Scott and Binh’s is one of those restaurants that people travel to for the food. Set in the Bizu Boutique Hotel’s Phu My Hung location (15-17 Cao Trieu Phat, Q7), the 20-minute drive from Ho Chi Minh City’s centre is well worth it for American comfort food they specialise in, especially if you need to take a breather from Asian cuisine.
“If you are an expat, or Vietnamese, you have had lots of amazing Vietnamese food,” their menu philosophy goes. “When you feel you need a break, or want to try something new, that’s where come in. We strive to make our guests feel like they have come to our ‘house’ for dinner.”
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the drinks, too. The restaurant also features a number of well-constructed cocktails, martinis and house-infused vodkas.
Walk inside the restaurant and you immediately get the whole ‘at-home-comfort’ feel the restaurant strives for. The place is almost entirely made out of wood, with plush, light-purple velvet padding on each chair and on the two couch tables in the back. The outdoor patio is just as nice, with inviting wooden tables and chairs. Within minutes all of us were either stretching our legs out or curling up in a ball in our chairs, enjoying the lack of audible motorbike traffic.
We ordered drinks right away — including a gin gimlet, a ginger mojito, and an amaretto sour. They range anywhere from VND60,000 to 100,000, depending on whether you opt for well liquor or top shelf. The gin gimlet was a refreshing start to the meal, and the amaretto sour was nice and sweet. Unfortunately the ginger mojito, featuring ginger-infused dark rum, didn’t have enough muddled mint and soda to soften the bite. Beer is quite reasonable as well, priced from VND25,000 to 45,000, while wine ranges from VND70,000 to 80,000 a glass.
The real drink to talk about, though, isn’t one but three. For VND65,000 you can order a house-infused vodka sampler, picking three of their 13 house spirits to try. Our first choice was the Ginger, which had a nice, delicate flavour, which eased the burn of the vodka. Next came the Strawberry Creme, which tasted like a dessert. The most interesting one, though, was the Citrus-Wasabi. The smell was potent, but once we got the courage to take a sip, the result was just so interesting — much better than you expect wasabi vodka to taste. It opened our senses in a way only heavy spices can.
Outside of the drinks, the food was exactly what you want to comfort food to taste like. The macaroni and cheese (VND135,000) was excellent, featuring three different types of cheese (note: definitely add the tomatoes, mushrooms and smoked ham for an extra VND20,000). The nachos were also very good, heavy on the black bean and corn salsa, and definitely enough to eat as an entree.
Through drinks and dinner, Scott and Binh’s really makes you feel as if you’re back at home, wherever you may hail from — as long as your home features snacky comfort foods and inventive and unpredictable spirits. — Margaret Smith
Scott and Binh’s is at 15-17 Cao Trieu Phat, Q7