15 Reviews

First Review by HollieHarwood

hidden gem in Cat Ba - Edit

I loved this restaurant so much that I ate there everyday during my stay in Cat Ba! Not a lot of people walk by this restaurant. So it is quiet. They have a special of the day for only 30000 dongs! They had a vegan burger to the menu and it is amazing!!!!

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Delicious Food and Attentive Staff! - Edit

In our experience the staff here were really lovely and went above and beyond for us. The food is delicious and comes in massive portions and tastes extremely fresh. They even gave us a bundle of bananas from their garden while we waited for our food!

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Great tasting healthy food - Edit

Low price, generous portion sizes, intentionally not heavily salted or season so you can enjoy the natural flavour :) straight vegetable options as well as faux meat options. Overall happy with the food ??

Pros: karaoke at night by the locals

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The only option in town - Edit

The food here is poor and the service is non existent. Only once in Paris have I encountered a more miserable bunch of staff. They are so grumpy it actually becomes amusing after a while.
The Com Chay Small is the safest bet here. They use the same sauce and seasoning for every dish so they all look and taste the same. Might as well pick the cheapest.
They open at 10am so no breakfast option.

Pros: cheap-ish, vegetarian

Cons: crappy food , miserable people, not open for breakfast

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Okay food, little to no service - Edit

The food wasn't too bad but nothing exciting. Not the best com chay I've had in Vietnam but passable. Don't expect any smiles or service. I ordered the 30,000 com chay and spring rolls. Both we're okay, spring rolls quite oily.

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Look somewhere else - Edit

I had been really surprised that Cat Ba had a vegan option, but my excitement was quickly gone. Where should I start? Probably with the fact that this place has the worst service I've ever encountered. First time we arrived there around 2pm, to find the place open, but no one willing to serve us, with one person sleeping in the back. So we'd given it a second chance and arrived later in the evening. We were given the menus by one person, while the order was taken by a random woman who just arrived. Weird. We ordered 3 meals - two of them were supposed to come with a soup that never arrived, third one simply never showed up. After finishing the food, no one was willing to take the payment from us, as there simply was no one around. No one. We sat there for additional 30 minutes, left the money on the table and left the place. I don't expect the service to be like from a 5-star hotel, but I'm a polite person myself and expect this from others. Mutual respect is the key, especially when you choose to eat food prepared by the other person. Worst service ever.
The food itself? Bland. We were served a stew with veggies and some fake meat that was simply okay. Nothing too exciting. I just wished the rice wasn't dry, as it seemed like it had been cooked a day earlier.
I suggest avoiding this place and trying veggie/vegan options with other places on the island, as they're much better and people are nice and grateful.

Pros: Nice outside area

Cons: The entire experience, Flavorless food

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Presumably the worst food in Vietnam - Edit

I can only confirm everything that the "cynical" reviewer said. The food was just incredibly bad and bland. My boyfriend had the set menu which was bad enough. I ordered a mushroom soup which seemed to be exactly what he had but in a bowl.. with about three mushrooms in it. It was literally the worst noodle soup I've come across in Vietnam and it wasn't even cheap. Even the smoothie we ordered was terrible and I don't even know how it's possible to ruin a fruit shake.
I give this two stars just because the women who prepared the food seemed nice and the garden outside is nice. Maybe you want to sit there and order a coke..
Most restaurants in town have veg*options so these might be the better option.

Pros: nice seating outside

Cons: terrible food!

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exactly the same menu as Buddha belly - Edit

Didn't eat here, but went to Buddha belly a few times. Menu and prices are exactly the same. (Same owners I guess?) Buddha belly is just closer and a bit more cozy.

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A touch cynical? - Edit

Cat Ba Island is pretty bereft of decent vegan options, and this seems to be the only 100% vegan place in town, so we gave it a go. And... It was a pretty big disappointment. In total, we ate there 3 times, and the food never changed. The com chay plates were rice with a generous helping of unseasoned, unspiced vegetables (mostly cabbage and potato) with some tofu and some kind of strange doughy product. The noodle soup and mixed vegetables rice were just variations on this theme, with the same veg-tofu combo added to pretty plain carbs. We had the impression they probably buy whatever fresh veg is cheap and add it fairly indiscriminately to whatever is ordered. We also had some sad rice paper rolls, just shredded veg, no herbs, no tofu, no mushrooms. The place clearly does decent business, and judging by the reviews on here, a lot of people really do see it as wonderful, authentic Vietnamese chay food. Personally, I can't help but see a certain amount of cynicism in a place that seems to think vegetarian Western tourists will eat any old stuff if you paint a Buddha on the wall and play meditation music. You'd probably get better value for money trying to find somewhere on the beach front with a few veggie dishes. On the plus side, their smoothies are pretty good, and the atmosphere is nice enough. I'd say avoid, but there's really nowhere else to go on Cat Ba.

Pros: Good smoothies, OK atmosphere

Cons: Bland, unseasoned food, Little or no difference between dishes

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Ngon Ngon! - Edit

Great little place, don't get the large com chay (rice with veggies) when the small costs the same with no discernible difference. Dung the owner was great and even shouted is a beer on the third or so visit, staff otherwise were a little less happy to see us. Probably the only vegan options in the island but enough variety to keep coming back during a short stay. Small com chay all the way...look out for the mozzies!

Pros: only veg dedicated restaurant on the island , owner buys you beers sometimes, cheap and good

Cons: not all staff are so friendly, large come chay is strangely similar size to small, mosquitoes, take repellent or wear long pants!

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Couldn't find it! - Edit

The map marker is on the wrong side of the island!! I thought I'd stop by when I left Cat Ba, and as it's supposedly right by the ferry I thought it'd be convenient. Turns out it is apparently in Cat Ba town, 25km away. Maybe someone else can verify the actual location and update the listing, but I'd suggest copying the address and pasting it into your maps app instead.

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two super happy Brits - Edit

Okay this place is amazing. The whole menu is vegan & is written in English too, literally crazy cheap also! We both ordered the small vegan dish & a side of veggie rice paper rolls. A lovely older lady bought us two mountains of food & massive rice rolls, had no idea what was on the plate, but it was super tasty with a selection of mock meats that were fantastic. As we didn't have enough change (cause it was so cheap!) we over paid & she gave us a hand picked bunch of bananas from their garden, such a babe. Do not miss this place if you visit Cat Ba Island!

Pros: mega cheap, scrummy vegan food, super lovely Vietnamese service

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Easy 5/5 - Edit

The owner runs two veggie joint on the island and this one is 100% vegan. They have quite big outside area and lots of space indoors too. Unlike Buddha's Belly, this restaurant does not have a physical menu. You can get only either small or large portion of daily menu. The portions are massive though and the food is amazing. Lots of different local vegetables, mock meat, rice. This place is definitely worth a visit.

Pros: Portions & quality of food, Staff, Price

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Best food I've ever tasted! - Edit

I am a new vegetarian.

The owner has two spots in Cat Ba, the Buddha Belly and the Buddha Garden. Both fantastic spots the food/service and variety is incredible.

I urge everyone to get down and try this food.


Epic, thankyou

Pros: Variety/flavour/size of portion, Cost/beautiful restaurant , Atmosphere, drinking tea

Cons: None, None, None

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Perfect place - Edit

Buddha garden is lovely! The staff are so welcoming and catering. I learnt a lot from the owner dung, the meditation course is a great day and highly reccomended if you want to enlighten yourself into the buddist religion and soak up cat ba views! The vegan food is delicious and the atmosphere perfect. 5 star bring and tell your friends!!!

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