Elevated Expectations

Raise a glass to spectacular views, delicious light bites and refreshing cocktails

What do you do when your lounge is inside the newest iconic skyscraper in Saigon? A whopping 75 floors up, perched near atop the Landmark 81 building, Blank Lounge Landmark (75F and 76F, Landmark 81, 208 Nguyen Huu Canh, District Binh Thanh) offers 360-degree views of Saigon. It’s sure to impress anyone.

A modern urban theme guides the lounge. With stark and mostly unadorned concrete walls and minimalist designed furniture that seems to evoke the feel of an art gallery café, if it weren’t for the colossal engulfing panoramic views. There are touches of local flair, like that of rice stalks and locally sourced gneiss. The lighting fixtures are custom made to resemble either grains of rice or rice crops in different stages of maturation. These beautiful details connect it back together with traditional Vietnam culture. We live in a social media sharing age, so you’ll have more than enough content from The Blank Lounge just with the ambiance and towering line of sight.

You will come for the view, but you will stay and come back for the food and drinks. The food menu features a selection of light bites meant for sharing, while the bar list features seasonal fruit and herbs for its signature cocktails and mocktails. Chef Deonte Daniels, seasoned and well-traveled while claiming Seattle as his origin, has created a truly unique international menu. It remains very approachable with the dishes being familiar in origins; however, Chef Daniels uses local Vietnamese ingredients, spices, and herbs. This, of course, isn’t new in the burgeoning food scene here in Saigon, but how Chef Daniels can effortlessly harmonize it with the other international flavor profiles gives it a unique stamp and will undoubtedly impress those claiming to be a “foodie” or any over-knowledgeable eater.

We had a broad array of dishes, with the beetroot cured salmon toast (VND260,000) as the most brilliant choice among a stellar selection. The cured salmon could stand with the legendary Russ and Daughters’ from the former Jewish enclave of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Add the black caviar, perfectly poached egg, cashew cheese all on top of a slice of lightly toasted sourdough bread with a smear of Thai basil pesto and it indeed becomes a flavor explosion of savory, sweet and sour. The side of salad with fish sauce pairs well with the smoke and salt from the salmon and caviar, creamy flavors from the cheese and egg, and the garlic from the basil pesto.

Then there is the buffalo roll (VND130,000), with pho flavored buffalo floss, banh hoi noodles, an assortment of peppers, carrots cucumber, pickled purple cabbage and accented with basil fish sauce, and vanilla and carrot sauce. Perfect for sharing with your date, client, or friends.

I would also recommend the tiger prawn and scallop ceviche with coconut crackers in a creamy coconut sauce (VND170,000). For snacking; the pho-spiced buffalo jerky (Yes, pho spiced!), and coffee coated cashews (VND140,000). For those with a sweet tooth, the coconut mousse with passionfruit (VND140,000) inside of a chocolate casing shaped to look like a coconut shell will satisfy.

Blank’s beverage program takes the meticulous and time-consuming onuses of making their own syrups, limoncello and bitters. What also sets them apart is that they pay equal attention to crafting mocktails as they do with their cocktails. Mocktails are mostly overlooked and discredited as drinks for those with an abstention to alcohol. At Blank they are made with a variety of different native spices, fruits, vegetables, herbs and juices, they are just as rousing and imaginative as their boozy counterparts. The limoncello martini (VND190,000), salted lime pisco sour with kumquat juice (VND220,000), and Bombay sapphire with pho herbs (VND200,000) will make your sunset afternoon distinct.

So, what do you do when your lounge is inside the newest iconic skyscraper in Saigon? You compose everything just as impressive as the view.

Images by Vy Lam

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