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Doing The Business

Doing The Business

In my second part to the best Ho Chi Minh City spots to seal a business deal over lunch, I give you five more establishments as recommended by some of the city’s leading businessmen.

RELATED: Doing The Business: The best HCMC lunch spots to seal that deal: Part 1 


Photo: Sofitel Saigon Plaza

L’Olivier Restaurant


Another entrant from the five-star hotel property pool in Ho Chi Minh City. Our execs seem to like these places. And why wouldn’t they? They are easy to find, offer great service and plenty of food options to cater for whatever nationality you are dealing with in your portfolio. The name is a dead giveaway as to what kind of cuisine L’Olivier specialises in, with dishes including tuna tartare, duck breast a l’orange, scallops and bouillabaisse. But naturally — given our environment — there are Asian cuisine options including Vietnamese baked oysters, raw fish and even L’Olivier’s own decadent take on the legendary pho with poached foie gras, lobster and herbs. Sign here please!

One of our execs says:

“L’Olivier at Sofitel Saigon Plaza is a quiet spot with excellent food where you can get right down to business”

L'Olivier dish
Photo: Sofitel Saigon Plaza

L’Olivier Restaurant is at Sofitel Saigon Plaza, 17 Le Duan, District 1, HCMC. For more information, go here

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Secret Garden Dining 72 dpi
Photo: Mike Palumbo

Secret Garden & Teahouse


Secret Garden already has a massive reputation in this city with locals and travellers alike so it makes perfect sense for it to make our executives’ list as a great place to bring visiting businesspeople hankering for a bit of local fare. The restaurant is on a rooftop in a central location making it a great vantage point to take in the city skyline over some cha gio or a hotpot. The menu is extensive and very affordable. The decor and the breezy ambiance makes for atmospheric dining. Space for at least 80 diners means that the place can get noisy, but trust me, you’ll have your guest’s signature in the bag the moment they reach the top of the stairs.

One of our execs says:

“Secret Garden is great if visitors from the region come and want Vietnamese food. It’s central, too”

Secret Garden HCMC 100 dpi
Photo: Mike Palumbo

Secret Garden & Teahouse is on the top floor at 158 Pasteur, District 1, HCMC. For more information, go here

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Photo: Sorae Sushi Sake Lounge

Sorae Sushi Sake Lounge


Sorae has been around for a while now and has built a reputation for its dinner and as a place to take in some pretty breathtaking views of the city of an evening. It remains high on the options list for romantic date nights out with a little bit of something for everyone. And who doesn’t like sushi? However, this sushi and sake lounge over two levels located in central Ho Chi Minh City has quietly built a reputation among execs as a hotspot for lunch. While there’s no doubting you could send your accounting department into meltdown with Sorae’s omakese set menus ranging in price from VND2,690,00++ (US$117) to VND4,490,000++ (US$195) per person, you can still go all austere if your business is tanking and choose from the a la carte menu instead, which has all your regular Japanese favourites.

One of execs says:

“Sorae has an amazing lunch which is much cheaper than dinner and the decor is impressive”

Photo: Sorae Sushi Sake Lounge

Sorae Sushi Sake Lounge is on Level 24, AB Tower, 76 Le Lai, District 1, HCMC. For more information, go here

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See Also

Cafe de LOpera_1
Photo: Caravelle Saigon

Cafe de L’Opera & Tapas Kitchen


Cafe de L’Opera and Tapas Kitchen share the same ground floor space as each other in five-star hotel Caravelle Saigon in the heart of the city. This location makes for a great option with menus from two different outlets to choose from. The cafe is open from 7am every day, so you can be certain that whatever time you lock in your meeting, you won’t be left looking like a dummy outside a shut venue because it’s closed on Mondays. Apart from regular hotel lunch offerings and English tea, Cafe de L’Opera serves a Vietnamese tea with sweet and savoury delicacies from throughout the country, just in case lunch isn’t an option. With some tapas from Tapas Kitchen across the way and views across Lam Son Square to the Opera House, it’s a great place to put pen to paper.

One of our execs says:

“One of my clients insists that we meet up at Caravelle Saigon every time”

Photo: Mike Palumbo

Cafe de L’Opera and Tapas Kitchen are in Caravelle Saigon at 19 Lam Son, District 1, HCMC. For more information, go here

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Namo Tuscan Grill_13
Photo: Namo Tuscan Grill

Namo Tuscan Grill


Not to be confused with Namo Italian by the same group, Namo Tuscan Grill offers all that you would expect from Italy — steaks and Tuscan herbs coated in thin layers of the finest Italian olive oil, served up alongside pastas and truffles and pillowy semolina dumplings with homemade ricotta. And then there’s the wine. Our suits certainly rate it. There are plenty of Italian options around town, which are all fine, but these guys take things to a whole new level of bellissimo according to our execs who give it the nod for mixing business with pleasure. The other thing it has going for it is location, location, location in the same building as the famous Rex Hotel.

One of our execs says:

“Namo Tuscan Grill has great food with something for everyone in a great location”

Namo Tuscan Grill_2
Photo: Namo Tuscan Grill

Namo Tuscan Grill is at 146-148 Pasteur, District 1, HCMC. For more information, go here

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