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“Ok. Just Ok. But I did really enjoy the beer.”

Lion Brewery Ho Chi Minh
Ranked #1,906 of 3,136 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
Cuisines: Bar, German, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
1 review
“Ok. Just Ok. But I did really enjoy the beer.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2014

Ok, never done a review before, so I'll do my best.

Traveller Status/Disclaimer: Married with two kids under 10 in tow.


I'll start by saying I was disappointed.

Not 'sit there and pout the whole time and plot my nasty Facebook review' disappointed, but more 'man, this should be so much better!' type disappointed.

We'd spent the vast majority of our time in Ho Chi Minh City in areas and places that didn't really cater for the Western tourist (which I'd enjoyed by the way), so when I dragged down here in 38c I'd expected from what is seen on the outside and from the location, to get a really 'easy' experience with exciting beer, familiar food and Western style service. You know the type of service you despise when you arrive on another continent when you get it, but after two weeks in Asia with a young family you crave if just for a couple of hours?

I'd walked past the Lion brewery earlier in the day, and I must admit I didn't really know howuch of this little 'precinct' was the brewery and how much was neighbouring restaurants - but I didn't care. The remnants of last night's BBQ grill and chalkboard menu out the front won me over. So I'd secretly plotted our return that evening at that point.

So anyway, we arrived that night and I quickly realised that the 'precinct' was actually a Korean restaurant (which the BBQ grill belonged to), a Japanese restaurant and the Lion brewery - it wasn't just the brewery. Though I was privately disappointed that the BBQ was off the cards, I was still keen to get inside and see what the brewery would deliver in the short timeframe I knew I had before the kids got tired and turned feral.

We were shown inside to a table in a massive hall by a local girl dressed in a German wench style costume. It was quite hot inside and the booth we were in had seen entry of fat Western bums - it was rickety and had a deep 'bum groove' in the end I sat at! But whatever, I wasn't here for luxury! You need to remember sometimes when writing, and reading these reviews that holidays to places such as HCMC are cheap and you can't get too prescious!

The place is huge and has a feel somewhere between a beer hall in Munich and a buffet room at the Moama Bowling Club. The huge brass brewing vats give it the feeling of the former, the bain maries lining the bar area and the apparent jack of soul give it the latter.

So we were served by a friendly young local guy whose English wasn't great (not a criticism, just an observation) and things got under way pretty easily. We ordered a 1ltr dark beer and 300ml blonde, both of the house brew and some drinks got the kids. Whilst we were at it, we knocked the kids' food orders on the head too. You know, safe stuff. Deep fried and familiar. Keep them occupied for 30 minutes whilst mum and dad sip a beer and pretend we're relaxed.

There were only about 6 other people on the whole place, and I genuinely think we were out numbered by staff. I counted 4 girls in wench costumes, and 3 dudes in more serious outfits (yellow polo shirts). To be fair, the drinks came out almost immediately - except for my 1lt dark beer. I don't know why, but I watched from a distance, the Vietnamese beer wench pour it, then just leave it sitting on the bar for about 10 minutes! I nearly got up and went over and grabbed it myself! Not sure what the delay was with mine to be honest but when it finally did arrive I was very pleased. And the kids' good arrived at the same time which seemed very fast (although oddly my beer seemed to take an eternity).

The beer was great. I'm pretty keen on my beer. And although I've never sent one back in disgust - I'm reasonably fussy. But this was great. The wife loved hers too.

But.....

The food was average. The fries were over cooked and very greasy. And the spring rolls ditto. They tasted quite nice but deadset the one wet wipe each we were given wasn't enough to mop up the oil from our fingers. My 1lt beer much nearly slipped out if my hand more than once after after lunching a spring roll from my 6yo's plate. Maybe that's karma for me being greedy? Having said that, the kids didn't really complain.

So whilst we were having a beer and the kids were eating their dinner, so unimpressed were we by the food, and the fact that there were still only about 6 of us in the entire joint, we decided to skip our own dinner and head off somewhere else to eat.

The food, though to be fair we only tasted the spring rolls, fries and garlic bread, was very average and the atmosphere was dull.

And when we finally got someone's attention to get us the bill, we ended up having to head to the front counter to fix it up as they never actually came back to our table to give us the bill.

My feeling of disappoinmt was exacerbated as we left and walked out the front to be greeted by the cool little precinct of the Korean grill and Japanese restaurant with music pumping and clearly, far more atmosphere and action going in outside than there was inside!


Would I go back? No.

The beer was great, but so was the 50 cent can of Saigon Special I bought at the supermarket the next day.

It was a Western style place, that didn't bring the Western style goodness with it - and made no attempt to add any local influence (aside of course from the standard local part of the menu).

If I wanted Western brewery or Europen or beer house style, I didn't get it. And if I wanted Vietnamese cafe and local hospitality I certainly didn't get it.



But gee I would have liked to try that Korean style BBQ grill they had set up out the front!





  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ChristianBDay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
70 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Good location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

As we were staying in Caravelle Hotel, lions Brewery was next door and ideal for beers and drinks. Food is mainly vietnameese nothing western. Staff very kind and helpful but don't speak English. Tha Customers Services Representative- Huynh Thu Hien - spoke English but useless and gives in correct advice and guidance. We visited every day for beverages and tea and used to play cards to pass time. This was no problem and you can freely smoke there. We asked the Rep. For good English restaurant and sent us to Lemongrass, which us local traditional vietnameese place. We wasted out time and effort getting there and back. She should not be in a prominent position if she is to miss lead tourist in this manner aa the elderly and disabled already have enough problems getting around without having to be messed up.

Helpful?
Thank 001234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
171 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Good beer”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2014

The beer was great, nice change! The food was okay, I thought the buffet looked better than it actually was and I am not sure they replenish it very often.
One thing to note that I really don't like, when you sit down they give you enclosed refresh wipes, what they don't tell you is they are going to charge you for them, I really dislike this practice it is not expensive but why,.
Service was indifferent. Not a place I would go back to for food.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank stephenavenue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Great BEER but only average FOOD”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

Called here on a recommendation and the beer was superb but let down by the buffet. We thought we'd try the buffet to get a taste of Vietnamese dishes but left very disappointed. We arrived at about 1pm and it was busy but by 1.30 it was obviously closing up for lunchtime food with nothing new coming out / only leftovers and no BBQ or Sauté section available so we missed out. For VND220,000 or thereabouts it was never going to be a gastronomic delight but it was really very ordinary. Tip; if you do decide to eat (definitely have a beer) go early so you get a full choice, hopefully, you'll be luckier than we were!

Helpful?
Thank WorldTraveller36040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Steak and sausages”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2014

If you long for some food from back home this is the place to go. They serve a very good steak and German sausages and their own brewed beer is also very good. Apart from their own beer they also have a good selection of German/Belgian beers.

The seating is okay but this can depend on where you sit. Inside you have a good table with some nice brew kettles to look at but also a buffet. The tables outside could be a bit better but are still okay. The staff is not the best I've seen in Vietnam and can be hard to get a hold off depending again on where you sit but there is plenty staff around so it isn't very difficult to get the attention of one of them if you want. It's also the only restaurant where the wetwipes were on the bill (2000 dong each).

Would absolutely recommend it if you want some steak or sausages for a change on your stay in Vietnam.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank goldenghostinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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