The heat in Ho Chi Minh City can often feel oppressive, so visiting a bar to escape it all while being accompanied by that most refreshing of drinks — the gin and tonic — sounds like a great fit. The Gin House is the first bar in the city to specialise in the spirit and has been opening its doors to a wide array of gin-based drinks and cocktails since August 2016.
Ke Quan fills a niche in Tay Ho, where street food abounds, but quality, affordable Vietnamese fare with style is missing. A joint project between Cesar Aubry of Le Soleil, Bui Thi Dong Thanh, or Te, of Ray Quan, and designer Ha Huu Tam, the place is as diverse as its ownership.
On a quiet Hanoian street in an unassuming green restaurant, Giang Nguyen surveys her little diner from behind the serving hatch. She is the type of restaurant owner who loses sleep if a customer is less than satisfied. At May Taste (18C, Dang Thai Mai, Tay Ho), however, this rarely happens.
An interesting touch to the recently opened Spice Temple is that the whole ground floor is reserved for motorbike parking, which is rare in the golden area of Saigon. Just a few metres off Nguyen Hue walking street and set in a three-storey building, Spice Temple oozes modernity and elegance through the use of subtle lighting, high windows and wooden geometric wall decorations.