Located on the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake, in the basement of the Apricot Hotel, Playboy Establishment is an up-market lounge, restaurant, function venue and entertainment spot, with daily performances from some of the best dancers in town, as well as guest DJs and live acts.
Keeping the Playboy spirit intact, the establishment is decorated with elegance, and boasts top-notch service, and before you ask, yes, they do have bunnies.
With performances every evening including cabaret and DJs, you can be sure that a night spent here will be anything but dull.
Professional dancers, both male and female, put on shows that will please anyone with an eye for the lifestyle, and this is just the beginning. The establishment’s plans for the future are all the more exciting, with burlesque lined up alongside international live acts, and a theatrical lighting rig to add to the ambience.
Crowd-pleasing dancers, erotically whipping off overrated layers of clothing, work their way out into the audience and bring lucky guests back on stage with them for a social that they won’t soon forget.
All the while Playboy’s famous bunnies mingle their way around tables, chatting with guests and making sure they’re well looked after.
In a word, this is a sexy venue. That being said, it’s worth noting the establishment’s commitment to supporting local social causes and women’s empowerment initiatives; it’s not all just about entertainment.
A team of dedicated bartenders have put together a list of Playboy original cocktails to spice up your evening, each coming in at VND295,000, and with names to suit the mood.
The Playmate, a gin and crème de cassis base with fresh raspberries and kaffir syrup; The Black Pearl, a mix of rum, chocolate absinthe, baileys and Nutella; and the December 53 — the date of the first ever Playboy magazine published, is an eye-catching mix of whiskey, cinnamon, jasmine and vanilla.
The establishment also has an extensive wine list, whisky selection, and a choice of _ne cigars to accompany your drink or meal.
Expect to pay upmarket prices for most drinks. A glass of 12-year-old Chivas costs VND170,000 and the wine menu comes in at around VND2 million to VND3 million a bottle.
Alongside drinks and cigars, five-star chef Le Van Ninh leads a nine-strong kitchen team that is attempting to rival any of the established restaurants in town. Food options are centred around tapas, with dishes ranging between VND800,000 to VND1 million. Also available are the aesthetically delightful bunny canapés which feature 20 different bite-size pieces, including salmon, bruschetta with prawn, and Vietnamese duck salad and cost VND1.2 million.
The establishment is currently expanding its dinner options, and is already developing a reputation for top quality dining among crowds of ambassadors, businessmen and guests looking for a good time.
Of course, no meal is complete without a giant cigar, and they average around the VND1.2 million mark here.
Overall, you can expect your wallet to take a hit at the Playboy Establishment, it’s certainly not one to visit if you’re used to hitting the bia hoi on a Saturday night. But you can expect to receive top quality service, food and drinks, and entertainment like nowhere else in Hanoi — or Vietnam, for that matter.
It will be interesting to see how the venue develops once they have their own burlesque group together, more theatrical lighting equipment, and of course, more bunnies.
Playboy Establishment is at 136 Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. For more info, go to facebook.com/pbestablishmenthanoi
Photos by Teigue John Blokpoel