Well as a Saigon Saturday goes, this one was a cracker. I started the day at my favourite coffee bar, Hatvala, at 52 Le Thanh Ton, I have known the owner Geoff for a few years now. This is some of the best coffees in town. Although Hatvala is primarily known for its outstanding teas, their ca phe den da is as good as it gets. Over the years this has become one of my regular offices. It’s a great place to relax or get some work done.
Next up was the sausage sizzler event at Heart of Darkness, just round the corner from Hatvala on Ly Thu Trung. In the six short months since they opened Heart of Darkness has carved out a firm reputation among the beer drinking fraternity in Saigon. Their Pale Ale is one of my favourite beers. The Sausages, from Meatworks, came with beer sauces, courtesy of Heart of Darkness’ new ‘cicerone’, Darren Provenzano. He blended beers with other ingredients to come up with some awesome selections. I opted for the chilli chocolate stout sauce and it was delicious. I met up with work colleague Jake Hornberger for a couple of beers before we moved on to get some work done. Just another Saigon Saturday.
Saigon Saturday with Fun and Friends at Belgo
Well I say work, we went to Belgo Belgian Craft Beer Brewery to film the Belgian Beer Festival. Such is the life for Inseasia staff. The festival was excellent, beers from all over Belgium were represented. Personally I think nobody does it better than the Belgians. I have visited their country on too many occasions to count and have drank hundreds of their amazing beers. For my two sons’ stag party in 2015 ten of us went to Bruges, Gent and Brussels for 4 days and I managed 56 different beers. They were all outstanding. Fast forward two years to a super Saigon Saturday and it brought back lovely memories.
Gauthier Lagasse and his crew at Belgo did a wonderful job of promoting Belgium’s finest. I started off with a Chimay Blue, a really good example of Belgian brewing. Belgo is a beautiful venue, the pub was plagued with problems (not of their making) in the early days of opening but I’m glad to report that that is all behind them now. With Gert Keersmaekers in charge of brewing they are back on track and will no doubt be making serious waves here. This was proving to be an excellent Saigon Saturday.
The Perfect End to a Perfect Day
Finally I rounded the day off at another favourite haunt, the Winking Seal Taproom at 50 Dang Thi Nhu, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, in the heart of District 1. This lovely four story pub has some of the best beers in town. They also have two happy hour sessions each day; 4:00 pm to 6:00pm and an amazing 10:00 pm to midnight. It’s a great place to end the day. Winking Seal is among the newest breweries to hit town, having opened the doors in February this year. In that short time they have turned more than a few heads with their glorious mix of pale ale, stout, IPA, hefe and other delicious craft beers. I went with the Captain Kenny Irish Red and the Nam Nam Nam Cream Ale. Rounding off the day on two or one beers with lovely people like the guys at Winking Seal was the perfect way to end a superb Saigon Saturday. They have 8 beers on tap and you are certain to find more tham one that suits your palate.
A perfect Saigon Saturday . . . I wonder what Sunday will bring.