Fancy craft beers, fine wines, steak, carpaccio and Italian cooking with a Japanese flair? Time to save a date for Butcher MANZO & Craft Beer Bar, inaugurated in May of this year.
Located along the main stretch of Le Thanh Ton street, MANZO’s location is a match made in heaven. The area boasts Vietnam’s largest and most vibrant Japanese enclave with countless hotels, bars and eateries geared towards Japanese expats. Its classy interior is a marriage of Japanese simplicity and the cosy environment of a European beerhouse. MANZO is spacious enough to host private events for up to forty people.
Sporting an impressive bar counter with a total of 14 beer taps, it is the first bar/restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City to import the Japanese niku-baru (meat bar) concept to Vietnam. In fact, the word MANZO translates to ‘beef’ in Italian and that means that it’s proprietors and Japanese-trained chef are both passionate and serious about bringing the best renditions of well-prepared meat to guests. With these combined factors, we’re confident guests will enjoy MANZO as a place to relax and unwind over good alcohol and outstanding steaks after a long workday.
As the only steak establishment in Ho Chi Minh City to do in-house dry-aging, MANZO’s dry-aged beef including sirloin and tomahawk steaks are high-quality and surprisingly reasonably priced. The stability of numerous variables such as humidity, temperature and air-circulation are vital to this finicky process and the specialised dry-aging refrigerator used at MANZO ensures utmost precision and hygiene.
During the process of dry-aging, naturally-occurring enzymes break down muscle tissue and improve both texture and flavour as well as accentuating umami notes. This causes the steaks to lose approximately 30 percent of their original mass because a slab of dry-aged steak has to be trimmed of it’s dried exterior before cooking. However, this is a necessary to create the incredible flavour profile that is only possible with dry-aging. We honestly believe that this is a reflection of the spiritual and gourmet sacrifice that MANZO endures for it’s treasured diners.
As described by the proprietors themselves, “Steak perfection takes time”.
As with all respectable steakhouses, guests are able to choose the level of doneness for their steaks. But what sets MANZO apart from other places is the large variety of sauces and dipping salts that are offered with their steaks and other grilled delights.
Handmade red wine or white wine salts made from reducing wine and salt over slow fire is a statement of MANZO’s attention to details. What is truly worth mentioning is MANZO’s black beer sauce made with celebrated local craft beer brewer Rooster Beer’s signature dark ale. MANZO’s team endeavours to create their dishes from local raw ingredients as much as possible. Other sauces such as the blue cheese sauce and Japanese BBQ sauce are great choices for diners who enjoy more robust flavours.
MANZO also serves up a great variety of meaty starters and accompaniments which can be enjoyed as part of a full-course meal or simply as great finger food with wine and beer. MANZO’s assorted appetizer plate is stacked with a hearty serving of prosciutto ham, pâté and salamis. MANZO recommends ordering the homemade pizza-dough bread with this special appetizer.
If beef is not your thing, MANZO’s popular half chicken is another favourite. Rosemary, garlic and an in-house special sauce are used to marinate the chicken before grilling to assure a flavourful exterior and juicy interior. The homemade salsiccia (Italian-style sausage) is made with minced, onions and enhanced with a touch of cumin and oregano. Beef carpaccio and finger food such as deep-fried bacon rolled oyster are heaven-dictated pairings with MANZO’s alcohol offerings.
With a massive range of quality craft beers that appeal to a wide variety of palates, we consider MANZO to be a defender of the craft—deployed at the frontlines to assist the hardened artisan brewers who run the show backstage.
Veteran brewers including Pasteur Street Brewing Company, Tê Tê Brewing Company and Winking Seal Beer Company are well represented here and MANZO also takes pride in introducing newer brewers including 7 Bridges Brewing Company hailing from Da Nang city. The 7 Bridges’ Imperial IPA ‘Can Tho Bridge’ (9% ABV) is floral, citrusy and ridiculously refreshing for a strong beer.
Last but not least, MANZO also offers great lunch sets. The beef katsu cutlet coated with bread crumbs is fried to perfection, topped with demi-glace sauce and served with a choice of miso soup or soup-of-the-day and a choice of rice or homemade bread.
Butcher MANZO & Craft Beer Bar may be relatively new but reviews on Facebook, Google and TripAdvisor have been consistent. Many visitors praised MANZO for their wide range of beers and tasty beef that is infallible and exceptionally reasonable priced. A copious 400g portion of the dry-aged sirloin steak will come in at about VND760,000 and will fulfill a meat craving for even the biggest appetite. However, it is also possible to purchase MANZO’s premium tomahawk steak in the mega 1,200g size for the excellent price of VND2,640,000.
Our reviewers were impressed by MANZO’s select choice of craft beers and incredible food options. MANZO has effectively set a precedent that may startle many. Craft beers are no slouch as pairings for steaks even when faced with the politically correct choice of fine wines.
Jokes aside, there’s yet another fact that should not be missed: Butcher MANZO & Craft Beer Bar’s lunch, dinner and beer promotions (often up to 50 percent off for craft beers) are renewed on a regular basis so be sure to like and follow their Facebook page ‘Butcher MANZO & Craft Beer Bar’ for the latest updates!
MANZO is offering a special deal for City Pass Guide readers: For 10% off your total bill at MANZO, mention you read this article.