appy hours are typically seen as a way for alcohol hounds to maximize ratio of booze for money spent. The best happy hours, however, combine good alcohol pricing with numerous other variables.
This review aims to give a bit more than just a practical treatment of the happy hour scene in Saigon, a city with a burgeoning craft cocktail and beer environment. Ambience, milieu, general vibe all matter for this version of an enjoyable happy hour, for we are epicurists, gentlefolk of taste and refinement, after all:
A lamp lit, cozy dedication to good taste and mellow fruitful drinking. The space is a mixture of cracking stony Buddhist heads and dark wooden high rise tables. You can imagine settling down here for a nice chat with a friend, as the music is typically toned down. The Old Fashioned globular ice cubes are on point, though you can tell they’re not hand carved. Try the New York Sour, a layered twist on the Whiskey Sour that’s refreshing and satisfying. Occasionally you’ll see popping in on the scene an incongruous, sexily dressed beer girl marketing Heinekens, but I suppose it can be explained by the fact that Shrine has expanded to become a sports bar on the second floor, where tapped beers and screens showing football (soccer for Americans) is the norm. The option to choose either scene is good and I like being able to have drinks from both areas, regardless of where I choose to sit.
From 3 – 7 PM it’s half price off all classic cocktails. Don’t waste it by getting a Screwdriver, Cosmo, or Long Island Ice Tea, please.
7-10 PM buying one signature cocktail gets you another one free.
Still my favorite happy hour place in Saigon, and I’m shocked it’s not piled high everyday with visitors. I suppose Shri’s typical milieu is the working young professionals of the city, and too preoccupied with their occupations at this golden time. Shri’s current emptiness in the afternoons is the loafer’s gain, and I’d imagine it won’t last for too long.
Shri is a colorful interior space and rooftop restaurant and bar situated above the Centec Center on the 23rd floor, with terrific views of the Saigon skyline. It’s connected by a glass walkway to the Social Club, set atop the M-Place hotel, which has a gorgeous infinity pool and a different angled view on the city. The happy hour at Shri is still a better deal at the time of this writing, however, and nothing beats seeing the sun set color up the skyline of the city as you gently sip on your Peach Bellini or bubbly cocktail of choice (Shri has many captivating options for bubbly cocktails). It’s a good life with a very good price.
My favorite drink here is the Saigon Old Fashioned, a brown sugared and novel but still classical rendition of the traditional Old Fashioned. This version trades the strong citrus taste for an amber smokyness that aptly captures the sensation of the sun setting on the city. I am not by trade or passion a photographer, but I have snapped a few shots of this amber Old Fashioned in foreshot of the Saigon sunset, just to instagra(i)mpress the fans and get a few more followers.
From 3 – 8 PM it’s half price off all items on the drink menu: a potent deal considering the fantastic view and extensive list of drinks. There’s also great nibbles if you’re willing to fork over a bit more cash.
*This post has also been published in Saigon Bliss. Do visit their site for more reviews and tips on living in the new Saigon.