Hoi An is a beautiful city located 45 minutes car ride from Danang. And even in a tiny town, it’s still possible to find vegetarian restaurants here. One of them is Minh Hien Quan Chay, which I believe the owners are Buddhists since they have posters of Guan Yin or Goddess of Mercy in the premise.
Minh Hien is also filled with shelves and shelves of books. We noticed a few students dropped by despite the heavy rain to borrow some books and were excited to find what they wanted, made me nostalgic too.
This restaurant is know to serve veggie versions of the local specialties and since I’ve been seeing lots of signs for Cao Lau in the old town, I was excited to see it in the menu. Cao Lau noodles was thick and tangy, the sauce was flavorful – spicy and savory but I personally didn’t like it too much. However, the ingredients was quite yummy – braised tofu skin beancurd, crispy crackers, fresh thai basil, mushroom, and carrot cubes.
White Rose is another local delicacy from Hoi An. It looks like Vietnamese-style dumplings and the texture tastes like steamed spring roll skin with a tofu in the middle and sprinkled with chili flakes and lime juice. It was okay.
Undeterred by the local dishes, we went back a second time and this was more satisfactory. We ordered Bun Tron – mixed white noodles with fried spring roll – tastes like taro, with sweet and sour sauce, quite light and crispy as well as papaya, and soybean paste. This dish was delicious!
We also ordered the Banh Xeo, crispy pancakes. It was so tasty and fun since we have to wrap it in the spring roll skin.
Guess what is this foil wrapped dish?
We had to wait around 20 minutes but it was worth the wait. Didn’t realize it came with lots of onions, the owner told me later we could request not to have it when we order. This dish is called Thap Cam Nuong La Chuooi, grilled mixed foods with lemongrass in banana leaf. The fragrant herbs and tasty vegetables best eaten with white rice was very satisfying. There are other grilled banana leaf dishes in the menu and I strongly recommend to try the banana leaf dish.
Overall, I enjoyed the tasty food, cozy atmosphere, and friendly owner plus it’s very reasonably priced.
Minh Hien Quan Chay – 50 Tran Cao Van. (Directions: In a narrow lane opposite Cafe 43).