New destination for expertly curated premium sakes and modern Japanese cuisine
August 27th, 2018
Recently opened in the heart of Saigon’s District 1, Sake Central Saigon has introduced a new concept for refined sake and modern Japanese dining experiences. A collaboration between local hospitality group Eight Four Collective and the original Hong Hong-based Sake Central, Saigon’s newest sake bar celebrates the Japanese cultural heritage of sake production – combined with a modern interpretation of Japanese otsumami (small plates) dining – and well-executed interior design. Heading up the Sake Central team in Hong Kong and Saigon, Elliot Faber is also Beverage Director at acclaimed Hong Kong’s modern izakaya Yardbird; Japanese dining and whisky bar Ronin; Sunday’s Grocery – and also co-authored “Sake: The History, Stories, and Craft of Japanese Artisanal Breweries”.
Entered via a raw timber paneled entrance passageway, the minimalist design by celebrated Hong Kong Sean Dix Designs exudes a distinctly Japanese cultural aesthetic. A striking centerpiece glass-topped bar table features rows of traditional masu sake boxes filled with Japanese rice at increasing degrees of polish – references the sake making processes, while black walls and subdued lighting add refinement to the dining and sake experience. In addition to the main bar space, a secluded private dining room is ideal for intimate events, while the compact outdoor terrace overlooks the streetscape.
A pair of custom-made floor-to-ceiling refrigerators showcase the revolving selection of premium sakes – sourced directly from small producers representing all of Japan’s 47 prefectures – with many previously unavailable in Vietnam. Knowledgeable staff led by sake sommelier and manager Jess Selvagn offer advice on taste profiles of the sakes – while tasting menus suggest sake pairings with the seasonal dishes created by Canadian chef Jesse Grasso. In addition to the highlighted sake selection, the bar also serves a concise curation of Japanese whisky, plus private label beers from Japanese craft brewery Heart of Darkness.
Sake Central Saigon opens Monday to Saturday from 6pm – with limited seating, reservations are recommended most nights. Bookings for private parties and tastings, while a retail section offers Japanese products such as sake, Japanese whisky, and glassware for takeaway.
Sake Central design
Sake Central beverages
Sake Central seasonal otsumami
(Images credit Eight Four Collective)