May 11, 2018
Follow the sounds of V-Pop
(that’s Vietnamese Pop, to you and I) and belted ballad classics (“My Heart
Will Go On”, anyone?) in the heart of Hanoi, and you’ll eventually find
yourself faced with the decidedly swanky-looking Swing Lounge. Emulating a glitzy
theatre from the outside, Swing Lounge is in fact an all-day venue which
transforms from cafe by day to live music lounge by night. The interior of the
cafe-cum-restaurant feels like an upmarket gentleman’s club – all tartan
prints, dark woods, leather and plumped cushions – while the lounge bar is
open-plan and centres around a wide stage for the singers and musicians.
Despite the sometimes cheesy
nature of the music, Swing Lounge takes its presentation of food and drinks
very seriously. Cuisine is mostly Vietnamese, with a few Western dishes thrown
in for good measure (you can even start your day with a Full English Breakfast,
for example), all plated to perfection. Behind the eye-catching
hexagonal-design bar strung with Hollywood lightbulbs you’ll spy a whole range
of brand-name and premium spirits, but Swing Lounge can also pour you out a
chilled glass of wine or a range of bottled beers (both local and imported).
Non-drinkers will revel in the vast soft drinks menu, which features refreshing
juices, smoothies, lassis and blended ice drinks, as well as a large variety of
leaf teas and hot chocolate.