Monday, October 24 2016


Runam Bistro boasts beachfront ambiance

Update: March, 06/2016 - 17:01
Glowing: A corner of Runam Bistro seen from its loft.
Plentiful: Pastries Platter with a collection of eight pastries.                
Soul food: Runam Rice with its green-coloured rice.
Runam Bistro Nha Trang
Add: 32-34 Trần Phú Street, Nha Trang City
Tel: (058) 3523186
Opening hour: 7am-11pm
Comment: Lovely beach-front ambience, unique Art Deco interior, impressive decor, attentive service, wide-ranged menu.
The food could be improved, but Runam Bistro’s decor, location and amenable staff make it a recommended stop in Nha Trang. Thúy Hằng reports.

After spending hours enjoying the brilliant sunlight and the cool ocean breeze on the beach, I decided to walk in the beach-front Runam Bistro in Nha Trang to find something to delight my hungry tummy. As the bistro is on the other side of the street from the beach, it took me only a few steps to get there.
It was 3pm when I stepped into the bistro. Unlike its Hà Nội' sister, Cafe Runam, which is always packed with customers at any time of the day, the bistro was quite quiet with only few people sitting on outside tables, under the shadow of large, white umbrellas.

Compared with Cafe Runam, which I sometimes visit during my lunch time, the Runam Bistro has a more spacious venue with high ceilings, as it is at the base of the swanky InterContinental Hotel.

Following the common Art Deco style of the Runam chains, which combines modern decorative and industrial arts, the Runam Bistro Nha Trang features some European vintage-style furniture, exposed pipes across the ceiling and a black steel staircase leading to a small loft. I have to say that its decor and ambience are incredibly well presented, bringing a boutique atmosphere.

When I brought my question about the meaning of the bistro to a waitress, she explained that Runam was the short form of the full sentence "Lời Ru của bà mẹ phương Nam", which means "the lullaby of a Southern mother".

We chose a small table by the window on the loft and looking over the main street with the blue beach in the other street side.

Browsing through its menu, I found it had a great selection of food and beverage, including cakes, desserts, smoothies, teas and coffees. Everything looked very inviting and yummy, as may of them were illustrated in nice photos.

We decided to pick the Beefsteak Special (VNĐ160,000), a plate of Vietnamese-style steak, sunny side up eggs and paté, served with a Vietnamese baguette. We also got Runam Rice (VNĐ180,000), which I assumed was a kind of fried rice. I picked this dish because I was curious about the green colour of the rice, which made me think it looked healthy.

I also ordered a Pastries Platter (VNĐ190,000), a collection of eight different pastries, because I couldn't stop my desire to nibble on all their food, as it looked very attractive in the photos. Although you can order two, three or six kinds of pastries, I was greedy to try them all.

When the food was placed on our table, I took some photos as it is my regular habit, and then was eager to start my late lunch.

The bite-sized pastry collection was arranged nicely on a coconut board. My first taste was with spinach, ricotta cheese and pine nut tart. I instantly blurted out "yumm", expressing my pleasure at its fresh, light, creamy taste.

The second one, a creamy spiced pork, chicken and zucchini tart, was too oily. The sheet beneath it was even dripping with oil.

I couldn't find the specific flavour of brie or bacon in the next one, the brie, leek and bacon tart. Instead, I had the feeling like I just dipped my teeth into a mixture of leek and mayonnaise.

While the spiced beef with carrot and onions filo tart was okey, the deep-fried minced curry beef wrapped in wonton was also oily. In addition, maybe the cook was quite generous and put in too much filling. The wonton one was definitely not bite-sized.
The deep-fried chopped shrimp and pork-stuffed bun also failed in conquering my taste buds.

However, I got a reward when I got to the end. The fried crispy sesame prawn toast. Although I couldn't find any prawns on the toast, the prawn flavour was brought by a very thin layer of mashed shrimp, which was spread on the bread before it was toasted. The small toast, adorned with white and black sesame, was a pleasant treat.

When I was tasting the pastry collection, I knew I need to save room for the next dish, so I just tried a bite of each pastry.

On the menu, Runam Rice was described as "rice cooked for 24 hours in stock and tossed with chorizo, pancetta and cranberries". However, the one displayed in front of me was a bit different from what was depicted in the photo and description.
The cranberries were replaced by raisins, while chorizo and pancetta were replaced by bacon. OK, I don't mind if they were replaced with similar ingredients, but I really didn't like the chewy texture of the beef slices on the dish.
I felt a bit sorry for the dish because the beef diminished its flavour as a whole. A very attentive waitress, who came to our table to ask if we enjoyed our food, was all ears, listening to my comments, and she reported to her manager, who then appeared to talk to me.
To reward my comments, which, according to them, are very clear, detailed and valuable, they offered us two cups of their signature black coffee. The coffee powder was put into a small tin filter, then poured over with boiled water. You have to wait for a while for the essential black liquid to drop down from the filter.
Although our lunch was not a great experience in terms of food quality, I was completely satisfied by Runam Bistro Nha Trang's lovely ambience and the attentive attitude of the staff. I believe once they are very attentive in listening to their customers, they will definitely improve their food and service.
So if you're looking for a treat with great service and atmosphere, you have got to stop by! — VNS

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