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.
Sancho Cantina on Bui Vien in District 1 has given itself the tag of king of Mexicali food in Ho Chi Minh City since opening earlier this year. But if co-owner Calvin Bui has his way, Sancho’s will soon be the king of Mexicali food in all of Asia. They already make one of the best margaritas in Vietnam.
To find Indika: House of Curiosities, you must keep your eyes peeled for the logo at the street entrance and follow the winding path down past the restaurants and cafés. You are then greeted by a spacious courtyard decorated with green outdoor furniture and a constant rhythmic bass line coming from the music.
Miyama means ‘beautiful mountain’ in Japanese, and that’s perhaps the reason why this café is located at an ideal corner on floor three of Saigon Centre, where you can feast your eyes on busy Le Loi or on a sea of green from the trees on Pasteur.
It’s the Sunday following Independence Day and the streets are quiet. The cloud cover shifts, slowly illuminating the impressive shop front of Café 81. Its postcard-like appearance draws the first of many amateur photographers. What lies through its doorway is unclear, the dimmed seclusion creating a sense of mystery.