Worth a visit
Posted on 05 / 16 / 2012
We ate twice at Hoa Sen, and got to-go items from the little stand in front of the restaurant twice.
I wasn't crazy about the crab vermicelli soup, but the Hue soup was good. Be aware that the won ton noodle soup does not contain any won ton! Unless I was brought the wrong dish, I suspect that the "won ton soup" has won ton, and that the "won ton noodle soup" has all of the same broth and veggies as the "won ton soup" but instead of won ton, it just has vermicelli. I was a bit disappointed, as I thought I'd be getting both won ton and vermicelli. You live and you learn.
The coconut shake is delicious (fresh coconut and ice blended), the three beans milk good, and the tea is tasty as well. We at the ice and suffered no ill effects.
We also tried the banh bao (good), and two types of spring rolls (also both good). The banh mi is tasty and super cheap (only 10k). My favorite thing might have been the savory banana-wrapped steamed cakes sold in front (I'm not even sure what they're called) for 8k. We had them once, and I tried to go back later to get more but they were sold out.
There is a small selection of packaged cookies near the front. We tried the ones that are rolled up like fat straws, and they were excellent. Only 25k for a fairly large bag of them, too.
Overall, while this wasn't the very best restaurant we tried in Vietnam, it was quite good. It's clean, and the prices are very low. I wish we had one like this in Toronto.
Bonus: there's a cute resident dog who looks like Falcor who can sometimes be seen wandering around in or near the restaurant.
Cheap, Good food