The ultimate cliché about Saigon is that it is a city ‘on the move’. The phrase may be hackneyed and overused, but the truth is that it is actually a fairly accurate summation.
New bars and restaurants materialise with the velocity of a speeding motorbike taxi driver – so much so that it is often hard to focus on the freshmen before another batch of newbies gatecrash the scene.
At the time of writing, the hottest new venue in the city is Chill. Located slightly adrift of the main nightlife action on the fringes of District 5, this two storey skybar and restaurant exemplifies the Saigonese penchant for all things flashy. Not that it lacks substance. Designed by Scott Whittaker of DWP Thailand, the firm behind the world-renowned Sirocco in Bangkok, it is suitably sleek while the view from the top of the AB Building, where the venue is situated, is amazing.
The food’s not too shabby either. Andy O’Brien, whose pan-Asian fusion creations are as flamboyant as you would expect from a chef who has catered to stars such as Madonna and Elton John in the past, helms the kitchen.
Other new openings of note include Bootleg, a dedicated DJ bar on Le Thanh Ton Street, and the Hog’s Breath Saloon and Grill, a branch of the Australian chain which has become the first food outlet to open in the iconic Bitexco Tower, Saigon’s tallest skyscraper.