Welcome To Mochi’s Life In This Seasonal Dog’s Guide To Saigon

Mochi the poodle and Vi have one of those typically sound Saigon relationships. Best friends since they met. And with Mochi being such a stylish dog (she brings three changes of outfit to our photoshoot at Wink!) we wondered what Saigon’s like through a poodle’s eyes. So, here’s what Saigon is like for dogs like Mochi, the four-legged fashionista.

Đọc bài viết bằng tiếng Việt

Welcome to The Dot Magazine, AKA The Dog Magazine. When we’re not searching the city for the hippest new places. Or getting guest mixes from bar stars. Or uncorking the story behind natural wines. Or taking about travel plans with Saigon’s coolest residents. We like to discover what Saigon is like for dogs.

This time, Mochi the poodle dropped by Wink Hotel Saigon Centre for a seasonal special interview. Naturally, Mochi’s fabulous owner, Vi came too. Vi is a prolific, globe-trotting and inspiring content creator. “The goal’s always to empower women,” Vi tells us. “Every young woman can become the best version of themselves, and that’s what I want to instill. Confidence and positivity!” 

Mochi and Vi are ready for the holidays.

Beside her, Mochi nods approvingly. They’ve been besties ever since they met in Saigon. “We’re generally recognized as the second-smartest kind of dog,” Mochi tells us, “although I think we can get to number one. Added to that, we don’t shed hair like those other messy dogs, and we’re reliable companions, like I’ve been for Vi. I’m always around, a shoulder to cry on when she’s feeling blue…”

They’re ready for the Christmas holidays. “I’ll be spending it with family…like every year,” Vi says. “Even when friends have other plans, I’ll still prefer to spend it with my mom. This year we’re thinking of going to The Social Club at MGallery. They have spectacular views, great service, and amazing Christmas menus.”

Mochi is quite happy with their Christmas plans too: “Spending it at home is fine for me. We’ll take our usual, breezy December walks past our building’s Christmas lights and I’ll get to eat even more of my favorite treats from our local bakery, Tous Les Jours.”

It’s not always easy being a four-legged fashionista.

Mochi, how do you stay so fashionable in Saigon?

I think high-fashion doesn’t just mean the clothes you wear, and the attitude you have, but it’s also the places you frequent. For me, I’m in District 1 a lot. I’m often promenading down dog-friendy Nguyen Hue walking street. Sometimes I link up with friends there. We’d like to run off and have some fun times, but Vi is always around. Please don’t tell Vi this though!

“We’d like to run off [when we’re on Nguyen Hue], and have some fun. Don’t tell Vi this though!”

Where do you go to relax?

Before we hit town, we usually go to the spa. Of course, my favorite location is Poodle House Coffee. They really know how to treat a poodle right. The list of treatments is endless: baths and blow dries, grooming, nail trimming, and even hair dying. Vi can have a coffee while I pamper myself. She much prefers Mandarin Spa in District 2 though. It’s quite close to where we live. The service seems excellent. Vi always commends their acupressure message, soothing without the intensity of some massages.

You seem to really love Saigon. What is it about this city that you love so much? What is Saigon like for dogs?

It’s a chill but trendy place to be. I can put on beautiful clothes and go hangout. I get lots of attention, which does make me feel a bit of a superstar. But the main thing is I’m a star in Vi’s eyes. I think our love of this city is inseparable from our love for each other…

Mochi and Vi in Saigon, “a chill but trendy place to be.”

Where do you two go when you need to escape the huslte and bustle of Saigon?

We love to escape Saigon sometimes, even though we love it here. It’s good to get away! I love going to the beach, and there are so many great ones not far away. I also feel a change in Vi when we go to the sea. She seems recharged. And the feeling lasts for a while. I’d choose Nha Trang or Phu Quoc I think, as my favorite beach destinations. 

“I love going to the beach…it’s good to get away!” Mochi says.

When you’re in Saigon, which places do you go to keep yourself and Vi equally entertained?

Well, we’re both foodies. Eating is the best way to heal a wounded soul. We can both agree on that. We often go for lunch at Soma, Thao Dien. The waiters seem to love me there. Besides Soma, I’d say T.A Kitchen & Bar is another of our favorites. The fresh salmon there is delicious. Plus, I get to hang out with my crush, the owner’s fluffy black and white dog. If we’re super-hungry we might go to Pasta Fresca especially for dinner. The Italian chef there keeps the flavors authentic. And the pasta and pizza are both excellent. 

Vi and Mochi, getting ready for the holidays.

How about Saigon’s famous streetfood?

That’s definitely not to be missed, too! The bánh tráng trộn along Vu Huy Tan Street, in Phu Nhuan, is unmissable. I’m lucky, Vi always gives me all the quail eggs! We don’t mind the milk tea there too.

Which is your favorite among Saigon’s different districts?

For me, each district in Saigon has its own unique characteristics! That makes it hard to choose one. The main thing, wherever I am, is that I’m with my nearest and dearest. I’m probably a D2 dog though. There I can spend a whole afternoon playing in Sala Park. It has a distinct neighborhood vibe, with good dog-friendly bars and restaurants. It’s just a cozy place to be for a dog.

“People are surprised I like to go to the pool with this fluffly coat!”

And which place in Saigon would be most surprised to find you at?

With my fluffy coat, people are often surprised I like to go to the pool. But it’s true! I like to go lakeside where they sell ice cream. OK, I don’t swim myself. I’ll hang out in the shade of the trees and enjoy watching Vi relaxing in the cool water. 

“We’re two strong women,” Mochi the dogs says proudly.

Finally, do you have a message for other dogs in Saigon?

I feel life is really empowering. You can’t buy happiness, and I think me and Vi really appreciate this beautiful life we have together. We’re two strong women. I’m proud to be here, and proud to be with Vi! So my message would be, appreciate what you have.

Photos by Nghia Ngo and translation by David Kaye.

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