Tank – cocktail and Wine bar is a small shop-house bar situated on Phan Chu Trinh road in Old town, just a little further down the street from Banh Mi Phuong on the left. The name, Tank, comes from the bar’s overriding theme of war memorabilia, and its walls are adorned with collected items from Vietnam’s war with the USA. It can be very interesting to sit and look around at the various helmets. parachutes, and shells left over from the war. One wall in particular showcases a row of helicopter rotor blades that produces a rather striking art piece. It is worth going to Tank for a quick beer for the decor alone. It is certainly very unique and quite sobering (excuse the pun).
Of course, though, this is not a museum, it is a bar, and so as well as looking at exhibits you will likely want to sit and have a drink or two. The first think to note is that Tank is quite small and dark inside, with the lighting set up to highlight the exhibits, and it certainly gives the place some mood. It is not quiet though. If you imagined going here for a quiet drink, you should probably think again. The music is definitely not aimed at old people and is often quite loud, giving the bar a bit of an underground nightclub feel. That said, it is a bar, and you can sit and drink to your heart’s content at either a collection of high tables and chairs, regular tables, or a long sofa-like bench with tables along the edge of the bar. There are also small chairs and tables outside on the roadside along the front of the bar which provide an ideal spot for people-watching as the masses of tourists go by. Unfortunately the tables are a little small for a laptop, but are perfectly fine for a glass of your favourite tipple.
Tank calls themselves a cocktail and wine bar, and this is with good reason. While they still sell the usual beers like Huda and Heineken and even some local craft beers, such as Pasteur, their cocktails take pride of place on the menu. And with good reason. While I admittedly haven’t tried one of their cocktails yet, they are certainly intriguing as they offer their own house cocktails all following the same war theme as the overall bar. Names such as “17th Parallel”, “Autumn 1945”, and “The Declaration”, all give nods to the Vietnamese struggles against western powers over the years. They are worth a try if just for the experience and the Instagram story.
They also have wine of course (wouldn’t be a very good wine bar if they didn’t) and it mostly seems very reasonably priced. There is also a happy hour running from 6pm to 8pm every night offering a buy-1-get-1-free on their signature war-themed cocktails as well as discounts on other select drinks.
The food obviously isn’t the main focus of Tank, as it is clearly a cocktail and wine bar and not a restaurant, but they do offer a few dishes if you are in desperate need of nourishment. There is not a lot of choice, but you can get some tasty bar food like pizza, burgers, spaghetti, or Vietnamese snacks if you want something to go with your drink. Food isn’t the reason you would go to Tank, but it certainly shouldn’t be a reason not to either.
Overall, if you want a place that’s a bit different, with a vibe somewhere between a museum and a nightclub, and don’t mind loud music, then you should definitely try Tank.