Still the best espresso in Hanoi. Generally consistent, reasonable espresso that is worth the walk. Still running Lavazza on a 2 group San Remo. The milk based coffees are pretty hit and miss, generally preferring to hide the coffee in a vat of UHT milk than not. They are still open 24/7 and serve good quality food for reasonable prices. The WiFi is free but inconsistent and the place is generally busy no matter what time of day it is. A very solid bet if you're coming off or heading for an early/late train.
What a pleasant surprise! [Tegyn Rating: 6 - I'd have another] The coffee to date in Hanoi has been disappointing, so it was with some disbelief that I *accidentally* stumbled upon Puku. While it is mentioned in the Lonely Planet and referred to as a "[b]ohemian-style place, with a relaxed vibe and a simple food menu. Hosts regular art exhibitions and has wi-fi", this brief passage doesn't do the place justice. We were on our way to the train station - about 10mins away - and were looking for a quick dinner on Food Street (Tống Duy Tân). I saw the glowing Lavazza sign hanging above the front door, the manicured courtyard, the warmly-lit interior, and Daragh, the friendly scotsman who recently took over part-ownership, and couldn't say no to an opportunity to try yet another coffee. Daragh assured me that, on relocating from their old premises and taking over ownership, he'd invested good money in improving the quality of the coffee. And it paid off! Apparently Puku means "Belly" in Maori, though what relationship this place has, tucked into an alley in Hanoi, to New Zealand i'm yet to discover. The name is apt - the Vegie burger I had was brilliant and the food my travelling partners had was all equally-well received. The coffee was impressive. My espresso had a decent crema, was properly served, appropriate volume and temperature, and had a smoothness that made it very drinkable. While the origin was certainly a mass-roasted bean (Lavazza), it was pulled in such a way that i'm looking forward to going back. And, open 24hrs, my group and I will be coming straight off our 0430 sleeper train and into the waiting arms of the Puku staff, reading to start the day with renewed hope for the human race. note: So far Vietnam has only be comparable with Chile for delivering rubbish coffee so I can't help but wonder if my standards are slipping. All reviews are written relative to the context.
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