A a solid, home-cooked meal in District 7
While you won’t struggle to find delicious, Vietnamese food every which way you turn in HCMC, a prolonged trip on the road can make you miss a solid, home-cooked meal. If you have a craving for Western cuisine, take a trip out of District 1 to Scott and Binh’s in District 7.
Sharing the streetfront with the Bizu Boutique Hotel, from the outside Scott and Binh’s won’t jump out, with just a simple patio seating area. Inside, tables are white with purple upholstered seating that adds to the down-home atmosphere this joint has when it’s full of customers. It kind of feels like eating in a hometown diner, where everybody seems to vaguely know each other and, if you eat there often enough, they’ll know you too.
Scott and Binh’s sports a beefy menu, filled with a wide range of Western dishes. You’ll see standards like pastas, salads and sandwiches but also see some dishes that have worked in a unique bit of Asian fusion, like their delicious kimchi mashed potatoes.
Portion sizes compared to other Saigon restaurants are on the ridiculously large side. If you order nachos, you’re getting a mound packed so high with toppings that you can barely see the chips; their royale with cheese burger is a two-pattied monster. I consider myself to be a bit of a burger aficionado and, outside of the giant family-sized burger at Black Cat, this is the only burger in town that makes me take leftovers home. And the food tastes great as well. Vegetables are fresh, the meat is juicy and tender and their bread is delivered daily.
Scott and Binh’s is open for dinner only Tuesdays to Sundays, plus on weekends they add a brunch service, which comes with a separate menu consisting of Western-style breakfasts — go for any of the scrambles. Prices are high for the average Saigon restaurant but still cheaper than most of the city’s “high-end” establishments, like Restaurant Bobby Chinn or Xu. Expect main courses to start around 150,000 VND with appetisers and cocktails starting at around 75,000 VND.
While the menu is thick, and the food tasty, what really makes Scott and Binh’s stand out is Scott himself. An American chef who has a long history in the hospitality industry, Scott does a great job of greeting at the door and strolling the restaurant’s grounds making sure you’re well taken care of. Always eager to talk, sometimes you might feel more like a dinner guest instead of a customer.
Be warned that the restaurant can be a bit of drive out of downtown and a tad tricky to find if you’re new to the area, as it calls a quiet, off-the-main-drag street in District 7 home. From Nguyen Van Linh, District 7’s main road, just turn onto Bui Bang Doan and take a right on Cao Trieu Phat.
Scott and Binh’s isn’t a huge place — you might go so far as to call it cosy — with seating for only a few dozen. Typically this wouldn’t be much of a problem but as Scott and Binh’s reputation has grown, so has their customer base so it’s best to call and reserve a table.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 7th July, 2014.