Staying true to its name, this District 3 dessert corner’s cheesecakes are some of the tastiest in town. By Khoi Pham. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Tucked away on a quaint street in between the busy traffic of Dien Bien Phu and Vo Thi Sau, Cheesecake Ngon (ngon means delicious in Vietnamese) is surprisingly quiet in the afternoon. The first thing I noticed upon entering the eatery was its neat simplicity, brought about by table sets, walls and a ceiling awash with shades of white and the occasional pop of colour from quirky art prints spaced around the room.
Nathan Milner, one half of the brother duo who started Cheesecake Ngon, has a background in web design and it shows in the minimalist way the place is decorated. According to Milner, the business started as a delivery service to local cafés and restaurants a few years ago and only blossomed into a separate store on Truong Quyen in late 2013, selling exclusively cheesecakes. Since its opening, Cheesecake Ngon has gradually managed to attract a niche following because while Saigon has no shortage of baked goods on offer, finding a delectable homemade slab of cheesecake is no easy feat.
Which is why cheesecake enthusiasts, myself included, will experience a ‘eureka’ moment taking that first bite of smooth, uniquely cheesy dessert. The store has two sizes for all flavours, appropriately named Little Brother (VND 49,000) and Big Brother (VND 69,000). The range of flavours include classics such as original, blueberry, strawberry, passion fruit and lemon, as well as Asian favourites like coconut and matcha. When ordered, a slab of cheesecake is tastefully garnished with airy whipped cream that doesn’t taste half bad itself, and an optional choice of drink – ca phe sua, peach tea and ginger tea, among others – for an extra VND 16,000.
The reason behind the store’s success is that the Milner brothers manage to deliver a decent cheese base that’s just the right amount of sweet while retaining some room for the main ingredient to shine. Apart from delicious desserts, Cheesecake Ngon also strives to be socially responsible by employing locals and helping small business owners, giving them an opportunity to improve their livelihood through micro-franchising. However, not many patrons of the store are aware of this. “We want people to know that the business could be successful first and then the community involvement later,” says Milner, clad in the store’s cream-coloured polo uniform.
Cheesecake Ngon also offers online ordering and delivery of whole cakes and sampling platters for parties and events.
44 Truong Quyen, District 3
Tel: 08 36 100 211
9pm – 9pm Tue to Sat, 12pm – 9pm Mon