Over the next few days I’ll be blogging back the beers from various points around Saigon in search of the best pint in town. My first stop is Pacific Bia Tuoi at 15 Le Thanh Ton Street in District 1. This gargantuan supping spot must be one of the most popular stopping off points on the way home for what looks like half of the male population of Saigon. There’s a flimsy looking roof to protect imbibers from the elements and it’s packed from as early as 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week. It’s also known for its ‘drinking food’, but I’m not hungry, I’m only here for the beer.
The chilled ale pictured above certainly looks the business on a hot day in the sweatier end of the tropics. Straw light in colour, with just the faintest hint of CO2 in the fizz department. The price might have something to do with why this place is so popular; at 4,000VD for a 330ml lug, it’s bargain beer that anybody in the city can afford. A bottle of Carlsberg in the average Vietnamese bar is four times the price. Unfortunately, there’s a reason this stuff is cheap, it’s a wan, watery lifeless drinking experience. More of a limp lager than a brute strength beer. It’s far from being a world beer beater, it’s an adequate thirst killer, but that’s about all. On the other hand, the food could be fun. A couple of suckling pigs were spinning on the outdoor rotisserie as I entered and the menu is extensive. There’s a white board of specials which changes daily and included frog, snail, eel and goat dishes on this visit. View the business card and here.