|Bio-friendly: Biodegradable, eco-friendly products displayed on the right wall. VNS Photo The Nomad Quynh|
In Việt Nam, people are becoming more aware of the importance of eating healthy food. Vegetarian restaurants and organic products have become more popular. The Organik House in HCM City is one of the best, The Nomad Quynh reports.
In the past, there weren’t many choices of restaurants for vegetarians and vegans in Việt Nam. There are not many real vegetarians, and most of the time these restaurants were only busy on the first and fifteenth day of a lunar month, the dates when Buddhists lay people choose not to eat meat. (Mahayanan Buddhist monks themselves never eat meat, some even frowning on consuming milk, butter and even honey).
Until recently, the choice of veggie restaurants was limited, and so was the variety of food. I tried them a few times and as a non-veggie, the food wasn’t that impressive and I wasn’t really eager to return.
However recently, with the number of foreign expats increasing in Việt Nam, especially in big cities like HCM City, customers have been introduced to more Western style veggie dishes. The number of veggie restaurants has also increased and become much more varied. Among them all, The Organik House stands out as one of the best.
Opened just over a year ago by Italian chef Ale Sorti and his Vietnamese partner Quyên, it’s a small cosy veggie bistro tucked away in a quiet lane on Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Street, District 1. Since day one, they have been dedicated in providing customers with healthy veggie food made from safe, organic and biodynamic ingredients.
They do not try to offer too many dishes, but decide to focus on quality instead. The menu changes quite often depending on the chef and the availability of the ingredients, and usually includes a few starter, soup, main course and dessert.
One of my favourite dishes here is the mixed salad with fruits and nuts (VNĐ190,000). It was huge and definitely one of the best salad I’ve ever had. If you think salad is boring, this one might change your mind. There are many kinds of fresh ingredients in it that blend together well and make the dish delicious. Both my partner and I loved it, and it has become one of our regular orders.
The soup is another nice and healthy choice. I opted for potato soup with vegetable, while my partner got miso soup with tofu and seaweed (VNĐ100,000). They both came in big bowls which could be easily for share. Both were delicious as well with nicely balanced taste.
|Super veg: A brunch menu. Clockwise from left: Quinoa, turmeric flan, hummus with black sesame pita bread, fresh springrolls, omelette with vegetable herbs and salad, with potato soup and iced tea on the side. VNS Photo The Nomad Quynh|
|Wow: Lovely Goji Joy smoothie made from Goji berries, mulberries, banana and honey. VNS Photo The Nomad Quynh|
|Japanese: Miso soup with wakame and tofu. VNS Photo The Nomad Quynh|
Pasta is another good option here. We got a plate with cream and cheese. It was rich, creamy and so tasty we didn’t feel like the meat was missing at all. I have to admit if all veggie dishes were this good, people would not hesitate to eat them more often.
Once in a while, fresh homemade pasta is also available, so check with the restaurant beforehand.
Drinks are a big part of what I like about The Organik House. There are so many choices. My favourite is Detox juice made from lettuce, apple, celery and honey (VNĐ60,000), which is surprisingly easy to drink and is so delicious. There are also a lot of original smoothies made from veggie milk with no added sugar, as well as non-GMO bean milk naturally sweetened with organic brown sugar or palm sugar.
They also serve great coffee and infused tea made from fresh herbs. And just in case you are a fan of local craft beer, Te Te is available.
On Sunday, a special brunch menu at VNĐ189,000 per person is often served from 10am to 5pm. The menu varies every week and usually includes a creative selection of vegetarian dishes, plus soup and a glass of iced tea or water on the side.
Just last week, we had a great brunch here with tofu miso soup, salad with daikon and mushroom, bread and veggie salmon, veg skewers with creamy cashew, kale and rosemary crackers and sweet corn soup with coconut juice. Everything was good, but I found the veggie salmon and kale rosemary crackers particularly interesting.
In addition, a few weeks ago we had another brunch here that included entirely different dishes: Fresh spring rolls, potato soup, hummus with black sesame pita bread, omelette with herbs, quinoa and turmeric flan. It was a huge portion and will definitely keep you full. Among these, the stars were the hummus and the quinoa. The cauliflower and turmeric flan was also interesting and original. Overall, the availability of this Sunday brunch depends on the restaurant, so please check before.
The Organik House is one of the pioneers in protecting the environment by refusing to use plastics and promoting the use of biodegradable products. These include kitchen utensils, straws entirely made from sugarcane, bamboo or palm trees. Hopefully their effort will make more people aware of their social responsibilities.
The Organik House
Address: 7F Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, HCM City
Tel: 090-957-6 898
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 22.00
Sunday from 10.00 to 17.00. Monday closed.
Comment: One of the best vegetarian bistros in HCM City with fresh, tasty dishes and great awareness in environmental protection. Reservation highly recommended especially with big groups.