Iki

Saigon's hippest, trendiest Japanese restaurant, Iki, turns the notion of the common hotel sushi eatery on its head, with a wide yet very affordable menu. Choose from bento boxes, crispy tempuras or fresh made-to-order sushi and sashimi. Our interactive hot pot tables that seat up to six people will have you and your friends enjoying the fun of cooking and eating all at the same time. Located on the Lobby Level of Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon .

The Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon is home to Iki, Saigon's most fashionable Japanese restaurant. Iki's affordable menu and fun, vibrant and reassuring atmosphere has already earned it critical acclaim within HCMC circles. Iki serves top-quality fresh sushi, tempura and other Japanese fusion favorites in a non-traditional setting. Talented Chef Kittisukd Sujaritvetee, from Bangkok, strives to delight and please each diner.

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Tasaki BBQ Japanese Restaurant

Tasaki BBQ luxurious restaurant serves authentic Japanese grilled cuisine. With 100 dishes to choose from, whether it is family or business partners to impress, there is plenty of choice for everyone. Their Wagyu beef is well recommended.

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Yoshino Japanese Restaurant

Yoshino Japanese Restaurant serves authentic Japanese cuisine with delicate traditional Omakase set dinners and an a la carte menu. Treats include seasonal fresh fish and Wagyu beef. Yoshino Japanese Restaurant is situated on the second floor of the five star Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon. House specialties include the shabu shabu hot pot (so nice they named it twice) and Kobe beef, imported of course.

Try the omakase set menu, a gastronomic tour de force that includes eight separate dishes ranging from raw fish and deep fried goodies to a tasty dessert. Japanese dining in Ho Chi Minh City may never get better than at Yoshino Japanese Restaurant.

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The Sushi Bar

One of the first Japanese restaurants to stake its claim in Saigon, The eponymously named The Sushi Bar is a master of what it specialises in — authentic Japanese sushi.

First opened in 1999 by Nagoya-born Mr. Nagai Shigemasa, who learnt his trade in kitchens in Osaka, The Sushi Bar started off as a modest outlet on Le Thanh Ton in Saigon’s Little Japan neighbourhood. However, as the restaurant started gaining popularity due to its high-quality sushis, sashimis and set meals, the demand got larger and new outlets were opened.

the sushi bar

As of today, The Sushi Bar is 18 years old and has a total of eight outlets: six in Ho Chi Minh City, one in Binh Duong and even one in Da Nang.

This is a venue that has an extensive menu that includes bentos, rice and noodle dishes and various kinds of sushis, including Sushi Bar originals as well as assorted traditional sushi and sashimi options. If you’re not too sure what you want to get, The Sushi Bar will definitely have something for you.

Ambience

In terms of ambience, The Sushi Bar resembles the Sushi bars you would find in Japan with just the right amount of space to move about and an interior that allows you to feel like you’re in Tokyo or Osaka, and not in Saigon.

It’s also probably one of the few Japanese restaurants where you’ll find a healthy mix of both Japanese expats and entire Vietnamese families at the dining tables.

the sushi bar

It can get pretty crowded on weekdays but you should still be able to have a conversation with the person you’re enjoying your meal with, without having to repeat yourself.

Food

The Sushi Bar is popular for their assorted sushi and sashimi sets. Here you’ll get a nice mix of colours and tastes that’s enough to fill you up for the day. If you want something unique, THE SUSHI BAR original dishes are worth checking out too. The Negi Sake Toro Maki Tempura (deep fried fatty salmon and spring onion rolls) is a pretty interesting choice.

For those who like their sushis rolled, the Ika Shio Kara Gunkan Sushi (salted raw squid gunkan sushi), Hotate Mentaiko Temaki (scallop and cod egg with chili hand roll) and Shako Tobi Mayo Temaki (mantis shrimp, fish roe with mayonnaise hand roll) are highly recommended.

the sushi bar

Tip: The purpose of the pickled pink ginger slices that come with the sushi is to help you clear your palette. Take a slice right after you finish each sushi so you can fully enjoy the taste of the next one.

What People Say

According to TripAdvisor, The Sushi Bar scores 3.5/5, with most of the comments highlighting the slightly higher than average pricing and the quality of the staff, most of whom seemed cold towards the customers without the usual “irrashaimase” greetings you would expect from Japanese restaurants.

But that aside, most reviews favour the quality of the food in terms of its freshness, presentation and taste, with a decent drinks menu to boot.

 

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Gyumaru Hamburg & Steak

Wagyu Ribeye Beefsteaks

Tucked away at the end of a winding hem in the heart of the Japanese-influenced Le Thanh Ton street in Saigon, you’ll find Gyumaru Hamburg & Steak, an authentic Japanese steakhouse specialising in beautifully simple hamburger steaks, juicy and decadent hamburgers and pretty much every other grillable beef product, all served piping hot with a smile. If you’re in the mood for meat, this is the place for you.

gyumaru

Ambience

Amidst the flurry of more traditional Japanese fare dotting Le Thanh Ton and the adjoining hems, Gyumaru, at first, might seem like a bit of an oddity. After all, how does a wagyu ribeye steak fit in with the sushi, ramen and clean eating that the Land of the Rising Sun is known for?

However, as soon as you approach the door, you immediately see that Japanese cuisine is more than just these traditional expectations. Before you even walk through the front door, you’re greeted with a large light projection on the ground with the silhouette of a bull’s face in the middle – kind of a Batman signal alerting anyone who walks by that this is the place to go for beef. If you’re drawn in by this – and you should be – your assumption will be confirmed.

However, the setup of Gyumaru isn’t the classical steakhouse arrangement you would find in the west. The atmosphere isn’t stuffy and the furniture isn’t dour and heavy; instead, walking through the long hallway and passing the kitchen staff, who cook in plain sight behind glass windows, the dining area contains multiple levels and a variety of seating arrangements.

gyumaru

Depending on your tastes and the number of people in your party, you can sit at a booth or a conventional table. Our waiter also let us know that seating is available on the second floor, although we didn’t get a chance to take a look.

Food

While Gyumaru has other items on its menu besides meat, it’s clear that if you’re a vegetarian, your options here are limited. A variety of high-quality sides abound, like salty, crispy french fries and roasted vegetables, but here the high-quality steaks, hamburger steaks and hamburgers are the stars of the show.

During our dinner at Gyumaru, we tried two dishes: the 100 percent Wagyu Gyumaru Hamburger with Ham and Egg (VND140,000 for the burger and VND10,000 to 20,000 for the additives) and the Gyumaru Cheese Wagyu Hamburg Steak (VND200,000). Both were excellent choices.

For starters, this hamburger was not a dainty burger. Smothered in sauce and dripping with juices, this is a burger that requires about three hand wipes at the end of the meal. There was something supremely decadent about layering a slice of ham on a thick hamburger patty and then plopping a fried egg on top of that, but we’re not complaining. It came with a side of fries, which were an excellent complement to the huge burger. We could only finish half of this dish.

gyumaru

The hamburg steak was slightly less lavish, but equally as good. The refined and controlled cousin to the freewheeling hamburger, the hamburger steak was presented to us hot and sizzling on a cast iron serving platter, accompanied by a small heap of wilted spinach, roasted potatoes and sweet glazed carrots. The cheese on this hamburger steak was melted and contoured around the meat, and it all came with a small side salad and a ramekin of steak sauce. All around, it was a high-quality meal without being uncomfortably fancy.

What People Say

People simply love this place. On Gyumaru’s Facebook page this restaurant holds an astoundingly high 4.5 star rating with 69 reviews, and on TripAdvisor 68 percent of reviewers have rated it “Excellent”. The things people love most? The food and the service. Most people agree that the servers at Gyumaru are smart, compassionate and extremely good at their jobs. When you pair this with amazing food and a laidback atmosphere, you have a recipe for a good lunch or dinner.

Local Insight

People don’t only come here for the steaks: the salads are good, too. The spinach and caesar salads are well-regarded, if you want a lighter dinner.

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Sushi Tei

Sushi Tei’s new flagship outlet is located by Ben Thanh Market in the heart of the city. Its 300-plus dishes delight the palates of all customers. From the bright open areas to the private dining rooms it creates the perfect ambience in which to enhance your gastronomic experience.

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