi. All for 150,000VND.

Take sides? In collaboration with our friends at Durty Bird we’ve also created The Durty Donald, which looks like this, naturally…

It’s all about excess: double beef patty, double american cheese, double bacon, fried pickles and tomato. To top if off? Scraped back chicken floss for hair. Badda bing! All for 200,000VND.

Both burger specials will be available between Monday 25th February and Sunday 3rd March 2019 at our Tay Ho, Old Quarter and Ngoc Khanh restaurants, and at Durty Bird on Hang Hanh, too.  

Want free beer?

If you come to try the burger at either restaurant and upload a selfie with it using the hashtag #TrumpKimSummit, Uncle Chop or Ol’ Durty Bird will throw in a free beer for ya.

We welcome either leader to the restaurants to try their very own burgers and pay for their own beer. 

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