The Happy Buffalo
Free and easy, bright and breezy, and a welcome addition to the somewhat desolate coastal end of Cua Dai road, The Happy Buffalo is fast becoming a firm favorite with tourists and ex-pats alike. The cocktails are delicious, the beer is cold, the food is tasty, and the prices are reasonable – what’s not to like?
Newly-weds, Evan and Lindsay McIndless, are a couple of congenial Canadians who enthusiastically go all out to make sure all are happy. Their excellent cocktails have not a whiff of gut-rot about them – you go through them, they don’t go through you – but rest easy, their prices remain similar to their dodgy competitors. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, their indispensable partners, Tri and Tuyet, rule the roost.
A range of 24 classics including Mai-Tais, Pina Coladas, Cubre Libres, Manhattans etc … the less well-known but intriguing ‘El Diablo’ (tequila, crème de cassis, lime and ginger beer) and many more. All must be tested – in time of course, no rush – most want to return to The Happy Buffalo again, and again.
The simple open plan design spectacularly catches the lovely river views and cool breezes out the back. At the front, the long and inviting bar invites easy conversation with friends and strangers alike. Wine is served by the glass or bottle, and beer, cider, spirits and non-alcoholic smoothies, soft drinks and coffee are also offered.
What is missing in many a bar is a bite sized menu – a snack menu – whatever you want to call it. The food menu at The Happy Buffalo deserves to be called Tapas – it’s more than a snack, less than a dinner – something in between, with entrée sized portions and plenty of choice. A firm favorite is the Fish Tacos (50,000) but the 5 Potato Croquettes (20,000), Duck Spring Rolls (40,000), Pork/Lemongrass Kebabs and Buffalo Chicken Wings (85,000) are all appealing as well and very reasonably priced.
Don’t make plans for dinner after – it may just seem like a much better idea to stay put.