Wherever you are in the world, Japan always has this pull on you. A pull that may often be explained by its unique history and culture. But sometimes there’s this pull that leans more on the gastronomic side.

Japan has always been known for its part cuisine and part work of art presentation. Japanese dishes, be it high-end or just ordinary street food has been reaching out to the world cafe and restaurant industries for many years.

Vietnam is no exception. Experience the eloquence of the Japanese culture without spending on a plane ticket with these top Japanese restaurants found in Saigon.

K Cafe

[74A4 Hai Ba Trung, D1]

If you want to treat yourself for a night of luxury dining, then go no further. Located across Park Hyatt Hotel is K Cafe.

Owned by a Japanese expat and his Vietnamese wife, the restaurant is small place of four tables and a sushi bar downstairs.

Behind the bar is a blackboard for that day’s special dish. Tatami mats line the floors of traditional Japanese-style room upstairs.

Photo: K Cafe

K Cafe is one of the best Japanese restaurants in town that serves the best sushi, sashimi, curry and many more mouth-watering delicacies from the land of the rising sun.

This is a frequent Japanese spot for many food lovers. Their attention to every detail and the high quality of the ingredients used in all of the dishes is second to none.

Diners watch as the chefs show off their skills in the sushi bar. Headed by Chef Truong Tri Nhan who has more than a decade of experience in mixing rice and slicing fish to perfection.

The menu is extensive with the Hot Soba Noodles and Salmon Teriyaki as crowd favourites.

The quality of dishes is high-end which is why the prices are expensive. A large lunch for two costs around 44 USD.

The place is small but relatively busy with serving schedules of 11am – 2:30pm and 5pm – 11pm. For dinner engagements, reservations have to be made first.

 

La Phong House

[9 Tran Cao Van, D1]

Lá Phong, or Maple Leaf, looks tiny from the outside but has a spacious upstairs area. It is a small place, with a spread of over three levels.

The entrance leads you straight into a typical sushi bar in Tokyo.

Lá Phong House
Photo: Lá Phong House

The chefs expertly demonstrate their knife skills in front of dinners sitting at the bar that can seat ten people.

However, this area is smoke-free. Private rooms at the top level of La Phong House are available where guests are seated in Japanese style. The air here is unaffected by traces of cigarette.

The menu is extensive. The sushi is delectable and mouth-watering. The meal comes with a free dessert of French Flan or yogurt.

The dishes are a bit pricey. Dinner for two can cost up to 50 USD without drinks. The cheapest dish sets at 4 USD.

A large lunch set of sushi, sashimi, miso soup and other Japanese seafood with the value of around 200.000 VND is good and well worth it.

La Phong House is closed during Sunday, open from Monday to Saturday at 11:30am – 2pm and 5pm – 10pm.

 

Manmaru

[71 Mac Dinh Chi, D1]

If you’re looking for a comfortable and cozy place to enjoy Japanese cuisine, then look no further.

Manmaru provides the best Izakaya experience right in the heart of Saigon.

Manmaru
Photo: Manmaru

Izakaya is an informal Japanese gastropub that serves high-end beer and food. A place that is perfect for after-work drinking sessions.

There a big Billiken statue inside. Billiken is the symbol of luckiness. It is said that you can touch the feet of statue to get lucky.

All menu pieces are hand-written in Japanese over the walls of the place. There is a downstairs area where the atmosphere is fun, energetic and cheerful.

The beautiful indoor garden upstairs is a calmer setting.

With a menu of sushi, sashimi, tempura, noodles, hot pots and more, the restaurant prides itself of inexpensive Japanese dishes.

In addition, the owner is from Osaka.

Open from 11am to 12am.

 

Sorae

[24th floor, AB Tower, 76A Le Lai, D1]

Sorae is a spectacular Japanese restaurant-lounge at the heart of the bustling busy Saigon.

This sushi lounge offers stunning 360 degree views of the city and has enough space to accommodate 368 people.

Photo:Sorae

Sorae offers delicious Japanese cuisine and entertainment.

This includes a bar with a good selection of wines, live music performances every night, and the finest cigar club in town.

Sorae has 4 bars: a cocktail bar, a sake bar, a whisky bar and a wine bar. All of which are set up in beautiful, elegant and glamorous styling. A perfect place for special occasions.

Dinner can be expensive. But Citibank card holders are offered a 50% discount at certain days. The lounge offers a 50% discount on all drinks on happy hours which start from 5:30pm to 8pm.

Lunch menu starts at an affordable 150.000 VND. On Friday night, a Jazz band plays from 8pm to 9pm, DJ Kyto then takes over onwards, 30% off on selected item for Whisky bottles.

 

Achaya Cafe

[90 Le Loi, D1]

There is a place in Saigon where you can relax and calm your senses with great food that’s not too pricey. This place is called Achaya Cafe.

It is near the Ben Thanh Market, and has two floors providing a nice atmosphere for business meeting, casual party or just your regular pastime.

Achaya Cafe
Photo: Achaya Cafe

Downstairs is a bustling cafe environment. Upstairs is a more intimate affair with semi-private, Japanese seating areas for small groups.

The hip decor mixing dark timber with light walls and full height glass windows look onto the streets below.

The cafe was opened in 2012 by Fuji Ayako and Hiroyuki Sogo, who want to make difference among more than 250 Japanese eateries in the city. Here, they merge Japanese seasonings with Western food and flavours.

The result is fusion food that pays homage to Japan’s staple ingredients yet satisfies Western cravings like steak and pasta.

The extensive menu of drinks and Japanese cuisine ranges from sandwich, spaghetti, pizza, steak, hamburger and special sweet desserts.

Open from 9am to 10:30pm.

Find these places on the map:

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