(GMT)28 JUL 2017 MSNI763:
Only a ten-minute ride away from Saigon's established Little Tokyo, another Japanese neighborhood is in the making in Binh Thanh District – and it's a whole world apart.
It's no secret that the criss-crossing hẻm maze of Le Thanh Ton and Thai Van Lung Streets is where one can find some of the most authentic Japanese dining experiences in the city. At sundown the whole area comes alive, as Japanese salarymen gradually flock to the narrow alleyways to wind down the day with flavors from home and cold glasses of draft Sapporo. Many of them will end up at a nearby snack bar for some karaoke time or for some more drinks; the night is long in Saigon's Little Tokyo.
Binh Thanh's up-and-coming Japanese town, however, is much more tame. A number of izakayas dot the modest street of Pham Viet Chanh, alongside local businesses. Some are tucked away in a quiet corner, surrounded by residential houses. In between a Japanese dive bar and a takoyaki street stall, a hủ tiếu gõ cart casually goes about their nightly business.