Monde Restaurant & Bar, which quietly opened three years ago in Ho Chi Minh City, is a modest, tranquil bar for cocktail lovers that wish to remove themselves from the busier, frenetic watering holes in the city. Monde is housed in a spacious two story colonial building branching off a boulevard that runs by the Notre Dame. One walks through an alleyway, then pass by a placid reflecting pool and water cascading down a stone wall feeding it, to enter a space that’s clean, well lit, simply designed for the enjoyment of good cocktails.
Monde Restaurant & Bar, Ho Chi Minh City
We only tried the cocktail bar, and are eager to visit the restaurant upstairs soon. The space is spartan, unadorned, with a long counter flanked by comfortably cushioned swivel chairs. The bonus is the view through the floor to ceiling glass windows of the water scene outside. Otherwise, it’s an uncluttered scene, playing well to the spartan Japanese aesthetic that lets the drinks be the prettiest visuals on offer.
Gunma, our Japanese head bartender, made two excellent Manhattans and an Old Fashioned for me, balanced and just enough hint of citrus in the taste. When asked to make his favorite cocktail, he created for us his own creation, a special Matcha flavored Gin based drink that came with bitter chocolate nibbles.
Why We Like It
Gunma explained that Monde started as a space to quietly drink and chat after work. The owner opened an eponymously named original in Ginza, Tokyo, years ago, and felt a need for such a space here in Ho Chi Minh city. We couldn’t agree more. We were there for happy hour, offered every weekday from 5 – 8 PM, with every item on the rich cocktail menu priced at 120K. The space was conducive for casual or intense conversation, and the drinks very reasonably priced given its quality.
Tips for a Great Experience
Come here to remove yourself from the frenetic day and loud traffic of the city. Bring a friend or three, but only if you like their company, because here, you can listen to each other. It’s a great solo drinker’s bar – the swivel chairs are perfect for reading and sipping one’s cocktail undisturbed – but its layout is also conducive to casual conversations and catching up with friends. Monde is the ideal bar for experiencing that blissful, calm happy hour in good company.
Need to Know
Location: 7 Bis Han Thuyen Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Hours: 17:00 – 01:00 daily, Monday – Saturday
Best sellers: Manhattan, Negroni
X-factor: Go for a taste of Japanese hospitality, unembellished, non-flashy but warm service