Friday, July 11, 2014

Vegetarian lunch at 380 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa

When I was kid, every time I heard about "ăn chay", i.e "vegetarian eating", I always associated with some rituals in Buddhism, it's also very common in Vietnam some people have vegetarian meal twice a month, by the lunar calendar, the first and the middle day (I guess!). Or it could be a case when someone has a certain strong wish, they commit themselves to "one moth vegetarian eating" or even a year long if the wish came true (or maybe not!) It's like a thanking act to the Superior.

Nowadays due to the high demand for the healthy food, for being healthier physically and mentally, people simply think about vegetarian as the best alternative...or they just go there without any reason. I don't know how rich is the selection of vegetarian eating spots in Saigon - I've been to a place managed only by monks, quite nice even they do the wedding ceremonies there. I also saw some expensive place, nice decoration, creatively attractive menu, but today my place was simple - just a place of my old colleague, who tried to run a business with his best friend - a very good chef in vegetarian cuisine.

The place, the atmosphere are nicely simple, I like the beautiful photos of Lotus on the wall, like a small collection of the Lotus's beauty - the Buddhism's flower.

Actually this was a sudden treat from my another old colleague who just returned from the US, so he loved to share his stories, his future business plan...but the main reason was to celebrate our colleague to open the new eating place for veggies.

           One of my favourites - deep fried sticky rice with filling inside... 

             and here you go - the inside...

               Very typical vegetarian spring rolls...

             and this one with quite interesting name "Tỳ Bà Quý Phi" as the shape reminds a pipa 

                 For those who loves salad could go for this one - a bit sweet, a bit sour, tasty... 

                 or this one - also very good the mixture of mushroom and cabbage...

Hoà - my old colleague and also the owner sympathetically tried to offer us the best from the kitchen, so we were happy and aggressively to taste almost everything! The next one was...the roasted with steamed bun. Looks extremely irresistible and very tasty!

           I can't remember the name of this dish - just a roasted with buns! 

The next one could be the favourite for many as it's so popular in Sài Gòn - the deep fried noodles with veggies in thick sauce. It has been served separately - the deep fried noodles and the stirred veggies in thick sauce, we can mix it later, the noodles still perfectly crunchy!

                Mì xào dòn - the deep fried noodles with veggies in thick sauce. 

And the last two hot pots - we all really enjoyed very much. One was taro cooked in coconut milk soup with different veggies and vegetarian stuffs that I really don't know the names, served with yellow noodles. The other one was "Bát Nhã" - very nice religious name from Buddhism, reminds some harmonic, highly intellectual delicacy.

                   The bowl of "Bát Nhã" soup...

               and the coconut milk soup with taro and a lot of vegetarian stuffs!        

 During the lunch we did discuss different things in life, we still plan for the next trip, by end of this month to Trị An, to visit an old friend and next year trip to US, to visit the Buford in Wyoming - some of us may probably apply for the job there as next to us - was the mayor of Buford.

 Address: 380 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, right behind "Tous Les Jours" before the bridge. 

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