Month: November 2020

VIETNAM-BEAT-COVID-THREE-TIMES

How Did Vietnam Beat Covid Three Times?

Vietnam is one of the stand-out covid-19 success stories. Whatever your view on covid-19 (or batty sniffles as my nan would call it, if she was alive), the way Vietnam handled the situation is often mis-understood, as well as not covered enough by mainstream outlets.

It's an interesting story, and one you can be inspired by.

Hai Van Pass to Elephant Springs – A Road (Man) Trip

Hai Van Pass: It's apparently the prettiest place in all Vietnam, we'll see about that! And Elephant Springs has no elephants, but is also rather pleasant on the eye balls. Well, we'll see about that n all.

torino-restaurant-danang

Where Are The Best Places To Eat in Danang?

Where Are The Best Places To Eat in Danang?

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oce-be-le

Where Are The Best Places to Eat in Danang?

Where Are The Best Places To Eat in Danang?

You've read all the generic top 10 restaunrant lists, so here's one based on the explorations and expertise of an alien like me.

This list is based on some choice favourite establishments in the My An ward area of Danang, the ex-pat hub that runs along the south of My Khe beach. My An is an area full of great food venues, and I have never tired of the choices. Be aware that this list was more extensive, but due to the "2020 situation" a lot of good places are sadly no more, so we shall not mention any place that belongs under the heading: "look at what you could have won!"


Quan Oc Be Le

oce-be-le
quan-oc-be-le

This place is proper rustic. That’s the polite way to describe it, otherwise you would most likely say gutter as hell. But that’s probably part of the charm, if that’s your kind of thing. For me, the aesthetics don’t really matter, it’s the food and hospitality. If you were to just walk past a place like this, you would have no clue as to what delights are on offer, it’s a sneaky secret for us Johnny foreigners, but the locals know what time it is. It’s shell fish time. My first time here I ordered four dishes with friends, this was half a dozen oyster steamed with dressing, a bowl of razor clams, smaller shell clams in broth and a bowl of stir fried Morning Glory. And all of it was super sweer awesome. The oysters had been steamed and dressed with some herbs, peanuts and some sauces I could not quite recognise. At first this seemed like an odd combination, considering how we are use to consuming oysters, but it worked very well and was good enough for me to order another half dozen. The razor clams were cooked perfectly and complimented with spice and garlic, and the clam broth was a winner, lots of lemongrass and chilli. And even the Morning Glory could of been enjoyed on it’s own, the balance of garlic, chilli and other flavourings made it one of the most morish vegetable dishes I’d ever stuffed into my face. They say never judge a book by it’s cover, unless it’s got Owen Jones’ face on it then you should insist on burning it, but in this case that cliche rings true. This place is a must and considering each dish is 39,000 dong, you really can’t go wrong.


Chuyen Nang Dau

chueyn-nan-dau-anton-4
sweet-and-sour-vietnamese-chicken-scaled

This place is not listed on google maps or any guide I have come across, but it should be. I would like to say it’s a family run restaurant steeped in tradition, but I can’t because I have no idea. I just know it’s great. It ticks many boxes for me. The setting, interior, service, food and drink all get a tick and therefore the venue gets my illustrious stamp of approval. When speaking to a couple of Spanish ex-pats who had lived in Vietnam for almost a decade, they told me that if you pay around 60,000 dong for a meal (less than $3) you will get really good quality food. This restaurant serves that food. 

The dishes here are what I would describe as more high end Vietnamese cuisine. They have some familiar dishes, sweet and sour chicken or pork, caramelised pork, and lemongrass frog, chicken or pork. All of them are cooked perfectly, my particular favourites being the slow braised caramelised pork and the lemongrass and chilli frog. The prices are very reasonable for the level of quality you get, with the braised pork being the priciest at a mere 90,000 dong (just under $4). They also have a very good wine and cocktail list, which has Negroni’s for 75,000, the cheapest I have found and they’re pretty damn good.

The place is very relaxed and well spaced out, and at night the lighting is just right (I have a thing about certain lighting, lighting makes huge differences in my world). The best area during an evening meal is the top floor, it's great place to indulge in a longed out eating and drinking session if you can get a seat at the front. I often enjoy spending a couple of hours eating and drinking whilst observing the goings on below on Anthon 4. It would be even better if it stayed open a bit later than 10pm, and the owners would love it to be a bit busier than it is usually, though I like it like that. Hopefully this place can ride out this current situation and still be there when more people return to Danang, because they're in for a treat.


Meat Plus

meat-plus-danang

When looking for Korean restaurants, and Korean BBQ places especially, Danang has more than its fair fair share. Meat Plus stands out as it focuses on beef. Meat Plus may sound like some wacky protein supplement that gives you the vitality of a prized bull, but it's actually part of a small chain. You choose from a selection of beef cuts, cuts that are not quite so familiar to a British man, and it's brought over and flamed in front of your hungry face to perfection. There is also a complimentary buffet of salad, kimchi, sources, and vegetables to accompany your BBQ. I came in here on a Monday night, and I found myself the only solo eater amongst a small crowd of Korean's chomping down a whole field cattle whilst swigging Soju. It's a good experience, and the staff are attentive, and the price didn't make me want to fight a Frisian. It's worth noting that not only is the name not so appealing, the building kind of looks like a working man's club on a Leeds council estate, though the interior is very nice. PS, no offence to Leeds council estates, but fighting and BBQ is never a good mix.


Torino Restaurant & Bakery

torino-restaurant-danang

There are a few good Italian restaurants in Danang, but Torino is one that really impressed, and I don’t really get impressed too often, mainly because I’m too cool for that kind of thing. I first went to Torino late morning on my birthday. My objective was to have full banquet with wine on my J’s and just do me. This was a another great decision by me. I ordered the Insalata Mista Con Pollo (chicken salad) followed by Ravioli Ripeni Con Capesante E Gamberi Con Burrata (which is ravioli stuffed with scallops and shrimp, with tomato sauce and burrata cheese). The salad was impressively large for the price, as was the bowl of ravioli that followed. The ravioli was legit, the … cheese was also an amazing addition. When Italian food is done right it is hard to beat, and this was very impressive. When you become accustomed to the abundance of Italian chain eateries that litter the UK’s high streets and shopping centres, you forget that this cuisine is one the best in the world. And when you get a decent meal for a fraction of the price that you fork out at Zizzi’s or Carluccio’s that has some craft applied to it’s creation, you know life is good. Torino makes life good. And the Espresso that followed my meal was absolute fire and I found myself torpedoing out the door.

Honourable mentions

  • Taco Ngon

    A Taiwanese-Mexican fusion taco place that has a small menu of interesting and taste bud pleasing tacos, all for under 40k. 

  • Bikini Bottom

    It has a silly name, but it does have a good selection of tacos, burgers, and poke bowls, with interesting and tasty blends of ingredients.

  • Pizza - Da Vinci, Bello, and Olivia

    The options for decent wood-fired pizza is plentiful in the My An ward. These three establishments are all very similar for quality and decent pricing. I have often ordered deliveries from all of these, and have never been disappointed. 

  • Hanna's Kitchen

    The rule of thumb for places that have a huge menu with bad photographs is that you avoid them. This place breaks the mould. The portions are huge and the price is agreeable, it's not fancy-fancy, but it's thoroughly satisfying. 

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