As you walk in its right there in the centre of the room. A lovingly restored cream Czech CZ. Now I don’t know that much about motorbikes, but it is flashingly obvious that this one is cool. In fact looking around this slickly styled café I know that I am in a very cool place.
Moddish red and white vinyl high seats finished with chrome cluster around tall bar tables made from checkerplate. Long thickly cushioned seats, also red and white, lounge about closer to the surface of the earth around similarly checkerplated coffee tables. There is even an overhead loft area with cushioned floor seating around low slung tables.
Its fantastic to be inside a place where every aspect of it has been thoroughly thought through. The walls are red, the lamps have a modern shapely look, no space is closed off or pokey, no space is wasted. Its schmick all the way down the line.
Motorbikes have clearly been the inspiration for the café and there are three lovingly restored examples on display at the moment. Other than that however there are prints and photos on the walls of cool 60’s Vespas, black and white sidecar racers, even schematics for some old classics. The owner Hoa, one of the loveliest people you are ever likely to meet, owns one of the Vespas, a sharp black number, and her husband Greg has an obsession that belittles mania.
A step away from the bikes there is a corner of the café where you can buy from a good selection of new English language novels. There are plenty of the usual run of beverages and you can order in food if you feel peckish.
So this is the run down, settle in for a stint here by grabbing one of the many magazines lying around or buy a book and enjoy some comfortable moments reading, drinking and relaxing in one of the most stylish new cafes in Hanoi. At night this place serves as a semi bar so get those books knocked off before sunset then set yourself up to enjoy the rush of Hanoi's nascent motorcyle crowd when they roar in. I highly recommend this place.
By the way one of the motorcycles is owned by the owner's one year old son which considering the age of some of the riders I see blasting past me on the way to work seems about fair enough.
The Good Oil
2 Hot Chocolates, 1 Heineken - 60,000VND (USD$3.76, AUD$4.99)
18b Nguyen Bieu
Ba Dinh, Hanoi