4 July, 2017
Thi Fi Cafe
14 Tôn Thất Đạm, District 1, floor 3
Wifi password: nhieuchuyen
Thi Fi is another shop in the same complex as Mockingbird Coffee. It’s outfitted with comfortable chairs and mid-size tables, and decorated almost like a dollhouse. You’ll find a tiny stage in one corner, and a floor-seating area in the loft. And on its many shelves are scores of books, most of which are in English. Indeed, I saw a number of familiar titles from my younger days, from Tom Clancy to Payne Harrison, Michael Crichton all the way down to R.L. Stine.
The menu, printed on wooden pages, lists a number of Vietnamese coffees, some of them alcoholic and even including one labeled “Grilled Iced Coffee” (I’ve since learned the translation should be “crushed” or “ground ice” instead, but that’s far less entertaining). There are no Western style coffees, however. You can additionally find fruit teas, juice, soda, Vietnamese beers, some chocolate drinks and even a small selection of food and desserts. With so many unusual options I sometimes regret my choice of plain black coffee as a metric for these reviews. In any case, the black coffee had a good flavor, but also more bitterness than would be ideal. It’s not a killer, but not quite the perfect brew. At 30,000đ, it’s more affordable than its more famous upstairs neighbor.
Do note if you drive a motorbike, the parking for this building is 10,000đ – much higher than most places. Not exactly American downtown parking prices, but still, after living here a year, it feels exorbitant.
Verdict: In a lot of ways I recommend this place over Mockingbird. It’s more comfortable to sit at and has more interesting drink options. You don’t get the nice expansive window, but other than that, it’s pretty well got its pricier brother beat. I’ll be back for sure.