Broma: Not a Bar

Broma Not A Bar provides a comfortable lounge atmosphere and is especially renowned for its beautiful rooftop views and it’s music themed parties. Offering more than 30 beer varieties, Broma also serves one-of-a-kind signature cocktails.

Broma is a popular bar on weekends with expats and it is similar with the Observatory. It will attract similar DJs playing minimal, deep house and techno songs. We consider it is one of the best bars in Saigon.

You can also read: Saigon Nightlife.

GALLERY

East West Brewing Co.

The first thing you’ll notice entering East West Brewing Co. is the gleaming machinery towering overhead.

As the doors close behind you, shutting off the din of downtown District 1 and Ly Tu Trong street, your ears will be greeted with the cavernous acoustics of something like to a museum. The floor plan is open permitting a clear view of the Ho Chi Minh City brewer’s pièce de résistance: the mammoth gleaming tanks on two floors that make up the beer maker’s in-house brewery.

east west brewing

Show, Don’t Tell

In response to why the brewhouse was built to be a public-facing operation, East West Brewing Co.’s founders explained that craft beer’s relative newness and novelty in Vietnam created an opportunity for them to present the drink in a more intimate way.

At the time of writing, East West remains the only place in Saigon where the city’s thirsty can drink a craft beer made on site. Brewery spokeswoman Mimi Truong said that explaining the broader motivation of craft beer—the process, the reasons behind making it and drinking it versus a Tiger or Heineken— is a bit like telling a story.

east west brewing

Like all stories, it benefits from a visual aid.

Mimi used an analogy to explain. “Let’s say you’re eating street food outside. There’s some kind of relationship when you visually see them cooking and the hard work that goes into that process.”

“If we didn’t show the general public upfront what craft beer was about, then the understanding wouldn’t be there”, Head Brewer Sean Thommen said. “That’s the biggest challenge that we have as a country that doesn’t really have a craft beer culture behind it.”

“We could just be brewing the beer elsewhere and using the location as a taproom”, Mimi said. But “to actually have it laid down in front of you ... it introduces the concept of real brewers brewing real quality beer. It creates this relationship that’s more personal.”

“It’s one thing to tell you, it’s another to show you”, Mimi said.

How It’s Made

The untrained eye might get lost in the chromy gleam of the open brewery. The four tanks at the top are seated on another five polished 1,500 litre tanks at the ground floor.

It’s like looking at the engine of a car: the industrial beauty is enhanced by the mystery of how the Rube Goldberg machine-like invention works.

East West Brewing Co. offers tours of its brewery to learn more about how they make the beers.

During the tour, you might learn that the brewery is not just a two-storey machine, but also contains a third at the very top. It’s here that the recipe begins, crushing the grain in preparation for the mash.

From there, the malt moves to the second “hot” floor where the ingredients are combined with boiling water and cooked to specification. Then the liquid is moved to the kettle and boiled. This is where one of the most important steps for perfecting flavour happens: adding the hops.

east west brewing

Unfinished beers leaving the second floor are sent to the bottom to cool and condition in the 1,500 litre tanks standing at attention adjacent to the dining room floor. Depending on the style of beer, the unfinished brew could be in fermentation for a long time—the malty, pronounced Independence Stout calls for a resting period of a month and a half—or a short one, like the Summer Hefeweizen, which is ready for kegging and bottling in just over two weeks.

The brewery is built in levels like this to have gravity do the work of moving the tremendous liquid volumes from the top to the ground floor where the beers enter the fermentation stage, the last step in becoming drinkable, finished brews.

Changing Tastes

As Saigon’s beer lovers are getting to know East West Brewing Co., the brewer is also getting to know it’s audience and it’s shifting preferences better.

For example, when the microbrewery opened a year ago, the top seller was the Saigon Rosé. The light, fruity raspberry wheat beer was a popular first foray into craft beer for the local drinkers, a crowd typically doused with light lagers like Tiger and 333 at other places.

Then, “in just six months the palette changed so quickly”, Mimi said.

Nowadays, the brewery is now equally known and renowned for the Summer Hefeweizen, a citrusy, zesty take on the classic German wheat ale recipe, as well as their Far East IPA, and its flagship East West Pale Ale, a polished, hoppy beer that acts as ”a nice bridge” out of the land of industrial scale lagers, Mimi said.

east west brewing

The beer that carries the brewery’s name is an abridged reimagining of the company’s story. The East West Pale Ale combines hops from the US with hops in New Zealand. Similarly, East West Brewing Co. is the lovechild of a marriage between craft beer—a western convention—to a vision formulated by a US-raised Vietnamese entrepreneur Loc Truong and Sean Thommen, a US native leading the brewing operation.

“If they can come in and see it, smell it … they can understand why it’s not just a product”, Thommen said. “We have to show them that it’s … an experience, there’s a science behind it.”

Most importantly, he added “it’s fun.”

Your meal prep routine will forgive you if you head to East West Brewing Co. for lunch. With a wide selection of Saigon & San Diego based dishes ranging from VND50,000 to VND175,000+, your wallet won’t likely mind either. Choose from a menu that includes appetizers like the Lotus Root Palm Heart Salad or Steak Watercress Salad and a main course, like the Spicy Garlic Tiger Prawn Tacos, California Burrito, or Teriyaki Salmon.

Come back on Saturday and Sunday morning for brunch. For VND750,000+, you can indulge in the brewery’s Kegs N’ Eggs Weekend Brunch package, which includes free flow craft beer as well as creme brulee french toast, california eggs benedict, and carne asada steak tacos.

GALLERY

GEM Lounge

With its sophisticated and relaxed setting located at the exquisite GEM Center, this modern lounge has something for everyone. From the decorations to the menu, all aspects of the GEM Lounge are centered around the creation of a warm and inviting ambience. Whether stopping by for a quick coffee on the way to work, for a lunch break, an afternoon tea or as a meetup spot after work, the GEM Lounge caters to all interests. The carefully crafted food, juices and drink options bring together a diverse group of seasonal favourites. Unwind from a day’s work, indulge in a delicious drink and relish in the live piano music from 7pm to 10pm everyday.

GALLERY

Vertical Sky Bar

Since opening in November, Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel’s newest endeavor sports a chic and trendy design welcoming guests from near and far. Situated on the rooftop of the 4-star hotel in the heart of downtown, take in the sights and sounds of the city and riverview below.

GALLERY

The Long @ Times Square

The Long @ Times Square is a café and restaurant which is part of The Reverie Saigon. It is the ideal place for an after-hour drink in Central Ho Chi Minh City.

The Long @ Time Square

Drawing inspiration from the timeless sidewalk cafes of France and Italy, The Long @ Times Square is the parlour of the city – a place for serendipitous encounters, refreshing breaks and casual rendezvous.

Cocktail at The Long @ Time Square

Lunches at The Long are always varied and enticing, with an east-meets-west menu of contemporary cooking, complemented by daily specials highlighting the finest seasonal produce. Healthy smoothies and bright tropical juices are mixed to taste, whilst enormous ice creams headline a mouth-watering dessert menu. Every afternoon, The Long invites patrons to take a break with a leisurely afternoon tea or Italian coffee, whilst evenings call for delicious aperitifs and pre-dinner drinks.

Food at The Long @ Time Square

The Long @ Times Square can be reached by walking from several famous Ho Chi Minh City attractions such as the Opera and Parkson Shopping Center.

GALLERY

Whiskey & Wares

What makes Whiskey & Wares special? The drinks are reasonably priced (but not excessively cheap); the atmosphere is comfortably casual yet also refined and stylish; and the service is friendly, attentive and laidback. And once you see the cozy, couch-filled upstairs lounge, you’ll see that it’s an ideal bar to visit with friends.

whiskey and wares couches

Located just off of Bui Vien on the much more reserved (yet still busy) De Tham Street, Whiskey & Wares offers patrons quality drinks at great prices. True to its name, one side of the menu is filled with constantly rotating whiskey choices, which are organized by country of origin (brands from Japan, Ireland and the U.S. are only a few among the selection) rather than price. Derek Jay, who co-owns the bar with Wan Winters, said was an intentional choice. “We want people to try really good whiskeys they haven’t tried before. So the nice whiskeys are still affordable.” Cheers!

Whiskey and wares couches

If you’re not in the mood for whiskey, there’s plenty of other options. There’s an extensive list of local craft beers as well as a large selection of original and traditional cocktails with an Asian twist. If you have a weakness for whiskey sours, be sure to give their Tamarind Whiskey Sour a try. The most notable drink, however, has got to be the Saigon Whiskey Collins, a well-balanced mix of tac (Vietnamese kumquat), star anise, ginger and whiskey. Keep an eye on this list – each month a new cocktail will be added.

Whiskey and wares bar

Don’t just go to this bar for the drinks, though. Also stay tuned for the locally made art the owners continually showcase, the weekly live music, the soon-to-be-added food items (barbecue banh mis! Texas-Saigon beer chili!) and the rooftop patio that might be opening up in the near future. However, smokers accustomed to ashtrays indoors beware: while there’s a balcony and chairs out front, smoking is prohibited inside the bar itself.

GALLERY

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