|Pork-free: Spring rolls made from vegetarian ingredients are no less delicious than normal spring rolls made from pork and shrimp.
Hieu Sinh Vegan Food Restaurant impresses Minh Thu with its variety of flavourful dishes and its commitment to healthful ingredients.
The waitress presents me with a pottery bowl boiling away noisily, with its charming fragrance, to serve with rice.
Normally, fish and pork cooked with brine should be inside the bowl. But I'm sitting in a vegan restaurant. Fantastically, banana brined with pepper has the power to warm up the senses and stomach.
What impressed me most when I come to Hieu Sinh Vegan Food Restaurant is the creativity of the owner. From a variety of vegetables, she creates 50 different dishes.
Located at Quang Ba Road, the restaurant offers me a well-aired, spacious area with a view of the West Lake. How wonderful to eat vegan food in a space offering tranquility and a nice view.
From organic leafy vegetables, tubers, nuts, tofu, soybeans and olive oil, the chefs create unique dishes ranging from salad, soup, fried and toasted foods, and others served with sauces. The dishes also come with rice, porridge and noodle.
Popular dishes often served with meat, such as com rang thap cam (fried rice with pork, shrimp and vegetable) and mien xao cua (stir-fried vermicelli with crab meat) are skillfully made from tofu and green beans processed in different ways and offering different tastes.
|No processed foods: banana is brined with pepper and chilli. The dish is served with rice.
There are some very good and innovative foods here. We especially enjoyed the grilled aubergine cooked with soy sauce and vegan spring roll made with mushrooms. It's smart inside.
We end the meal with canh chua thap cam (sour soup cooked with Indian taro, tomato, tofu and vegan pork roll).
Nguyen Thi Hoai, owner of the restaurant, commented that she did not process food with eggs, artificial colours, preservatives or products from any animals.
She said vegetation food was varied and could replace totally meat-based foods. For example, she used seaweed to create fish-tastes.
"Vegetarian diets are a new trend today," said Hoai.
"People eat vegetarian foods for religious reasons, or to prevent the killing of animals, to have a healthy lifestyle, for fear of disease from animals, or simply due to changing tastes. Some tend towards vegetarianism to help solve other problems, such as protecting the environment and the Earth."
"The benefit of eating vegan food has been promoted widely, as more and more people are becoming acquainted with veg food. So am I."
People may think that a vegetarian diet is abstinence or misery just for monks in temples, or a strict regimen for hospital patients. Having once tried the food at Hieu Sinh Restaurant, I decided that this prejudice is so wrong. The veg dishes are very tasty, nutritious and pure.
|Veggie fest: Vegetarian food attracts gourmets of different ages due to its taste and uniqueness. — VNS Photos Minh Thu
Hoai said she opened the restaurant with the aim of encouraging more people to enjoy vegetarianism and express their love for life on the planet. That's why she named it as "Hieu Sinh" (to love the life).
Vegetarian food represents a culinary art. Veg dishes here are very attractive, both in terms of presentation and taste.
Hieu Sinh Vegan Food Restaurant
Add 1: 5 Hoang Ngoc Phach St, Dong Da Dist, Ha Noi
Add 2: 9 Quang Ba St, Tay Ho Dist, Ha Noi
Tel: (+84) 4 6290 4545
Price: VND165,000/pax on average
Hour: 11am-9pm, everyday
Comment: A wide range of vegan food, well-presented, tasty, spacious area, friendly smiling staff who speak English.
Andrea Bleil from Germany said she felt comfortable when having vegetarian food by West Lake.
"The food is extremely appealing and delicious for long-term vegetarians and those that sometimes want to eat without meat," she said.
Gourmets can enjoy the a-la-carte menu every day and buffet on the first and 15th day of the lunar month, at VND165,000 per person.
Don't try to order beer or wine. The restaurant serves no alcohol, as it tends to encourage healthy lifestyles. Instead, the beverage menu has tea, homemade soy milk, juice and smoothies. — VNS