The 3 Okkio Cafes, fresh interpretation of Saigon
The Okkio Coffee shops have a story behind every crook and corner. Inspired from Wong Kar-Wai movies, the color pallet is predominantly Red and Green. About 2 months ago while sitting in a dilapidated building for a coffee, Mr. Hans Bui suggested me writing about the already exhaustive topic of Saigon, its coffee shops. However, he made my eyebrows raised with the additional characteristics, looking for the hidden gem, or the one that is semi exclusive, having a 'soul', so to speak. Well, Okkio is the exact thing he was looking for.
OKKIO (Okkio Caffe)
OKKIO120, 122 Đ. Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Okkio has 4 branches, not so many, not so few that could cause congestion since the digital writer like myself prefers to sit around for quite a while on the laptop. I confess, that sound so cheap but here I am writing an article in homage to the coffee shop I might have taken advantage of. I've been to 3 branches, I forgot the one in Dong Khoi Street, that I will come later to complete this article.
I guess it was the first to open too, the first one is Okkio Le Loi, located in a private apartment building in colonial time, next to Ben Thanh Market. Recently the underground metro has been completed, and all of the jarred, eye sore underway construction has been removed from Le Loi avenue, leaving the luxurious sight out of the window of the coffee shop.
The red-brown color, reminiscent of basaltic soil, best for the coffee trees, is used throughout from the roof to the ground floor to the wall and the old spiral staircase leading up to the shop. The use of local handmade materials like Saigon-made cement tiles, with asymmetrical appearance, closely relates to the artisanal nature of specialty coffee.
Okkio Duy Tân
Okkio Duy Tân1 Hẻm 41 Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Phường 6, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
The second Okkio coffee shop is located in an old French villa, in District 3. A great number of trendy coffee shops nowadays are located in the same neighborhood, mostly to take advantage of the already so beautifully constructed French country houses. These fancy houses used to witness the rise and decay of Saigon high society.
The coffee taste can be subjective. You can order high-quality specialty coffee in cold-brew in Okkio, or just simple Italian coffee like I prefer. I would not say I am in fond of the coffee taste, a bit sweet and the milk is too sweet. I also notice an inconsistency in the taste from one branch to another, which never happens in La Viet coffee shop (will do the same article soon).