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.

Part-owner, Wilhelm, was living and working in Vietnam for several years importing beers from his home country of Germany when he decided to open the bar. “After bringing beer to Vietnam for so long it was the natural step,” he says.

 

Reminders Of The Homeland

 

It’s a warm and welcoming space inside, with much of the design derived from the familiar styling of bierkellers from back in his homeland. Little reminders of Germany are scattered around the bar — from posters of popular German cartoon Werner to beer barrels and football memorabilia.

 

Germans are famous for their fondness of ale, and the fridge is stocked full of bottles from HB Hofbrau Munchen. A bottle of original HB will set you back VND85,000 (300ml) whereas both the 500ml Munchner Weisse yellow or black wheat beer come in at VND125,000. This summer Willhelm will introduce five imported German draft beers to the main bar, but for now the draft choices are limited to the familiar options of Tiger, Heineken and San Miguel.

 

A generous happy hour of 11am to 7pm is in effect daily, with draft Tiger and Heineken on tap for VND35,000 (300ml) and VND50,000 (500ml), respectively. Two well-maintained pool tables are available to play, and the big screens show German Bundesliga football matches on a Saturday alongside Formula 1 races, catering for the understandably large German crowd who love their sport almost as much as they love their beer.

 

Wilhelm explains that the drinking culture varies across Germany depending on which region you happen to be in, and at BMV, they want to give a sample of it all. He says: “In Cologne they tend to drink out of very small glasses, in the North they like 300ml glasses whereas in Bavaria they’re famous for their huge jugs of beer.”

 

He adds: “We have customers from all over the world. We want them to be able to try different drinking styles from all over Germany.”

 

On the drinks menu you can try traditional German tipples. There is Goiss (beer and German liquor — VND115,000), Diesel (beer and coke — VND45,000) and Radler (beer and lemonade — VND45,000). Each come in a 300ml glass.

More Than Just Beer

 

Some interesting changes are afoot at BMV which Willhelm hopes will help the place stand out further from the crowd. Upstairs, a German mini-market is due to open, and it’s already stocked with wares from his home country such as German biscuits, tea and cooking sauces, among other items. An outside bar is almost ready for operation, which will service the upstairs beer garden, and a cozy alcove has recently been created to accommodate those looking to relax with wine rather than beer. There are 30 different wines from eight countries on display, with prices ranging from VND450,000 to VND4 million a bottle.

 

Food is also part of the drinking experience here. “They come for the schnitzel, and stay for the beer,” says Willhelm, with one of Germany’s most famous culinary treats being available to eat at BMV. The schnitzel is pork meat coated in breadcrumbs before being pan-fried in oil, and Wilhelm is proud of what they offer up.

 

“We’re a schnitzel house, first and foremost,” he explains, “and we can make them up to 1.20m long, which is the biggest in town.”

 

It’s good, old fashioned German drinking food, and it sits on their food menu alongside another familiar taste of the Homeland in the form of curry wurst, a favourite fast food sausage dish from Berlin. The success or failure of the curry wurst is all about the sauce, and at BMV it’s all made from scratch and in-house.

 

BMV will please those looking to eat and drink in an authentic German bar experience, so there really is no other word to describe it: wunderbar!

 

BMV is at 38 Quoc Huong, Thao Dien, Q2, HCMC. For more info, go to facebook.com/bmv.pubgrill


Photos by Bao Zoan

Thomas Barrett

Born and bred on the not-so-mean streets of rural North Yorkshire in the UK. Thomas’s interest in Vietnam was piqued during a Graham Greene module at University, where he studied his classic novel, The Quiet American. He came wanting to find out what makes modern Vietnam tick, and stayed for the life-giving energy that Saigon brings every day. You can follow him on Twitter at @tbarrettwrites

Website: www.tbarrettwrites.com

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