This is like the talk of the town – when you consider the town here is about the start-up community of Vietnam. WORK Cafe has its first month in Bitexco, the tallest building of HCMC. WORK Cafe is orignally a small coffee corner in a co-work space named WORK Saigon. WORK Saigon has been pretty popular for being all-in-one ( at some senses); they are the roof for the mobile workers (freelancers, start-up minders), the school for creatives people and ALSO simply a place for food and coffee. Their small coffee corner offers authentic, home-feel food: home-roasted coffee beans, fresh fruit fizz and homemade food. And now, that small coffee corner has its own sister, a designed WORK cafe simply for people who can spend all days working in cafe and love the feeling of working in cafe.
WORK Cafe, also named NEST by AIA as this is a partnership between WORK Saigon and AIA Insurance. WORK Cafe ‘s design is beautifully crafted with a minimal and urbane touch. Clean, light-filled, relaxing are the words popped up in my mind when I first entered the cafe. I came to this WORK Cafe simply for my freelance work : I wanted to squeeze myself on a Sunday morning to work my freelance project:) The copywriting project seems interesting to me, so cheap fee doesn’t matter btw. I was the very first person to enter the shop, when the barrista just turned on coffee machine and another staff was cleaning the bookshelf. It was already 9:20am at that time… Choosing a seat by window, I was welcomed with a decent view ,looking out to the other street littered with green shade. Everything was quiet except the rumbling sound of expresso machine. And the rumbling sound made the scene even more quiet. The scene simply hit me : it was exactly like my every morning coffee time Finland’s university cafeteria, back in 2011. A late morning in a deserted cafe; how I missed that feeling.
(Didn’t realize to take pic till messing up the coffee.The coffee was very good. Price is higher than in Coffee Bean, so… it is obvious? o_0 or I’m too harsh:)
(When I was the first customer…)
However, I always fail into some ridiculous situation… While many friends told me that this cafe was perfectly designed for working as it was quiet and airy, and they love spending time there, my first experience in WORK Cafe is not that pleasant… But please, this story applies to my case only. I have nothing to comment on the overal mood of cafe. Well, being a nerd in Sunday brought no luck to me this time. Jeezzz. After 15 minutes or 30 minutes of tranquility, more and more people came in. And by 10, it was already filled up with no extra seat. I was stunned to find so many nerds here, working like me. But it turned out different. Some people came to work , but others came to check the hype about this cafe. The cafe has its own giant wall of bookshelf. So… selfies, laughters, excitement, camera sounds etc, gradually, the cafe lost all its tranquility. It became … so lively and exciting. I realized that people came here for purely coffeeing and chitchatting in stead of working. (of course, it’s weekend. What was I thinking?? @_@) Sometimes, there were roars of laughters out of nowhere , haunting roars of laughter and crying.
(This spot is well-liked. Many people take snapshots of this corner … like a tourists’ place. This picture is not mine)
This was nothing more than I was sitting in a classroom more than a work cafe. I seriously picked the wrong day for working, and at that time I seriously missed cafe in District 7 again. And there was one guy, who stood very near at my seat and kept taking pictures. The clicking sound annoyed me still, but I could handle it. But it pissed me off most when he turned to to point the camera at me. He would take shots of things behind me; however, having a person standing directly in front of you and snapping pictures nonstop was too much. My friend told I was too nice to talk to him bluntly. But I felt no points in arguing with him on a Sunday morning. It was ruined enough.
If you ask me whether I will come back to the cafe for working, I would not.. ,unfortunately or at least for a while. Although I really like the design and coffee in that cafe, the parking lot is pretty inconvenient, and the seat is not comfortable for me. Although cafe is in Bitexco, it is located on the second floor and guarantees a normal view. The experience in Sunday was too much for me btw. I believe that if I came to the cafe in a weekday, thing would have been different. I still recommend you to drop by that place… in weekday if you are looking for an airy, minimally designed work cafe.
Address: 2nd floor, Bitexco Building, 2 Hai Trieu, District 1, HCMC