Plenty of women are actively searching for ways to improve their beauty and health. This is particularly evident in Vietnam where, in the past few years, there’s been an explosion of products marketed as collagen-rich, highlighting its skin care properties. This belief eventually trickled down to the food industry, where restaurants sometimes include collagen into some of their dishes.
Mr. Nagai Shigemasa, a Japanese chef who moved to Saigon in 1997 and subsequently founded The Sushi Bar chain of restaurants, saw this demand and decided to act upon it. In April 2017, Shigemasa opened his new restaurant Bishin, which specialises in healthy and nutritious dishes, with the primary focus on beauty.
Conveniently located along Hai Ba Trung right beside Saigon Square, the three-storey restaurant sits behind a short driveway. As you walk up the stairs towards the main entrance, you will be greeted by the friendly and enthusiastic staff and be shown your seat and given a menu, a very straightforward one that highlights the restaurant’s main specialty — collagen chicken hot pot.
Made with the freshest ingredients sourced locally from Da Lat, the collagen chicken hot pot broth consists of 12 different kinds of vegetables and it’s all cooked in a standardized and patented process to consistently attain the highest quality possible.
Besides the collagen chicken hot pot, BISHIN also offers lunch box specials with steamed rice, chicken, soup and salad at a reasonable price.
The three-storey restaurant comes with rather unique interior decor on each floor. The second floor, for example, is washed with shades of red and dark brown tones, which gives it an air of elegance and coziness. For obvious reasons, the majority of the customers tend to be female with the occasional boyfriend, husband, brother or father scattered around.
It’s far from noisy and very easy to hold a conversation with your partner as you savour your meal, which is one fundamental plus of any restaurant. The interior is also spacious with plenty of space to move about.
For those who prefer fresh air, the top floor has an open air, al fresco layout for you to enjoy your meal. This area is also ideal for birthday parties and gatherings as it’s a nice balance between open and private as you will be partially hidden from prying eyes.
Although the hot pot is their main specialty, Bishin does have other items on their menu worth trying.
There are lunch box specials which consist of steamed rice, chicken, soup and salad which are popular among office workers, along with some appetizers that are worth trying such as coriander salad, a perfect combination of fresh vegetables and spicy dressing; fried Japanese sweet potato with honey if you’re looking for something sweet and a great caesar salad with boiled eggs.
The main star of course, is the collagen chicken hot pot. With all-natural ingredients and a choice to choose what kind of vegetables you prefer to add into the mix, the broth is pleasantly sweet and the chicken cooked to perfection. The best part of this restaurant is its focus on eating healthy and this is evident in the “detox drinks” available to wash it all down. Eating something so delicious without having to feel guilty is one of the main selling points of this restaurant.
The restaurant has scored exceptionally high reviews on Facebook with a rating of 4.9/5. Most, if not all of the reviewers were delighted with the quality of the food, which they found delicious. The collagen chicken hot pot soup is delightfully sweet and the generous serving of vegetables make the whole dish seem like a very healthy alternative to generic hot pot dishes found elsewhere.
Diners also praise the service, with many pointing out the friendliness, helpfulness and efficiency of the staff.