An early Christmas

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jKed café offers homemade Vietnamese food in a cozy, serene atmosphere

Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its numerous cafés, many of which open different and stylish worlds to customers who are seeking an escape from a chaotic city. And upon entering jKed café, patrons are nearly transported to another world in the southern metro.

Located in an old, French colonial building at 26 Ly Tu Trong Street in District 1, jKed café has the charm of a sleeping beauty in the exciting area of city, which boasts the modern and high-end shopping malls such as Vincom and Parkson.

The path to the café is unique, with a painting gallery at the entrance, then an old, spacious spiral staircase with scars of time leading to the café on the first floor. We stumbled upon this café last week when we visited an architect's office in the same building.

Visitors might feel as if they have been transported to a Christmas house in the mountains. jKed has a serene, Zen-like atmosphere, which is created by dark walls, gentle red light and brown wooden furniture. Christmas red and green silk lamps, leafless tree branches and flowers also decorate the cafe. While an aged elevator and corridor carved with mosaics enhance the historical atmosphere.

Although the coffee shop was busy at noon and we had to wait 10 minutes for a table, the hearty welcome and beautiful view helped us to forget the passing time. Moreover, despite the number of customers, the café was still serene. The coffee shop plays classical music and has cozy, private corners. People spoke quietly. Plus the building is cool, because of the thick walls in the French colonial building "” all of which create a quiet space to entice customers to stay longer.

For lunch, the café serves homemade Vietnamese-style food, such as catfish stew with ginger, chicken stew with black soy bean sauce, sneak-head fish in clay pot, shrimp cooked with five spice or fruits, and squid stuffed with minced pork. A set lunch, which changes every day, includes a main course, one vegetable soup, one stirred vegetable dish and dessert all for VND50,000. (The café is currently offering a 10 percent discount promotion for this set lunch menu).

jKed café also serves a selection of drinks, including coffee, tea, fresh juice, yogurt mixed with passion fruit, or fruit fusions, priced from VND38,000 to VND60,000.

"We will serve vegetarian food on the 14th, 15th, 29th and 30th of the lunar month and cooperate with health care companies such as Flight Travel and Yoga Living to create a new package of food and yoga," said Pham Viet Tien, the young owner of the café.

If you are looking for a place where you could spend the entire afternoon writing, networking with friends or waiting for your next appointment in the city center, jKed café is a good option.

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