There aren’t many halal restaurants in Da Lat.
We found one by searching through Google, the name is Hoa Sen. Google said that it serves Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine (vegan thing is safer for us than merely just vegetarian). Moreover, we found that the restaurant is reviewed good by many people on Trip Advisor and become one of recommended restaurant by Trip Advisor.
We decided to go there for the first lunch we had in Da Lat. Good thing, the place wasn’t too far from where we stay. The first eating experience was nice too. So, we decided to stick to this restaurant ’till our last day in Da Lat.
We think Hoa Sen’s plus points are : not-boring-vegan foods (various type of foods), cheap price, and the place is easy to be reached.
The Opening hours are : 6 am – 2 pm, then 4 pm – 9 pm.
Our first experience of eating here was good. Playing save, we ordered fried rice though. We had just arrived from long road trip from Mui Ne, so we need good meals. We also ordered tofu snacks. And, for the first time we tried the authentic iced vietnam black coffee and artichoke tea. Everything was delicious. Anyway, they serves free tea when visitor ordered any kind of food.
We went around Da Lat for half day and came back to guesthouse at night. We took quite a long rest because we felt exhausted, also because it was rain outside. Sadly, when we finally went outside to eat… the restaurant had closed already. Not sure about eating another foods / entering another restaurants, we were starving that night. Da Lat is quite a small town. A lot of restaurant close at 9 pm. Not to mention about the halal thingy. The late nite restaurant isn’t vegan and or vegetarian type. It serves alcohol and another. For us, halal is a must, it can’t be bargained. So, we were coming back to guesthouse with empty stomach… We drank a lot of plain water, and ate left-over chips we bought from Mui Ne road. It was a long night, and we only wished for morning to come.
The first place we were heading to in the morning? Correct, the restaurant.
Now we want to try what locals eat for breakfast : Vietnamese Pho.
Pho is a hot noodle soup with various choice of toppings, served with vegetables. And since it was a vegan & vegetarian restaurants, there are loads of vegetables as side dish. No additional fees charged. We didn’t know it will be 2 big portions… we couldn’t finish it. Have should ordered one portion only for both of us. We also ordered side snacks made of mushroom and seaweed. It was strange (because we never tried that kind of food creation before) and nice at the same time. Like usual, they serves free tea when visitor ordered any kind of food.
We then went out to many places a whole day (see the adventures here). And making sure that we weren’t late anymore for dinner. It was the last supper also, before we were going back to Ho Chi Minh City in the next morning. We ordered some rice because getting around the town made us very hungry, lol. Fried rice was ok, but funny thing came from chilli tofu rice. Their kind of chilli tofu rice = rice + 2 tofus + 2 small chillies. What? It wasn’t spicy at all of course. Growing up in spicy food environment of Indonesia made us surprised to find this food presentation, hehe. Just personal opinion. The deep-fried cauliflower was good though. We didn’t know that cauliflower can be cooked like that. We also ordered the authentic hot vietnam black coffee and hot chocolate. Oh ya, at first we were confused about how to use the vietnam drip aluminium thingy for the coffee. So we tried some ways. Local Da Lat people next to our table can’t help smiling and laughing of what we were doing. So we laughed also. Then they showed us the right way to use it, hehe. Funny moment 🙂
So yeah, in general, we had a nice eating in Da Lat. A lot better than in Mui Ne, at least. Lucky for us, our guesthouse owner gave permission to use her kitchen and her food ingredients. Read our story of finding halal foods at Mui Ne here.
Eventhough in overall, eating at Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is more varied, Da Lat gives something that we don’t get at HCMC : trying local breakfast, Vietnamese Pho, in halal way. At HCMC, the halal foods we visit mostly Indian restaurant or Malay restaurant. As for the story of finding halal foods at HCMC still in progress. I’ll insert the link here when i’m done with the post.
Simple & important Glossary :
Com = rice Mi = noodle Chien = fried Pho = noodle soup Dau hu = tofu