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3 Amis. Photo by Francis Xavier

For our monthly café hunt, the scenery chosen this time was one of the old art-deco apartment blocks in Nguyen Hue. This semi-pedestrianised street holds a few hidden spots that are worth checking out, and you can add 3 Amis to the list.

The merging of French and Vietnamese styles is everywhere in O’Douceurs, which has Vietnamese pop music playing quietly in the bckground and a scene of Paris on the wall. But the first thing that draws your eyes when you walk in the door are the pastries, shining row upon decadent row like presents wrapped up in multicoloured paper.

As smooth as the name sounds, this cafe — which can be admired through the window from the busy street where it is located — remains a peaceful spot in which to sample a large selection of drinks and cakes. This may be a reflection of the owner Yun Lukas, a person with style, creativity and originality, who has brought together his inspiration and his experience from around the globe to create Vanilla & Butter.

Saigon’s mayhem might not be seen as the most idyllic place to keep pets in — and outside — the house. Walking around on the pavements is hard enough for humans, let alone if you want to take a dog for its daily walk.

If you’re looking for a peaceful spot to sip coffee and bang out some work, Aliu Cat Café is the wrong place to choose. For starters, they don’t serve coffee. You also might find yourself distracted by the 20-odd cats roaming about, and you might find that this place is more play than it is work. Cats simply do not understand deadlines.

The district of Thao Dien hides a large number of gems where one can relax and forget about the stress of downtown Saigon. One of the latest retreats to be added to this list is Cafe de la Mer.

As I come out from my latest shopping spree at Bookworm, I can’t wait to start reading my new book. I decide to make my way to Ngo Quan, a nearby Vietnamese coffee house recommended by a friend.

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