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Phat Truong Tho

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 5 reviews )

184B, Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi, Vietnam,

Managed by the local Buddhists. Large choice of mock meat dishes including vege shrimp. The staff speaks English. The interior is ornate and decorated in the Tibetan Buddhist style, complete with two large gold statues of Buddha. The entire restaurant is run for charity, so all profits are put back into the community. A taxi ride from central Hanoi to this location costs around 72,000 VND (4 US). Please update HappyCow with the correct map marker.

Category: Vietnamese, Tibetan, Buddhist

Reviews (5)

First Review by brettwertz

Unfortunately Disappointing - Edit

I ate lunch here today with two friends. We purposely took a cab rude from Ba Dinh as after 3 weeks in Hanoi, as much as we love Vietnamese food, we have had enough meat to last us a lifetime. We normally all eat mostly vegetarian. Last night we tried to to find another recommended veg place Nang Tam, with no luck, so we had high hopes for today, especially as the restaurant's proceeds go to charity and I am also a Buddhist. We gave the restaurant a try even though it was empty, even though the menu ran to about 10 pages which made us concerned about the freshness of produce. There was no need to worry about that - my vegetable claypot was made up of tiny cubed frozen vegetables oversalted and drowned in soya. My friend M's dish - aubergine stuffed with mushroom was vaguely edible but oily and small; sadly edible is not a word any of us used to describe C's dish of bitter melon and mushroom. We unanimously agreed that it was the worst thing we had ever tasted. Redeeming features: the spring rolls were good so we ordered more of those. C enjoyed his bottled mineral water immensely. It's for charity. But that's clutching at straws.

Pros: For charity, Spring rolls

Cons: Frozen vegetables :(, No other customers, strip lighting,depressing, Not tasty

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Good, but could improve - Edit

I recently went to this place, twice. I wanted to give it a fair chance. The restaurant is very nicely decorated and has large Buddhist displays in the entrance and the back dining area. The young woman who waits tables there is friendly, while the older woman is quite impersonal. The mainstay is faux meat cooked in traditional recipes. It is tasty, but the "meat" is simply different colored textured protein bits. Each "meat" essentially tastes the same with the same slightly chewy texture - of course; the additional ingredients change the overall taste. The first time I ordered the "chicken" with chili and lemon grass. The second time I ordered the "beef" with pepper sauce and also the young corn soup. Again, it was tasty, but nothing special. It is supposedly a charity, so I wanted to like it, but it isn't worth the quality of the food. They also have some strange chant music playing which, frankly, added a creepy feel to the experience. It wasn't bad, but I have definitely had much better and more creative vegetarian food.

Pros: Vegetarian, Buddhist, Variety

Cons: Impersonal service, Nothing special, Creepy music

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Excellent experience - Edit

This is a lovely place in a district I only wish we had had more time to explore! We shared a bowl of their hot and sour soup to start, which was plenty for two and delicious. And the mock lemongrass chicken was crunchy and flavorful. The real treat was the tea that they served us- we ended up buying a large bag to take home with us and now we only wish we had more of it!

This place is definitely worth the trip, especially since it is charity driven and the spiritual and compassionate practice of buddhism is a welcomed respite to the animal meat-heavy restaurants that populate the city. The only downside was the overhead lighting which was flourescent and didn't lend itself to any sort of 'mood lighting'!

But we only wish we could have had more time to return, so enjoy :)

Pros: Charity, Delicious food, The tea!!

Cons: Overhead lighting

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Excited but disappointed - Edit

Went here with positive expectations based on the previous review. The resto is clean and friendly. We showed up and they had no mock beef, and surprisingly, out of tofu and no hot pots. Not sure how that happens, but it did.

At any rate, the mock chicken was flavourful (lemongrass and chilli was a nice combo), so were the veggies and rolls, but the mock seafood was skipped over.

Overall a decent meal, but doubtful we'd go back. Happy to have paid the price we did (dinner for two was 180,000) knowing it was going to charity.

Pros: Interesting menu, Clean, Friendly staff

Cons: Slow service, Missing key menu items, Diatance from cbd

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Best of the best for veg dining in Hanoi - Edit

Phat Truong Tho is the Hanoi vegetarian dream. The restaurant is decorated in traditional Tibetan Buddhist style, with large gold statues of Buddha and amazing colors throughout. It is family run, and the youngest of the family (in her 20s) speaks excellent English. There are many vegan options, the service is quick and attentive, and everything I have ate here is delicious. I always come here when I am in Hanoi on business.

Also, all proceeds from the restaurant go to charity--it is a non-profit restaurant and spiritual center. They serve "Lau," the famous hot pot that is so popular in Vietnam (but here, you can have it made vegan!) It seems that many Americans have overlooked this restaurant, so be sure to stop in if you come to Hanoi. It is located near West Lake so it is about a 72,000 VND ($3-$4 USD) taxi ride from the center of the city, but WELL WORTH IT. Also, they have a little cat that roams around the restaurant sometimes.

If you want the best veg dining that Hanoi has to offer, you simply must head to Phat Truong Tho.

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