How To Pair Vietnam’s Craft Beers and Proper Burgers

Need help matching our proper gourmet burgers with some of the country’s finest craft beers and ciders? This series is for YOU…

Pairing food and booze doesn’t need to be saved for Francophiles, small portions, cutlery and good manners.

Just because we eat huge, messy burgers and belch a lot, it doesn’t mean we don’t understand the fine dance of complementary flavours. It just means that when we say “complementary flavours” we’re talking proper burgers and top notch craft beers and ciders.

It’s as simple as this: if you’ve got a big beef burger, chock of flavour, you’ll want an equally hearty beer to go with it. But if your burger is on the lighter side, such as a subtle fish burger, you’ll want an equally light and fragrant beer.

Essentially, you’re trying to meet that perfect balance of flavours. Give it a shot next time you visit one of our restaurants in Hanoi.

Here’s three of our favourite burger and craft beer partnerships to get you started.

1. Off Chops Chili Burger and 7 Bridges Imperial IPA

This burger comes in hot with some bold flavours.

We start with our signature burger patty, made with wagyu beef, which has a tender, almost rib eye-like flavour.

Next we add the heat: tangy spice from our jalapenos, and the cooling heat from the pico de gallo and harissa yogurt. The cheddar cheese and Chops homemade mayo cools the whole thing off nicely.

This is a studio image of the Chops burgers, 7 Bridges, Barett and Hanoi Cider - the perfect combination

“A bold, spicy burger like the Off Chops Chili Burger needs an equally robust partner – 7 Bridges Imperial IPA,” says Stanley Boots, from 7 Bridges, who have just opened up a new tap room down the road from our West Lake restaurant.

“Our big 9% double IPA features a strong citrusy aroma and rich malt body, with a perfectly balanced sweetness that pairs well with aggressive and spicy foods… it surprises the palate with its smoothness, making it highly drinkable for such a large ABV beer.”

2. Moby Dick’s Chopper and Barett Lemongrass Weizen

The Moby Dick’s Chopper doesn’t come with the massive punch in the face that you’ll find in the chili burger, so it needs pairing accordingly.

Its patty is a delicate and subtle crumbed fish of the day. Chops homemade mayo and coleslaw sit atop the burger, with a creamy homemade tartare sauce on the side.

This is a studio image of The Moby Dick's Chopper Burger and Barett craft beer in Vietnam

All these creamy elements need a beer that’s heavy on the hops to cut through the rich flavours, but not too high in alcohol. Don’t overpower the burger!

The Barett Lemongrass Weizen does just the job. Its light ABV brings out the lightness of the fish, while the hops cut effortlessly through the rich tartare sauce, making it the perfect partnership.  

3. Wham Bam Thank You Lamb and Hanoi Cider Co. Lemongrass & Ginger

This burger is fresher than 90s Will Smith sitting in a fridge with a mouthful of cucumber, so it needs something light with a citrusy pizzazz to complement the rich lamb flavour and bring even more energy to the burger.

It’s got feta tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, tobacco onions and Chops homemade mayo sitting on top, so it needs flavours that avoid overpowering the lighter elements of the burger but with enough umph to cut through the lamb.

This is a studio image of the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb Chops burger and Hanoi Cider's Lemongrass and Ginger cider - the perfect combination


Hanoi Cider Lemongrass and Ginger, come on down!

“This one is a refreshing and zingy cider loaded with local aromatic flavours and a zesty finish” says Hanoi Cider’s Guy Dickson. “Perfect for a hot sunny afternoon, it goes well with both the lamb and feta tzatziki, the latter helping to calm the warmth of the ginger in our cider.”

Look out for part two in our How To Pair Vietnam’s Craft Beers and Proper Burgers

Read More: The Chops Guide To Tinder Dates In Hanoi
Read More: Announcing – Durty Donald and Kim Jong Yum Burgers


The Chops Guide to Hanoi Tinder Dates

We’ve seen our fair share of awkward dates at our restaurants, so we’ve got a few words of advice for those in Hanoi who Tinder…

We’re burger experts, not relationship counsellors. But if there’s one piece of advice that we can give you confidently, it’s this: couples that get messy at Chops together, stay together.

We’ve seen a greater return from couples who have truffle mayo running down their faces than we have from the shy nibblers.

So while “bring your date to Chops” is definitely the first and by-far-the best tip we’ve got for your badass Tinder sesh, we’re sorry if the rest of our advice leaves you single and lonely…

1. Pick a winner 

Choosing the location is key to getting the date off to a decent start. It needs to have the right kind of vibe. And while nothing brings people together quite like complaining, the food and drink needs to be spot on too; it is representative of your tastes, after all. Consider it personal branding.

Tip: Rarely is a person wooed by tofu in tomato sauce and countless Hanoi Beers. Try gourmet burgers and craft beer?

2. Do it in downtime 

Head out to a decent restaurant on a Friday night and all you’ll be rubbing shoulders with your previous dates. Make a booking for a Monday or Tuesday dinner for a decreased chance of awkward run-ins.

Tip: Book a table at Chops, tell us it’s a Tinder date, and we’ll sort you the best seat in the house 

3. Mix it up

When you find the perfect location, don’t swing back there every time you’ve got a new date lined up. While we love to see your pretty faces all dolled up for a good night out, we don’t need to see your relentless rotation in real time. It makes us feel like we know too much. 

Tip: Lucky for you, we do have three restaurants across the city you can switch between – West Lake, Old Quarter and Ngoc Khanh

4. Be nice?

Forget what people say about there being plenty of fish in the sea. Hanoi is a small place. Consider the sea of Hanoi to be more like a puddle, with a lot of already paired up fish in it. If you’ve been around the block, you’ll start to see the same old faces, and word gets around if you’re not great to hang out with. 

Tip: Be nice. We shouldn’t have to remind you of this, but it is 2019

5. Stop swiping!

You’re on a date – isn’t that enough dopamine? We still see far too many people on dates scrolling through their phones. Poor form, guys. 

Tip: By all means, keep your phone within arm’s reach for those all-important Instagram food shots. Yes, that’s how seriously you should take our dating advice

6. Don’t do “me, me, me” 

Keep it light, honest and be yourself. But don’t just talk hot air air about yourself.

Tip: Your tinder dates won’t care what you made of Chops’ recent Trump and Kim burgers or which craft beer you like to pair with your wagyu beef patties. Get over yourself! 

7. Don’t get sloshed 

Maybe you got a bit boozy beforehand to settle the nerves. Maybe you’ve decided to pound the 9.0% 7 Bridges Imperial IPA as the date goes on. Either way, it’s not going to end well on a first date if you get hammered.

Tip: Don’t want craft beer? Try a Chops badass milkshakes instead

8. Don’t be a try hard

Nobody likes a show off. Or a try hard. For all of you foreigners out there who attended a couple of Vietnamese lessons and want to impress your dates by showing off your loose understanding of Vietnamese: our staff speak pretty good English.

Tip: Avoid our Juicy Lucy challenge on the first date – probably not a great look

9. Bonus tip: use and abuse Chops the next morning

“Don’t forget the morning after, when you’re regretting your life choices because you slept with a backpacker and you swore last time was the last time, but at least Chops is around the corner in the OQ to ease the pain with a brekkie burger to soothe the hangover and walk of shame,” says a Chops fan on Facebook.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Tip: If you’re feeling proper filthy, order the smashed avocado with poached eggs and pico de gallo – it will put you in the right frame of mind to call mum 

Read More: Announcing – Durty Donald and Kim Jong Yum Burgers

Announcing: The Kim Jong-Yum and Durty Donald Burgers

As Kim Jong-Un and President Donald Trump get set to touch down in H-Town this week, we’ve come up with the perfect Chops burger specials to get in on the fun 

We love an opportunity to get our creative burger juices flowing here at Chops R&D. And what better reason than a world leader royal rumble summit in our hometown of Hanoi?

Introducing first: The Kim Jong-Yum Burger…

And yum it is – packed with smoked pork belly, pulled wild boar, kim chi mayo, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and crispy kim chi. All for 150,000VND.

Take sides? In collaboration with our friends at Durty Bird we’ve also created The Durty Donald, which looks like this, naturally…

It’s all about excess: double beef patty, double american cheese, double bacon, fried pickles and tomato. To top if off? Scraped back chicken floss for hair. Badda bing! All for 200,000VND.

Both burger specials will be available between Monday 25th February and Sunday 3rd March 2019 at our Tay Ho, Old Quarter and Ngoc Khanh restaurants, and at Durty Bird on Hang Hanh, too.  

Want free beer?

If you come to try the burger at either restaurant and upload a selfie with it using the hashtag #TrumpKimSummit, Uncle Chop or Ol’ Durty Bird will throw in a free beer for ya.

We welcome either leader to the restaurants to try their very own burgers and pay for their own beer. 

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