It is a stand-out establishment along Vo Van Kiet. The white facade accented with wide glass doors and windows draws attention to this two-storey café. True to its name, this is a place where people can wind down.
In the morning, Heritage is a café. At night, it turns into an events and party place complete with DJs and occasional themed parties. That’s why the menu begins with a list of cocktails and speciality drinks with prices ranging from VND100,000 to VND135,000.
Heritage serves Italian and Vietnamese-style coffee with beans from Dalat. Their best sellers are the egg coffee, which is well suited to those with a sweet tooth, and the coconut coffee, which is refreshing and not too sweet. Both are priced at VND60,000 and are best paired with a croissant with your choice of filling at VND110,000.
The food is Western with a limited range, but plans for expanding the menu are already in the works. They offer mini-burgers (VND95,000), fish and chips (VND95,000), chicken pies (VND85,000), and a crowd favourite, beefsteak (VND165,000).
“Most customers come here to work, so we offer food that is uncomplicated,” says Ken.
Fresh juices, teas and smoothies are also available at between VND65,000 to VND75,000.
Entering the café, it feels as if you’ve been transported to the beach, courtesy of the sandy floors.
“I want people to feel as if they’ve escaped the city,” says Ken.
The festive coloured blinds and well-decorated tiles are eye-catchers and give the place a cabana-by-the-beach aura. To complete the feeling of being near the sea, there is an open space filled with sand and beach chairs on the other side of the entrance. You will also be greeted by two café pets named Lonton and Hippo. These pugs are a source of entertainment while customers wait for their orders.
Up and running for about six months, Heritage has already attracted a good number of customers; among them are vintage and photography enthusiasts. The whole place is decked with vintage pieces the owner collects himself. An old, yet still working, video game arcade cabinet on the right welcomes customers on the ground floor. Mismatched tables and chairs that look a bit worn-out and exude eccentricity lead you to the bar. Walk further and you'll find an old TV with a knob for changing the channels, a vintage leather jacket that could pass as a memoir of the movie Back to the Future, old telephones and typewriters that add life to the rather dim centre of the café.
The first floor is wider and can accommodate more customers as it has more tables and chairs for smaller groups or individuals. It also resembles a museum filled with the owner’s vintage collection. The stained-glass ceiling draws attention and does its purpose by giving off natural light for patrons. Towards the balcony across the stairs is where you will find a long piece of furniture enhanced with more pieces that have withstood time and use, like the turntables that are still used to blast Vietnamese music in the morning, or tropical and deep house tunes at night.
The old-school theme of Heritage is also Ken’s tribute to his parents, his way of reliving their memories together. If you’re looking for a more intimate space yet still filled with quirks in every corner ideal for your Instagram feeds, visit their other branch along Pasteur Street. Heritage Concept is a fit place for day-starters or nightcaps.
Heritage Concept Chill Hub is located at 190-192 Vo Van Kiet, Q1, HCMC. For more information, go to facebook.com/heritageconceptvn
Photos by Mike Palumbo