For those looking for some good old fashion comfort food and original recipe cocktails with an upscale twist, or simply just want to know where to eat near Surin and Bang Tao, Benny’s American Bar & Grill is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Constructed from a gutted Thai-style house and decorated in a dark, intimate fashion, which gives air to a modern day speakeasy, Benny’s has been serving up a delicious, inventive menu for all to enjoy. However, though it’s an American bar, you won’t see hoards of American expats and tourists watching sports and drinking beer. It’s actually the bar itself that is American, not the atmosphere.

American bars first grew in popularity in England during the prohibition era, as England was the nearest English-speaking country able to sell alcohol. Wealthy Americans would travel to London and search out bars that sold common American mixed spirits. Owner Benedikt De Bellis is a gracious host, greeting and engaging patrons at his wonderful establishment, which houses just a handful of tables. Though the menu contains less than 20 items, each is made with expertise and care, and it truly shows!

Two starters that are highly recommended are the tuna tartare and the goat cheese salad.

The tuna is both fresh and refreshing with the perfect amount of dill and capers and a hint of chili and gherkins. An excellent portion and just what you need to get your appetite started. However, the goat cheese salad is absolutely incredible, with pan-fried goat cheese, green leaves, pomegranate, pear, walnuts and organic honey citronette. The warm goat cheese melts in your mouth while the crisp lettuce offers a cool texture with the occasionally sweet pop of the pomegranate. It’s enough to make even a meat lover eat their vegetables!

As far as mains are concerned, you really can’t go wrong. I have maintained that Benny’s has the best burger on the island for years now, however, on this day I expanded my horizons with BBQ back ribs, steak tartare and the roast spring chicken. Each incredible in their own right, the ribs are slow-cooked for 6 hours, fall-off-the-bone tender and equal parts sweet, spicy and smokey with that delicious char and served with Benny’s signature duck fat fries and coleslaw.

And though the portion is huge, you may find it difficult to share. The roast spring chicken also is a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach. Perfectly roasted with garlic, thyme and rosemary, tender, juicy and served with red wine gravy, mash potatoes and steamed vegetables, this half chicken is just what the doctor ordered for those wanting a little piece of home-style cooking.

The steak tartare was the favorite. Made right at your table with hand chopped Australian “A” grade beef tenderloin, Tabasco, Hennessy, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon and homemade mayo (just to name a few ingredients) and served with those amazing duck fat fries, this dish is amazingly flavorful, tender and to die for!

For a refreshing cocktail to sit and digest all of the amazingness that just happened, I highly recommend the Spanish-style gin and tonic made with Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic water infused with essential oils, flowers and fruits. An extremely good drink for a hot day and beautiful to look at with juniper berries dancing around the glass and a sprig of torched rosemary to give an incredible aroma while drinking.

What else can we say? We loved everything about Benny’s American Bar & Grill and will definitely be back for more incredible food and cocktails! This is an absolute must-try for expats, tourists and locals, so put it high up on your list of things to do and don’t forget to tell your friends!

Written By Katie, E-Table Asia