A few weeks ago, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone in Phu My Hung and try a new cafe to work out of. A quick Google search for ‘cool cafes in D1, Ho Chi Minh City’ yielded a bunch of results, but none of them intrigued me like Cakes and Ale did.
Cakes and Ale is located at Room 9, Level 1, 23 Ly Tu Trong, District 1. It’s quite hidden in the apartment building, and I actually had to stop into a super cute boutique (more on that soon) to ask where it was. Once inside, I was mesmerized at how the owners transformed a small apartment into such a cute space. I almost felt like a VIP because I was the only person in the cafe…for nearly 4 hours.
The stars of the cafe are the cakes and fresh roasted coffee. The owner sat and talked with me for about 20 minutes about their cakes and how much work they put into making their cakes the best. I’d have to agree. I ordered the flan gateau cake and first, the slice was HUGE. Benefits of a small cafe = bigger portions for customers. WIN! Second, it was amazingly delicious. I didn’t think that flan and chocolate cake could work together, but they do.
All cakes are baked fresh daily, and the menu changes each day as well. The owner told me if you get there very early in the morning, you can eat the cake right out of the oven. They actually make their cakes right in the middle of the cafe, so you can smell smell delicious baked goods while you work or chat with friends. I don’t know about you, but smelling cakes baking all day is the ultimate productivity booster.
And coffee lovers, never fear. The owner also told me his dad wakes up early each morning to roast fresh coffee beans. The coffee was delicious, with just enough condensed milk to make it sweet, and not overwhelm the coffee flavor.
Is it a good cafe to work in? Well, I got lucky since I was the only person there, but there is only one table to sit at. The rest of the seating is couches and small tables, made more for conversations between friends and not bloggers. Either way, I’d go back because the atmosphere was so calming and inviting. It really felt like I was at a friend’s cozy apartment.