Banana Mama – Rooftop Cocktails in Ho Chi Minh City

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Saigon in the early evening is a hive of activity. Food vendors set up their carts, cars, buses and bikes zoom up and down the streets as the sun begins to set. Where better to take in the sunset than on a roof overlooking the city with a cocktail in hand? We headed to Banana Mama at the WMC Tower to do exactly that.

Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam

Normally rooftop locations promise much and deliver little. Think Lebua in Bangkok as a prime example. With that in mind, we arrived at the WMC Tower in trepidation as well as anticipation. A quick journey up to the roof in the lift and all was to be revealed. 

Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam Rooftop cocktails Menu

The staff greeted us and instantly gave a relaxed and friendly impression. “Please, sit where you like” was the order of the night. This was a long way away from the “herding cattle” approach that many rooftop bars operate, a thoroughly welcome change. We took up position on the perimeter of the bar with a flawless view across the city.

Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam Rooftop cocktails
Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam Rooftop cocktails Menu

Another feature of a rooftop bar, a characteristic that really defines it, is the level of the music. Here, a cool selection of tunes drifts smoothly across the airwaves. You can have a conversation and relax without needing to reach for the headache tablets. 

Chris Durning, Artisan Traveller, Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam
Rooftop Cocktail bar, Saigon

Menu items in the food section go for 120 – 180,000 Dong (around £4-6) with the cocktails coming in at 180-220,000 Dong (around £4-7). From the tempting selection on offer, we chose a Pink Explosion and a Shisomelo. Food-wise we opted for a Smash Burger and Fried Chicken with Smoked Paprika Aioli. 

Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam Rooftop cocktails Pink Explosion

With the sun slowly setting and a completely chilled out mood in full swing, all was well in our world. Our cocktails arrived looking fresh and inviting. The Pink Explosion – a mix of rose wine, elderflower, strawberry and rhubarb was the perfect nod to summer. The Shisomelo was a little more herbal with shiso leaf, gin and pomelo providing a tropical tang. 

Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam Rooftop cocktails Shisomelo

The food matched the cocktails in terms of quality also. I had heard a great deal about Smash Burgers but to actually try one was an experience. A potato bun is something that i’ve never heard of but I can confirm that it is delicious. Encased between the bun slices was a beef patty massive on flavour drenched in cheese – heavenly! 

Smash Burger, Banana Mama

If there is one thing that Asia does well, it’s Fried Chicken. These pieces of thigh, a positive choice for juicy meat, were perfectly crunchy. The Aioli was both rich and smokey, a perfect match for the chicken. An ideal dish for a beer or cocktail while gazing at the city below.

Fried Chicken, Banana Mama
Rooftop Cocktail bar, Saigon

For a relaxed experience I would highly advise arriving early. Sunset is the best time by far, especially as there is a happy hour offer on cocktails. The whole relaxed vibe around the bar and restaurant is a tranquil heaven in the full-on hectic environment that is Saigon. For us, Banana Mama ticks every box. 

Banana Mama, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Vietnam, Cocktail bar at night

Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday 1700-0200

10 COMMENTS

    • Hi Mark, this is a brilliant spot in Saigon just to chill out, relax and have great food and drinks. You’re absolutely right, there really is nothing like it!

    • Hi Lex! The city is crazy but mind blowing. You really feel the energy and atmosphere everywhere you go in HCMC. The food is undoubtedly the best in Asia and we will have plenty more articles to come on it. Be sure to check out Banana Mama on your next trip! Safe travels!

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