With an array of restaurants, cafes and bars available in District 1, one is spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options. However, one of the indicators of a good establishment is having the same customers coming back again and again for more.
This is what has kept Jaspas going strong for the past 12 years.
Iconic Location and a Fresh Look
Located right in the heart of downtown Saigon, along the famous Dong Khoi Street, Jaspas sits at the corner of a small intersection and the first thing you will notice is not a sign or a banner; instead, you will see diners.
The new layout of the restaurant is structured so there are simply no walls; it’s an open concept where your table is right next to the sidewalk, exposed to the hustle and bustle of the city.
That also means you get plenty of fresh air and natural light during the day, and an open party atmosphere at night.
The idea behind this, according to Ben Winspear, Southern Manager of The Al Fresco’s Group, “is to create a concept of openness and to stand out from the other establishments within the area.”
“This is also to give Jaspas a clean, fresh and modern look,” he adds.
Jaspas has a pretty diverse and comprehensive menu that covers a wide variety of dishes from Vietnamese pho to western offerings such as steak. Seafood lovers should check the Seafood Tower, a three-tier tower with all the seafood you’ll ever need for the week, fit for two people. If you like both steak and seafood and can’t decide which of these you’d like to have for lunch, try the surf & turf, a 250g New Zealand sirloin paired with a slipper lobster.
The ever-popular breakfast menu comes in three categories:
- Light Brekkie, with smashed avocado feta lemon & dukkah on sourdough (our recommendation);
- Morning Meal of Substance, with Benedict’s “florentine”, a wonderful combination of smoked salmon, spinach and poached eggs (our favourite);
- Big Breakie, where you can literally find Saigon’s BEST Breakfast (that’s what it’s called on the menu) consisting of two eggs of any style, two pork sausages, local smoked bacon, baked beans, potatoes, mushrooms, roasted tomato and toasted sourdough.
True enough, it was heavy enough to make me think twice about having lunch that day but it does live up to its name; you’ll be hard-pressed to find an even better breakfast than that in Saigon.
For the more health-conscious diner, Jaspas also has healthier options on the menu with salads such as the quinoa & lentil, which consists of a mixed leaf salad tossed with balsamic creme dressing and topped with grilled Halloumi cheese, asparagus and fresh mint.
If you’d like something with a bit of meat, check Jaspas Chefs which consists of romaine lettuce tossed with caesar dressing topped with chicken, avocado, mango and cherry tomato.
You can also wash them down with 100 percent fresh juices, blends and smoothies.
Where Modern Meets Classic
The ambience of Jaspas threads the line between modern and classic. With an interior layout that is rotated according to the time of the day – e.g., tables being moved after sunset to create more space for revellers, and a second floor that accommodates those who would prefer a more peaceful setting for their meal – it’s quite clear that plenty of thought was put into the planning of the restaurant’s layout.
“It’s been a big change but with a new look, we are still keeping the same standards.”
Jaspas is, and will always be, a casual place with a friendly vibe all around. With most of its clientele being regulars, there is a sense of warmth and familiarity that you may not find elsewhere.
Whether you’re in there for breakfast or a post-dinner drink, Jaspas is a great choice whether you’re with your family or your friends.