Cake and breakfast heaven
5 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
T: (04) 3933 2355
Saint Honore is a bakery, deli and restaurant in Hanoi’s West Lake area which offers the best cakes in Hanoi and is an excellent choice for a delicious breakfast, a bistro-style lunch or dinner, or an indulgent afternoon tea.
Let’s start with breakfast. If the array of sweet and savoury pastries isn’t enough to tempt you — and trust us, they’re as good as you’ll find anywhere — then how about eggs benedict? Or a savoury crepe? Our favourite is the Saint Honore, with egg, potato, bacon and mushroom wrapped up in a thick bechamel sauce.
The lunch and dinner menu is varied. Lighter options include a Landaise salad with duck and bacon, a vegetarian plate, with hummus, basil terrine and ratatouille, and a good selection of sandwiches — the Philadelphia American steak sandwich comes highly recommended. Those with a heartier appetite can tuck into boeuf bourguignon, duck leg confit, seafood gratin or a range of pasta dishes.
As for desserts, our advice is to peruse the fresh cake counter — we’ve yet to try something we haven’t loved, but we have a particular soft spot for the eclairs, which come in chocolate, vanilla and coffee varieties. Their house-made ice cream is also a must-try.
Drinks include the usual range of hot beverages, soft drinks and alcohol, and if you have a sweet tooth but don’t fancy a cake, opt for a milkshake.
Breakfasts range from around 55,000 VND for eggs through to 145,000 VND for a full English or the salmon eggs benedict, excluding drinks, while a coffee and cake from the counter will set you back around 100,000 VND. Main meals certainly aren’t at the budget end either: expect to easily pay upward of 300,000 VND for starter, main and glass of wine or beer, with the imported beef tenderloin, at 495,000 VND, being the priciest item on the menu.
The dining area is split over two levels, with a few tables downstairs alongside the bakery and deli counters, and more upstairs, spread across two rooms. It’s all dining tables and upright chairs — no squidgy sofas — so Saint Honore isn’t the kind of place you’re likely to settle for too long, but it’s comfortable enough, airy and stylish. Singles or couples can take advantage of the few bar stools lined up along a bench on the small balcony — it’s not ideal for dinner but suits a coffee and cake or light lunch.
Delivery is available for most menu items and take-away bread, cakes and deli items are of course available — and hard to resist. While not particularly convenient for Old Quarter residents — though worth the trip — it’s a great option for those staying nearby or as a stop off during a walk or cycle around West Lake.
Saint Honore is open from 06:00 to 10:00 and another branch is located near Vincom Towers, but doesn’t have an eat-in option.
By Sarah Turner
Last updated on 17th September, 2014.