Describing the atmosphere of SoHy is difficult, as it’s not just a bar, and not just a restaurant. Taking up both the 25th and 26th floors of the Centec Tower, SoHy offers diners, drinkers, loungers and general merrymakers a rooftop bar, a moonlit restaurant, an open-air champagne garden and an elegant cigar lounge, all in one.
You’re likely to be impressed by the design choices. Sleek and modern without being cold, I felt both comfortable and awed. Tropical touches and warm highlights mix with the cool atmosphere, giving it a sort of futuristic beach-resort vibe.
Of course, it’s impossible to mention SoHy without extolling the virtues of the fantastic view. From the 25th floor I could see across the city, from District 1 to District 3. As I sat down for my dinner in the Star Dining Room, I watched a few spikes of lightning in the distance. It was dinner and a show.
Perhaps one of the best parts of my experience was the care and attention of the staff. As soon as I arrived, a hostess greeted me with a wide smile and impeccable English. I said I had reservations for dinner, and she personally led me up a flight of stone stairs to the dining room on the 26th floor.
Throughout the dinner, I got to experience the attention to detail I’ve come to expect at fine-dining French restaurants. One example: my waiter paid dutiful attention to the wine, and elegantly opened it and poured with the learned grace of a sommelier. Whenever my glass was running low, he was always on hand to top it up without spilling a single drop.
Food and Drink
For my dinner I enjoyed a four-course set menu (VND680,000++), which I learned changes depending on the choice of the head chef. I chose the raw Nha Trang oysters with quail eggs and caviar (VND245,000 a la carte), the French onion soup served with a puff pastry (VND145,000 a la carte), the marinated French duck breast with orange ginger sauce (VND670,000 a la carte) and the coconut cheesecake for dessert (VND145,000 a la carte).
All were delicious, but if I had to choose a favourite, it would have to be the Nha Trang oysters, which happens to be one of SoHy’s specialities. The mouthfeel and the flavours of the oyster, caviar, quail egg, all mixed with a sliver of lime for acidity, was a culinary treat hard to find in Saigon.
What Could be Improved
If I had to find fault with SoHy, it would be two-fold. First, the elevators going to the restaurant were quite slow and grated on my patience. I actually timed my ascent to the restaurant: from the motorbike parking, it took 10 minutes. I also learned that only two of the six elevators went to the 25th floors—the others stopped at the 23rd.
Secondly, much of SoHy is open-air and vulnerable to Saigon’s changeable weather. When I was enjoying a cocktail in the lounge, the wind blew out candle after candle, though dutiful servers regularly appeared to light them again.
The Final Word
SoHy is a must-try if you’re in the mood for an elevated dinner or drinks in the heart of the city. Truly, it has something for everyone looking for a night out: a cigar lounge if you want to relax with a whiskey and a Cuban from the humidor; a rooftop bar if you want to network with some colleagues or go out for drinks with friends; and a low-lit, elegant restaurant if you want a romantic and elegant dinner for two. I hear they’re also great at organising events, and can accommodate up to 500 people.
Image source: SoHy