Matt Cowan eats and drinks his way back in time in Myanmar’s former capital.
Since opening four years ago, BMV has become a staple of the drinking scene in District 2. It brings a schnitzel-sized slice of Germany to this corner of Saigon, and is open daily from 11am to 2am.
Sandalwood flooring, leather armchairs, and black walls sporting a library of wine bottles; Den Bar is an old-school alternative to Hoan Kiem’s generally characterless selection of watering holes.
Situated at the corner of Mac Thi Buoi and Phan Van Dat, on the location once occupied by Seoul House, Soi & Meo Taproom is a hangout opened just after Tet. To explain the name Soi & Meo (wolf and cat), Quynh, the bar manager, says: “It’s inspired by America, where animals are used to name their bars.”
Something feels different upon stepping inside Layla for the first time that sets it apart from other cocktail bars in the same category around Saigon. It could be the floor-to-ceiling windows that bookend the space and allow the last of the fading afternoon light to filter in before the sun dips behind the buildings along Dong Khoi Street below.
Located at the corner between Mac Thi Buoi and Phan Van Dat, Soi & Meo Taproom is a new bar opened earlier this year. With high glass windows, smoky blue painted walls, a balcony, and wooden stools and chairs, this new Saigon watering hole mixes simplicty with themed refinement. It's full of light, overlooking the streets below.
Another great dining option has opened its doors along a strip that continues to grow its reputation for quality cuisine.
At the foot of Hanoi Creative City, Bia-Khu 9 is a ramped up, bia hoi style restaurant and bar, with a huge Vietnamese food menu, and lots of beer.
Bia Tay – Ta, the ‘posh bia hoi’ on To Ngoc Van has undergone an extensive revamp over the New Year.
You are struck by the scale of the place as soon as you walk up the small staircase into East West. It’s a grand arena, and the lofty ceilings match its impressive ambition. The trick is to make the large space inviting without being intimidating, and East West have pulled it off.