Japanese have gathered and lived in a small area along Le Thanh Ton street for about ten years which is considered to be the Little Japan in Saigon. Currently, there are nearly 3,000 Japanese who work and live in Saigon. As a result, a chain of Japanese restaurants have sprouted out along this street. According to annan-vietnam.com, about 20 out of 52 Japanese restaurants are already allocated in this area. Ingredients used in these restaurants are imported directly from Japan. Little Japan in Saigon welcomes all who wish to learn and enjoy the Japanese lifestyle. Most of restaurants here close around 11pm, so do come over a little earlier if you are craving for some Japanese cuisine.
The Sushi Bar
2 Le Thanh Ton str., Dist. 1, HCMC
The flavors served here are really authentic and prices are half of that in Japan. This restaurant is one of the favorites of the Japanese in Saigon. The most popular items here include the Sushi Bar Roll and Nigiri sushi, made from surprisingly fresh and delicate ingredients. Diners can also enjoy more than 30 traditional flavors of Japanese wines. A final attraction of the meals here would be the ice cream desserts which come in exciting flavours such as Wasabe, green tea, Sakura, and Goma. Meals here cost between 15-20USD per pax.
17/6A Le Thanh Ton str., Dist. 1, HCMC
Utopia Café is owned by Ebuchi Shinya and Sasaki Hideki who graduated from Waseda University and Ritsumeikan University respectively. Both have studied on Vietnam’s history and culture and have set up shop here to further their understanding of the local culture and traditions. The highlight of the café would be the extensiveness of Japanese magazines and newspapers available. This café comes across as a hangout where expatriates and pack-back travelers get to share experiences and make friends in the process.
17A/9 Le Thanh Ton str., Dist. 1, HCMC
Besides offering a good variety of famous traditional dishes such as sushimi, okonomi, chirashsushi, abotekkataba, yukibuta, etc. this restaurant is most well famed for its Udon, a Japanese famous noodles. There are lots of Udon types here such as the claypot Udon, the Kare Katsu Udon (a curry Udon with beef), and the Tempura Udon (a soup Udon which comes with a platter of fired seafood and vegetables). The price of an Udon selection averages VND100,000.
Tam Mui Ten Restaurant
114E Tran Quang Khai str., Tan Dinh Ward, Dist. 1, HCMC
Its owner, Hideharu Hasegawa who has been living in Saigon since 1993, dreams to develop his chain of “8, 18, and 28” restaurants, and to introduce Japanese traditional flavors to anyone who is keen to learn about Japan. The specialty in Tam Mui Ten is the Japanese Okonomiyaki, which looks very much like a Vietnamese Banh Xeo (rice pancake folded in half and filled with a shrimp, meat and soya bean sprouts), but tastes totally different. More interestingly, diners enjoy 20% off all dishes on the 8th, 18th, and 28th of every month.