Tiem Chay Au Lac

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 8 reviews )

15 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat, Vietnam

Offers a mockmeat buffet that is hot in the early morning but usually served cold later on, though new dishes are cooked throughout the day Has also an a la carte menu in English and food is made-to-order. Open Mon-Sun 6:00am-12:00pm, 4:00pm-8:30pm.

Categories: Buffet, Vietnamese

8 Reviews

First Review by rach

Good Local Option - Edit

One of the few Buddhist 'com chay' eateries that hasn't tried to rip us off. A plate of rice with dishes and complementary soup costs 25 K, as does a noodle soup. Yummy and friendly.

Updated from previous review on 2016-12-21

Pros: decent prices, good food, friendly service

Cons: no English menu, charging 10K for rice paper rolls a bit rich

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Too much MSG/salt/oil, but a good place to buy mock meat - Edit

We're living in Da Lat for more than one year and checked every vegan cafe/restaurant here.

This one is a nice and cheap place, however ask about prices for everything before ordering it - some mock meat can be surprisingly expensive (but the price is always the same).

But we will never eat here, only buy some non-cooked soy mock meat (delicious and feels good, they're selling vegan big "sausages" for about 100k VND for ~0.8 kg, can be stored in freezer for weeks).

Unfortunately, they're cooking with a ridiculous amount of MSG, salt and cheap palm oil. Every time eating here we fell very bad for 1-2 days, thirst is very high and headache is impossible.


Updated from previous review on 2016-10-07

Pros: cheap good mock-meat (if NOT cooked!)

Cons: Too much MSG and salt = thirst & headache, Too much palm oil

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fine fast food - Edit

We first sat down at a table with a puddle of water underneath with wadded wet napkins all over the floor. We moved to a larger table which maybe annoyed the waitress because she came and stood over our shoulder, pointing impatiently at the menu. There were about six noodle soups and I was trying to work out the difference between them. As it turns out, there is none, apart from the noodles. My partner and I ordered two soups that looked totally different in the photos but both came with the same single fried wonton and three slices of fake processed meat. The broth was good and the soup came with all the standard trimmings of fresh lettuce, herbs, and other greens, fresh lime and chilli. We also shared a stuffed veggie bun which was steamed in the photo but deep fried in reality. No complains from us. It was tasty even if it was served cold. The buffet didn't look at all appealing to me. Lots of fake meats but maybe only two vegetable dishes. Better buffet offerings at the stalls on the second floor of the central market.

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Thieves - Edit

It's real pity because the food is quite good but they try to rip tourists off. First of all, when you come in they give you an English menu really fast. Bad thinking for them because the Vietnamese wording is still on it. Thus you can compare with the Vietnamese price-board behind the counter and find out that they try to charge you 5000 VND more on everything. Not much but still a no-go I think.

Then we had a dispute over the "Com" we ordered. It's supposed to cost 25000 but we had a bit of extra stuff put on it and the price went up to 40000. Quite alot more considering it wasn't that much more and considering for 10000 more we could have simply ordered a second portion. fair enough, we tolerated that. When we came the next day, we loaded stuff on our plate and even though it was much less than the day before, they still tried to charge us 40000 again. After some discussion and no backing down we just left. This was after we had eaten there 3 times in two days.
I really don't understand why, because if they would have been honest we would have definitely gone there a few more times during our stay in Da Lat and they would have made more money out of us. Well if it's more important for them to rip off tourists instead of winning them as customers, that's really their problem.
Something you notice about these small restaurants is that as soon as they're named in renowned travel guides, they start to go rotten.

Pros: Good food

Cons: dishonest thieves

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Decent - Edit

My husband and I each ordered a combo plate (40k each) and got to pick which dishes we wanted to try. Most of them were good, but none blew me away. There are a lot of different types of fake meat. The spring rolls, both fresh and fried, were very tasty.

We also tried another dish I wouldn't recommend - I'm not sure what it's called, so I'll try to explain it. There are small paper cups (like medium-sized ice cream cups) with a dense substance inside that looks kind of like a flecked cream of wheat. It has a very strong fermented flavor and seems like it's probably an acquired taste that a lot of westerners might not like.

In the back of the store, there are a number of interesting vegetarian products, including things like vegetarian beef, but also pig ear, liver, gizzard, etc. They also sell cookies, savory rice cakes, instant noodles, fake meat floss, pates, etc. We didn't end up buying any of the products because we were running out of room in our luggage, but I'm sure the prices were very good.

Pros: Cheap, Many different choices, Great little store in back

Cons: Lacks ambience, TV playing soap operas

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good eggplant, noodle soup & bitter greens - Edit

You don't need to have mock meat stuff here. Very little if any English spoken in these 2 restaurants so we pointed out a bunch of dishes, including eggplant, potato, green beans, etc, all very nice. Also I recommend ordering the noodle soup (first thing on the menu) which has a bit of faux flesh you can remove, then the noodle soup is good and comes with a variety of bitter greens you dip into the hot broth. Delicious!

Pros: non-smoking, healthy, menu in English

Cons: no English spoken by staff

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Mock Meat Galore - Edit

This place was fairly good standard compared to the general vegetarian mock meat restaurants Ive sampled in Vietnam, but it really depends how much of this mock meat you can handle (I think Im coming to the end of my limit after spending a month here). The roast chicken was tasty, the ham was ok. We also ordered a plate of vegies - which weren't great and came out in slimey chinese style sauce (stick with the mock meats which seem to be their speciality). I think they actually brought us an extra dish that we didnt order (or charge us for) which was rice and a variety of different mock meats/ vegies/ pickles which was also tasty. All dishes are reasonably priced around 20,000 dong.

Its not too far from the backpacker accomodation area, but only worth seeking out if you feel your limited with other vegie restaurant choices and feel you can handle more mock meat.

Pros: Tasty mock meats, good $, Short walk to get there, Locals eat there

Cons: Lacks ambiance, Heavy mock meat menu

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Pleasantly surprised - Edit

It's a small place that serves the usual buddhist mock-meat buffet which is cold. However, they also have a menu and cook up hot dishes. I was surprised at how nice the meals were. I liked; the veg.fried rice, stir fried green vegetables, stir fried mixed vegetables and the roast mock ham. I'm not usually a fan of the mock meat stuff but this 'ham' was really addictive (but have it with something else as it is a dry dish). They did other mock meats including 'mock fish bladder soup, but I didn't try them.
Dalat grows vegetables for export, so what you get here is very fresh.

Pros: cheap, friendly staff, clean

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