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Renkon to bring stylish izakaya dining to HCMC

Released at: 17:38, 08/08/2018

Renkon to bring stylish izakaya dining to HCMC

Photo: Renkon

Latest creation of Eight Four Collective to have grand opening later this month.

by Doanh Doanh

The Eight Four Collective, an innovative hospitality group bringing Japanese-inspired concepts to Vietnam, has announced the launch of its flagship project, Renkon, with a grand opening party scheduled for later this month.

The restaurant is located in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, in the historic former opium den The Refinery, with Renkon representing a bold new movement in Vietnam’s hospitality scene. Raising the benchmark for local dining, this modern iteration of a traditional Japanese izakaya brings together premium food and drinks, upbeat service, curated hip-hop, and world-class design in a friendly gastropub ambience on par with Asia’s best drinking and dining venues.

Literally “a shop to stay and drink sake”, izakaya are lively and informal Japanese bars popular for after-work drinks. Renkon brings a contemporary local interpretation of the concept to Ho Chi Minh City.

“Renkon is more than a restaurant; it’s a piece of art”, said co-founder of The Eight Four Collective, Michael Piro. “It challenges the notion that neighborhood dining in Vietnam must be ‘cheap and cheerful’, bringing together all the best elements - a passionate service culture, high-quality food and drinks, great music, beautiful design and a fun, lively atmosphere. It pays tribute to old Vietnam but embraces modernized values, raising the standard of local F&B to an international level.”

Designed by celebrated architect Sean Dix, whose past projects include Hong Kong’s Yardbird and Ho Lee Fook, Renkon’s interiors combine raw concrete and blonde wood to create a striking brutalist aesthetic.

Seating up to 72 people on two levels, the venue’s downstairs area features a vibrant bar space, serving up Vietnamese craft beer, wine, sake, shoju, Japanese whiskey, and creative signature cocktails. Upstairs, the focal point is an open Japanese binchōtan charcoal grill, with a menu centered around sharing plates of grilled skewers, noodles and fusion bar snacks. Renkon uniforms see staff clad in customized streetwear, thanks to a full partnership with Vans.

The Eight Four Collective chose the name “Renkon” as it derives from the Japanese word for “lotus root”, symbolizing the group’s deep connection to Vietnam. As the flagship project, Renkon also represents the foundation of The Collective’s upcoming developments.

Renkon is The Collective’s second project to date, following Sake Central Saigon. A third project, the Japanese-inspired lounge and cocktail bar Irusu, is set to open later this year. “Irusu” means “pretending not to be home when someone knocks”, in reference to the bar’s “hidden”, speak-easy inspirations.

The Eight Four Collective is a lifestyle-oriented hospitality group that develops and invests in unique dining concepts in Vietnam. With more than 50 years of combined hospitality experience, The Collective’s goal is to establish a new benchmark for food, service, design and ambiance through a diverse portfolio of world-class resorts, bars and resorts. Providing a full-service investment and management platform for pioneering F&B developments, The Collective is driven by a passion to grow Vietnam’s hospitality industry through innovative and sophisticated dining concepts.

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Grant Thornton: Digital technologies changing hospitality sector
Grant Thornton: Digital technologies changing hospitality sector