Japanese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh city

Nga Do
HCMC is as a small world with a multi-cultural feeling. Besides Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham streets for western backpackers, a Japanese street exists on Le Thanh Ton Street in District 1. The Japanese street has many restaurants. Behind sliding doors is a space for Japanese cuisine that makes native Japanese feel as if they are in their own country.

There is a big difference between restaurants in West street and Japanese street in Saigon. While shops in Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham are simple with small plastic stools on sidewalks and work mainly at night, the Japanese street is luxurious with somewhat discreet doors which always stand a certain distance from sidewalks. Despite busy and noisy streets outside, the interior atmosphere is quiet.

Only a short street of nearly 1 kilometer, there are about 20 Japanese restaurants, accounting for half the number of Japanese restaurants in Saigon. These restaurants use wood, bamboo and grasses; hence, they create fresh and familiar feeling. The main colors are red and yellow, creating a cosy atmosphere of the country of cherry blossoms in the heart of Saigon.

1. Sushi Bar

This is the first Japanese restaurant on the corner of Le Thanh Ton street. The Sushi Bar impresses customers with bright red color of lanterns together with diversity of Japanese cuisine.

Stepping inside the quiet space of the restaurant, right on the first floor, diners will be attracted with colorful sushi in different shapes. The restaurant’s strength is a modern conveyor system which allows diners to directly take sashimi, sushi and spicy salmon skin sauce to enjoy different tastes.

2. The Shibuya Wagon

Molten Chocolate is known as a typical dessert of love: sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, and sometimes passionate and melting. Shibuya Wagon is a food paradise on Japanese street in Saigon with unique and attractive desserts. 

The restaurant’s decoration shows a cozy atmosphere when entering. Dishes here are arranged in a sophisticated way so they stimulate the appetite through an eye-catching appearance. Shibuya Wagon has a variety of street food such as toast cake, matcha lava cake. If you are a street food gourmet, do not miss Shibuya Wagon Saigon.

3. Pizza 4P’s

If you are a pizza gourmet, the special shop is a must-visit address.  Pizza here is varied in Japanese style with fresh materials that create a distinct flavor from traditional pizza.

An airy and polite space with pale yellow color makes the shop cozy and luxurious. 

4. Mochi Sweets

The shop Mochi Sweets is a restaurant specializing in Mochi cakes of Japanese; products here are made 100% in Japan and imported to sell in Vietnam. Mochi is a kind of cake symbolizing luck and prosperity; hence it is favored in Japan.

The shop has two types of mochi: one is a traditional type with 16 tastes and the other is mochi donut with six tastes. Outside layer of cake is soft and plastic, with a cool filling. It is a special combination that brings you a wonderful feeling. 

5. MOF Japanese Sweets and Coffee

MOF attracts tourists thanks to friendly space. Matcha and other drinks are why Saigon youth come here. The shop’s materials are imported from the fresh green fields of Hokkaido in Japan; hence, the dish quality is always high.

Desserts and other traditional cakes are also sold. However, the quality comes at a price, which is a bit high.

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