La Fenetre Soleil on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia street is – putting my magazine writer’s wankword head on for a minute – distressed swish. Exposed brickwork and country cottage comfy chairs. It’s possibly the most chilled downtown hang in all Saigon. It’s rarely ever busy, you’re bound to find a deep sofa or a chaise long free for the entire afternoon. If they installed wifi – it would bugger the atmosphere ragged – but I’d be tempted to work here day in, day out. The menu is mega-limited, sandwiches and waffles, but what they do do, they do do well. They also run coookery lessons which are particularly popular with Japanese tourists for some reason.
Swish and stylish as the interior is, step back the way you came in and all it’s missing are a couple of drunks, used needles, broken bottles of Thunderbird and a scabby cat. You could be in the Gorbals circa-1982. Click the vid above to see for yourself. More snaps.