“Sorry, I’m eating lobster thermidor and drinking chardonnay,” is not a text message I ever thought I would send in response to a coffee invite, until I went to the wine brunch at Oven d’Or. This place understands Sundays on a level that I have not quite seen before. There’s a fondue station with not one, but two kinds of chocolate fountains, a crepe and waffle counter, an entire suckling pig laid out for carving, an a la carte grill, a sushi bar, and, of course, the help-yourself booze table.
Situated in a prime location in District 1, Lavastone BBQ & Cocktail House blends into the bustle of the area with its full-length glass front framed by black-painted steel. The space inside has an American industrial ambience combined with classic European-style twists, making the place both attractive yet unusual. The Japanese elements — Japanese rice wine kept cool in a container at the front door and the upstairs furnished with Japanese-style chairs and tables, adds to the effect.
If you haven’t dared step foot in the Park Hyatt for fear of being immediately relieved of all your hard-earned cash, fear not. The hotel’s Martini Bar, officially called 2 Lam Son, has a 51 percent off happy hour on all drinks between 5pm and 8pm, every day of the week.
The best bars in any town are defined by character. Tadioto has character to get your creative cogs turning. Situated just east of Hoan Kiem Lake, it’s the perfect setting for a small group to share ideas or to catch up with old friends over a glass of whisky. Just look out for the large red gates on the corner of Tong Dan and Ly Dao Thanh.
A 12-year veteran of the Saigon scene, La Habana maintains its charming, Spanish-terrace-inspired premises in District 1. Any night of the week, just off the main drag of Hai Ba Trung and along Cao Ba Quat, you’ll hear live music floating from its cavernous entertainment area. On the Thursday night we visited, it was ballad night, and a regular band from the Philippines were filling the place.