Mar 09 2012

Saigon’s biggest cocktail?

Published by at 5:05 am under Bars & nightlife


In Saigon there is no shortage of places to get a drink; pubs, rooftop bars, taverns, and places on the street with plastic stools all serve a variety of drinks, from locally made 3,000 VND a glass beer to fancy martinis. After I wrote a post about a big cheeseburger recently, which with a bigger is better attitude I think is one of the city’s best, a friend let me know that big burgers weren’t the only big thing Saigon has to offer: it also has big drinks. So, in search of the city’s biggest cocktail, I headed to Bernie’s Bar and Grill.

Large drinks lurk inside.

Large drinks lurk inside.

Firstly, Bernie’s Bar and Grill on Thai Van Lung in District 1 is a pretty cute spot. If you visit during the day, it stands out from the surrounding area because it is yellow and it kind of looks like a dollhouse from the outside. Stepping inside you’re treated to an impressive looking bar and seating area. The menu consists of mostly international and Australian cuisine with some Vietnamese favourites sprinkled in. Coincidentally, their burgers are highly regarded. I tried a Bernie’s Burger, which is topped with a slice of beetroot, and I can say that it was tasty.

The food isn't bad either.

The food isn't bad either.

The reason I came to Bernie’s however was the drink list, which is long and highlighted by their flagship cocktail, The Titanic. The Titanic is a simple creation, a half a bottle of vodka and your choice of mixer served in a giant glass. Obviously, the glass is a little too big to drink from regularly so your table is given several long pieces of plastic tubing that you use for straws. This way you don’t even have to reposition yourself in your seat to take a sip. A half a bottle of vodka in one glass may seem like a lot of alcohol, and it is. If you’re a germ-a-phobe then this probably isn’t the drink for you because I’d recommend not taking on the Titanic alone. On my visit it took a team of about six to bring it down without inducing alcohol poisoning.

One drink. Six straws.

One drink. Six straws.

Drinking the Titanic was fun and at 500,000 VND, it was actually cheaper to split the one giant cocktail between us than each of us buying our own individual drink, but we did have to sacrifice individual choice and some basic hygiene. If you’re not willing to make those concessions a single cocktail costs 130,000 VND. If you’re looking to kick back and combine a team building exercise with drinking Bernie’s is the place to be.

Bernie’s Bar and Grill
19 Thai Van Lung, District 1
T: 08 3822 1720

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