Pretty good veggie action in a cheap watering-hole on Bui Vien

This is the 11,000Dong beer-joint and cafe-restaurant in the middle of Bui Vien Street.  Sorry that I cannot remember the street address.  If you are starting from the Little India sign, then just after that, pass the Circle K (heading towards Do Quan Dau to the West)then it is about 3 or so more businesses down on the same side.

I found out pretty recently that they have some pretty good veggie stuff on the last page of the menu.  That last page is listed below.  I had the first entry from this page.  It was delicious.

Bui Vien Watering Hole's Veggie Page

Advertisements

Veggie Venue 7 – Âu Lạc – 60 Tân Vĩnh Street; D4

Tiệm Cơm Chay “Âu Lạc”

60 Tân Vĩnh Street;  District 4, Ward 6.

I’m kicking myself for overlooking this place for three months!  This is a spacious, clean, friendly and affordable little place that I can easily recommend to all you vedge-heads.  It is just over the Ong Lanh Bridge from D1.  I was pretty much passing it almost every day when riding into D1.  If you are on a bike or in a car coming over the bridge (Cau Ong Lanh), you will need to double back because the street that brings you from the bridge to Tan Vinh street is divided.

Not only was the food good and fresh in this roomy relaxing cafeteria, but they also have large amounts of vegan products that you can buy and take home.

They have , just as examples:

  • Vegan fish sauce
  • Vegan deer meat, fish, squid, pork, chicken, shredded meat, etc etc
  • Vegan hot dogs
  • Vegan canned products
I bought some “fish sauce” because it is chili-based.  Fortunately,  it doesn’t taste fishy!
Below are the pics taken during my first visit.

Veggie Venue 6 – Hoa Khai: 124-126 Nguyen Cu Trinh; D1

This is a new place that just opened in May 2011.   You should try it.  Menu still in Vietnamese only right now, but they may add an english one.  You should be able to find a waiter to help you though.  Moderate/very reasonable pricing.  Good food and friendly owner and waiters.  Room for larger groups.

There are various things on the menu including Thai dishes, etc.  It is a Vegan Restaurant.  This place is very new and clean.  The prices are under control and when we went as a group with people from Couchsurfing.org , there was still a 20% discount going on back then as well.  If you decide to go with a group,  consider calling a reservation and maybe they might be ready to give you a group discount.   They even have  vietnamese beer.

  • 124-126 Nguyễn Cư Trinh; District 1, Nguyễn Cư Trinh Ward
.

Updates:

(August 2011):  Now they have delivery!  You can even order by the net: http://www.eat.vn/en/hoakhai  (Districts 1,3,4, and 5 at the moment) from 7:15 am to 22:00 pm everyday

Hoa Khai from the Street at Night

Trà Sữa Trân Châu = Bubble Tea?

Trà Sữa Trân Châu is a colorful fruity kiddie drink.  It seems to be kind of pricey compared to things like iced tea and sugar cane juice. Also, many consumers may consider it to be quite artificial. One of the ingredients is a gummy-bear-like fruit gelatin or tapioca-based gel. Other ingredients include ice, real fruit, and some kind of milk or malt and/or tea. i like fruity drinks in general, so i thought i would like it. it was okay, but i think there are better fruity things to drink or eat that are more natural and cheaper. you still might decide you want to try it… especially if you are gummy-bear fan 😉

What i tried i would hardly call “bubble tea”.  it didnt taste like tea (even if that was one of the ingredients).  it was much closer to a milk-shake with ice and gummy bears added.  it seems like there are different types of Trà Sữa Trân Châu which would explain why it might be called bubble tea.  it seems the bubbles are the globules of soft gummy-bear-like tapioca-esque thingies.  one of the ingredients in those gels is citric acid  they probably use a lot of chemicals like those used in candies around the world.  if you want more info, go to wikipedia.  if you don’t know vietnamese,  then plug in a translator to it.  i suggest google chrome.

Here is a link to a vietnamese TV report dealing with this product:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4h4W5b0Tcg

here are some pics i took of the stand in D4 in Saigon:

Couchsurfing Vegetarians in SaiGon Going for Dinner

Some vegetarians and veggie-loving folk from the Saigon Couchsurfers group have planned a meeting for dinner in a new veggie place in District 1 on Tuesday.

The place/time is:

Hao Khai – 124-6 Nguyen Cu Trinh, Dist 1.

Date:  May 31st, 2011 – 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm


Here are the Couchsurfing threads about this meeting:

http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=5558&post=8563259

and here is the event:   http://www.couchsurfing.org/meetings.html?mid=116973

 

 

Also, a new subgroup of the SaiGon group on CouchSurfers has formed.  It is “SaiGon Vegetarians”:    http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=42390

 

 

 

What’s this Colorful Sight?

Are they drying tomatoes here?

Drying of Tomatoes?

Veggie Venue 5 – “Ngoc Tho” ; 175/9 Pham Ngu Lao, district 1

Veggie Venue 5 – “Ngoc Tho” ; 175/9 Pham Ngu Lao, district 1

This place has been reviewed by a lot of travelers.  I suggest you do a search on “Ngoc Tho, 175/9 Pham Ngu Lao”, and read some of the blogs and reviews.  A pretty good one to help give you an idea is: http://ilovemyveg.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html

Ngoc Tho from the Street in Daytime (HappyCow.Net)

When I took my table, there was only one other table with diners.  By the time I finished, all the tables were full — I suspect with people on their way home from work.  The service was friendly, and the food was middle-priced and very tasty.   I wanted to try so many things, but stuck to bean tacos and a small clay-pot of steamed/fried vegetables.  I am sure I will be stopping by this place pretty often.  The location is right in there on a drivable  side-alley off of Pham Ngu Lao.  That’s the same alley that has Le Pub and another veggie spot. “Ngoc Tho” is the one that is NOT across from Le Pub, but rather a bit closer to Pham Ngu Lao Street  proper.

I plan to try the fried mushrooms next time!  I heard good things about them.

The pics of what I ate will be added here shortly.

Veggie Venue 4 – “Thien Tan” ; Ton Dan Street, district 4

Veggie Venue 4 – Quan An “Thien Tan” ; 17-19 Ton Dan Street, district 4, ward 13

This eatery is at the top of Ton Dan street in D4.  To give you an idea, the closest bridge (cau) is Khanh Hoi, which connects D1 with D4 at the Vung Tao ferry port.  This is not a strictly veggie place but the  vegetarian section is big and has plenty of choices, so i decided to tell you about this place.

Thien Tan Eatery from the Street

I have eaten here 2 times so far and I plan to eat here often.  It isn’t too far from my place, the portions are big,  the prices are good, the selection is big, and the staff is friendly.  They have a menu translated into english, but for some reason, they didnt includ the Chay section, so I have sort of translated it for you here below.  (prices are from now — May 2011).  Sorry for the lack of diacritical marks, but you can see them in the photo.

Cac Mon Chay

Cac Mon Chay (Vegetarian Dishes)

  • hu tiu xao                              35,000
  • stirred-fried big rice noodles
  •  
  • mi xao gion                           35,000
  • stir-fried deep-fried-noodles with mushrooms & vegetables
  •  
  • mi xao mem                         35,000
  • stir-fried noodles with mushrooms & vegetables
  •  
  • bun gao xao thap cam        35,000
  • stir-fried thin-dry-rice noodles
  •  
  • mien xao thap cam             40,000
  • stir-fried thin-dry-rice noodle jumble
  •  
  • com chien duong chao       33,000
  • Chinese fried rice 1
  •  
  • com xao thap cam              35,000
  • Chinese fried rice 2
  •  
  • do xao thap cam                  35,000
  • stir-fried mixed vegetables (no noodle) – would have meat on a normal menu
  •  
  • cai thia xao                           16,000
  • stir-fried Chinese cabbage
  •  
  • bong cai xao                         22,000
  • stir-fried Vietnamese cauliflower
  •  
  • rau muong xao                    16,000
  • stir-fried water spinach
  •  
  • nam thap cam xao              35,000
  • stir-fried mushroom
So far, i have tried the second and the fifth dish from the Chay page of the menu.  I enjoyed them both a lot.  There is also a vegetable page in the menu.  I will add a photo of that page here soon.

condiments

Here are the condiments they have out on all the tables.  The tables and condiments are kept clean.  There is an air-conditioned room too.  Sometimes the A/C room is open and sometimes it isn’t.  You may be surprised as you entrer the eatery, that you walk through the kitchen to get inside.  Below, are pics of the first 2 dishes that I ate here (2nd and 5th on the Chay page of the menu), and the other pic is the “Rau” (vegetables) page.

The RAU Menu (vegetables)

Mi Xao Gion (3rd dish on the Chay page)

Mien Xao Thap Cam - 5th on Chay menu

“Vegetarian Traveler” Group on CouchSurfing

There is discussion group for Vegetarian Travelers on CouchSurfing:

the group:  http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=24888

the site:  http://www.couchsurfing.org

At the moment that I created this post, this group was small, but maybe we can change that with time.

info from the group page:

Are you a vegetarian? Do you have trouble finding good food when you travel? This is a forum where you can post rants & raves, make suggestions for fellow travelers & post reviews of restaurants, airport food & anything else related to vegetarian travel.

Members: 3
Posts: 0
Created: Nov 8, 2009
Type: Public
RSS 

Veggie Venue 3 – “Mandala” ; Suong Nguyet Anh Street, district 1

“Mandala” – 110 Suong Nguyet Anh Street ; D1

veg.mandala@yahoo.com

This is a new, relatively upscale Tibetian-Vietnamese Veggie Fusion place.

Mandala from the Street at Night

The decore is fresh, big, and impressive.  There are lots of rooms with plenty of space for quite large groups.

one of the dining areas

The menu at this restaurant is large and has English translations and pictures.

I dined here with 2 friends.  We ordered a couple things each and shared, so I got to try a lot of dishes.  I liked the various noodle dishes and the Salad Mandala the most — while the tofu, okra, and spring rolls less.  Keep in mind that the menu is much bigger than just what is seen in these photos.

The food was, in general, pretty good…  and the atmosphere is, I think, very nice.  The service is very good and with a genuine friendliness to it.  I think it is worth your time to go check this out — at least if you are passing through this side of town.  They just recently opened,  so I would think the the food could get even better with time.  It was already good enough that night for me to warrant a return visit.