Sophisticated Japanese dining and drinking from the 24th and 25th floors of the stellar AB Tower. By Michael Tatarski. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Situated directly below Chill Bar, Sorae is a sprawling, beautiful restaurant and lounge offering high-end Japanese food and drinks throughout two floors of the AB Tower. The restaurant wraps around the entirety of the building, offering panoramic views of Saigon through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
You will enter on the restaurant floor, which is divided into three concepts: the sushi and sake bar, the yakitori and beer kitchen and eight private rooms, which are themed after different aspects of Japanese culture. At the sushi bar, diners can watch the chefs prepare their dishes, which are offered on an extensive sushi and sashimi menu featuring local fish as well as catches flown in fresh from Japan. Sashimi runs from VND 85,000 to VND 200,000, while sushi rolls generally cost about VND 180,000.
A short walk away is the yakitori section, which also features an open kitchen. Countless skewer and barbecue options are available here, along with a healthy selection of domestic and imported beer. Prices vary widely per dish, while beer ranges between VND 60,000 and VND 150,000.
A lunch menu is available Monday through Saturday from 11.30am to 2pm with price points starting at VND 150,000. This menu includes tea, rice, miso soup, salad, an appetiser of the day and dessert supplied by Star Kitchen.
With so much to choose from, we left it up to our waiter to decide what we should eat. The first dish was the Wagyu sushi (VND 395,000), with strips of delicate Wagyu beef, crispy garlic, soy sauce and chives. Although the dish looked a little out of this world, the flavourful beef melts in your mouth and is delicious, unlike any sushi dish I’ve had before. This would be worth a splurge for a special occasion.
The second part of our light lunch was the spiced scallop gratin (VND 135,000), a vibrant seafood dish which included mushrooms and plenty of roe. The creamy, fresh mushrooms hidden under the roe were a delight, while a nice kick of spice ensured this dish left its mark.
While Sorae’s first floor is all about food, upstairs is dedicated to drink. The luxurious lounge features a wine and cocktail bar and a whiskey and cigar bar, both of which offer enough premium liquor to make even the most discerning tippler weak in the knees. With Saigon sprawled out all around you, this is an amazing setting to finish off a classy night.