Faint notes of music drift out from the entrance to Hard Rock CafeHo Chi Minh City in District 1’s MPlaza. The familiar song beckons you to come closer—isn’t that Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”? A server greets you with a smile and invites you into the restaurant. You head down the stairs, past the enviable collections of electric guitars and rock memorabilia mounted on the walls.
“First time?” the server says. “Well, you’re in for a surprise.”
This is when the restaurant, which at first glance seemed to be a small outlet of the internationally known franchise, opens up to a full-fledged stage for live music. The space is big enough to take the cafe’s mantra of “Love All, Serve All” seriously.
Prices that Rock as much as the Music
A little more than 38-years after the Hard Rock Cafe became the hottest rock n’ roll themed place in London, the brand opened their first restaurant in Vietnam. Like all Hard Rock Cafes in the world, Hard Rock Ho Chi Minh City is a one-stop shop for music lovers, from merchandise to live shows to memorabilia owned by actual music legends. There is a full-on rock show six-days a week as well as local acoustic sets in the lounge.
At Hard Rock Cafe Ho Chi Minh City, rock music is not just about punk rock or metal. The restaurant’s exclusive house band can play everything from rock tributes such as Linkin Park to EDM, dance music, latin or even Rihanna depending on the mood of the night. Compared to the pop-centred scenes in places like Korea and Japan, Saigon has a strong love for rock and the Hard Rock Cafe’s exclusive band often plays to a full-house during their live music shows.
People come for the free entrance, well-priced beers and above all the party vibe. You might be surprised to learn that Hard Rock Cafe Ho Chi Minh City has some of the best prices in the city for a top quality burger. A burger that you might pay $17USD for in a US branch is $7USD in Saigon, even though the beef is still imported from the US.
The Hard Rock Cafe individualises itself with each location. The restaurant, which has recently undergone a complete renovation, uses the lotus flower as a recurring motif to represent the beauty of Vietnam. The wallpaper features golden flowers that morph seamlessly into electric guitars and back again. Moody lighting offsets the newly redesigned bar.
Events for All Types of Music Lovers
Hard Rock Cafe HCMC has 224 seats in the basement venue that have been designed to be able to be moved around for any type of function such as birthday parties, company events and mixers. The Hard Rock Cafe has it all when it comes to events—catering, live music and custom t-shirts are just a few of the options.
Now instead of passing by the iconic guitar in front of MPlaza or thinking it is just another chain restaurant, head on in. Grab yourself a seat, order some American comfort food and take in the world of rock n’ roll. One of Jimi Hendricks’ infamous headbands is on the wall over there and that black Washburn guitar belonged to no other than Paul “Starchild” Stanley from Kiss. Sit back, the music will start in a minute and then it will be time for the restaurant to live up to its name. At the Hard Rock Cafe Ho Chi Minh, everyone can party like a rock star or at least have a great time trying.