A Touch of Class – The Long@Times Square Saigon
Most of those who know us, are well aware we are rarely happier than having a cold refreshing beverage at a local street bar. Much of the enjoyment comes from interacting with the locals and watching the world go by. But recently we found a very cool place to spend a couple of hours each week. It’s normally well over our budget and far classier than our daggy fashion sense should allow. But in happy hour, everything becomes possible. So lazing around at The Long@Times Square for a couple of hours a week has become a regular part of our lives.
Why do we like it? Well, for one thing they have Krombacher (a pretty impressive German Beer) on tap. At regular prices (128 000 VND plus tax) it’s a little pricey compared to a 15 000 VND Saigon Red in a street bar in Bui Vien. But at 50% off, a 500ml glass of fresh, frothy pilsener becomes eminently more attractive. In addition, you get to sit smack bang in the ritziest part of town, at the longest bar in Saigon, in relative splendour, and chow down on FREE peanuts. (It’s the little things that count!!!) Cocktails are also 50% off which makes them a relative steal compared to back home. There’s definitely no cheap liquor in this bar, and the sizes are very generous. Check out this video of the guys making my friend and I a Flaming Lamborghini
If you’re feeling peckish (after you’ve scoffed all the peanuts) they have an excellent range of Italian food and quite an array of bar snacks. We’ve only tried the olive platter, pizza dough and dips and a couple of their pizzas so far, but everything has been super yummy. They even have REAL olives. Maybe I shouldn’t get super excited about such things but I’m a big olive fan and good ones aren’t that easy to find over here. The Pizza Chef, Ciro, is direct from Naples and is passionate about his art. Giovanni, the Executive Chef is equally as enthusiastic about everything produced in the state of the are kitchen. If you’re not into something savoury, have a a squiz at the mouth watering array of Gelato on offer. Top shelf ingredients are used for everything.
Anyway, back to the story of why we’ve made it a regular stop on our weekly itinerary. The real highlight of our evenings is the staff. They are freaking awesome. The bar staff are very cool and keep us entertained with their cocktail making skills and chirpy demeanor. They are more than happy to interact with us and supply helpful tips for places around town. Friendly but super professional. You certainly won’t wait around to be served here.
The real act in town, however, is the promotions girls. Butterfly, River and Rose are super sweet kids with a quirky outlook on life. We never fail to have some of THE funniest conversations with them. Our recent visits with our nieces have been hilarious as young adults of the same age come to grips with similarities and differences between our cultures.
Oh, did I mention what the girls are promoting? No, I didn’t. Ok let me rectify that. If you are into sparkling wine, the girls will do you an excellent deal on a bottle of bubbly. Even though you’re in a 5-star venue, the price is less than 400 000 VND ($<20 USD). AND, if you do buy a bottle you get 4 bar snacks for free. Essentially, that means they’re giving it away!!! Nice hey!
(UPDATE: Unfortunately the girls are no longer there but the Bubbles special still remains!)
There are also lots of other perks. If your bill comes to 2 million, you get a free bottle of Baileys. As your tab rises so does the value of the giveaways. Certainly something to remember if you have a larger group or just want a big night out. Take an honoured guest to a swish place and then present them with a gift at the end of the evening. Good move!
Since we’ve become regulars, the guys let me into another secret. I just became a VIP member that entitles me to 10% off our bill and significant discounts on rooms in the associated hotel chain. We are not 5-star clientele but for those of you with larger budgets and finer tastes, this is a superb deal. Because the Reverie is part of the WMC group, I also get great deals at other ritzy places around town.
So, even if you’re usually part of the budget crowd, it’s worth making a stop into The Long@Times Square between 5 and 7pm on any day of the week. Get a taste of luxury, excellent service and a lot of good humour without totally blowing the budget. They’ve now started having music from 9pm accompanied by discounted drinks. Reason to stay a little longer. Drop in on a Wednesday or Thursday, and we might just see you there.
The Long@Times Square
57-69F Dong Khoi Street (Right next to Lucky Plaza), District 1
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