Scrambled, fried or … whipped into beer? It might not be the most conventional way to serve eggs, but a decades-old Hanoi cafe is delighting drinkers with a frothy beer cocktail that has no place on a breakfast menu. The staple menu item at Giang Cafe in Hanoi’s pulsating Old Quarter is made with cold beer topped with creamy egg yolks whipped with sugar and a touch of butter to boost richness. Owner Nguyen Chi Hoa says he came up with the recipe in 1999, curious how the combination might turn out. “I made egg beer just for myself … I thought it was good, so I decided to give it a try to see if anyone agreed,” he says. The creamy beer concoction wasn’t such a drastic departure from his most popular menu item: Vietnamese coffee topped with sweetened egg froth, now enjoyed in cafes across Hanoi among locals and tourists alike. Why the Japanese don’t just drink sake Hoa said it was his father who came up with the recipe in 1946 as an affordable alternative to the cappuccinos sipped by French colonial occupiers, who made them with cow’s milk – a luxury ingredient for most Vietnamese. “Poor people could also drink egg coffee because they had lots of chickens, so they just cracked an egg, added sugar and mixed it together – then we had egg coffee,” he says in the cafe where black-and-white photos of his family hang on the walls. Drinking bubble tea: how can you cut back on all the calories? Hoa didn’t stop at coffee and beer – he also offers frothy egg drinks made with rum, matcha, chocolate and Coca-Cola. To keep up with demand for his whipped delights, Hoa’s daughter Nguyen Giang cracks 1,000 eggs every morning to be beaten by machine throughout the day. Though many of Hoa’s customers have never heard of egg beer, he says he has won most over – especially those from beer-guzzling Germany – and sells up to 20 a day. “It’s very special, it tastes like dessert, plus the beer,” says Malaysian visitor ST Lim. Boiled cola, beef juice, and other eccentric Hong Kong drinks In a city better known for its ubiquitous open-air beer markets called “ bia hoi ”, Hoa says his unique beer drink is still met with scepticism by some. But he’s hoping to sway them, even beauty conscious drinkers. “This is very good for your skin, bright skin,” Hoa says with a smile.