This year, for the first time in about a decade, I was lucky enough to spend the festive season with my family, much of it in Nha Trang a coastal resort city in south, central Vietnam.
Here is a round up of the best places we found to eat during our time there.
One of Nha Trangs most well established restaurants, Lanterns is a cookery school, as well as a restaurant, and supports local schools and orphanages with food donations and student scholarship programs to families who might otherwise struggle to attend school.
They offer a wide selection of set menus, perfect for sharing with a group, starting from around 140,000 VND ($6 pp)
We shared appetisers of crispy vegetable spring rolls, Vietnamese style rice paper rolls and Bánh xèo (a turmeric rice flour and coconut pancake filled with shrimps, pork, squid & beansprouts that is eaten with fresh herbs and salad leaves in rice paper wraps) after which we ordered a couple of Vietnamese curries (fairly uninspiring) and a delicious Pork & Shrimp BBQ that we cooked ourselves at the table.
Expect to spend around $12-$15 a head with drinks
A great recommendation from the team at The Shack surf bar, we had a really enjoyable lunch at The Sunshine Bar, and it would also be a fun place for sunset drinks & bar snacks.
A tiny little riverside bar, located down a series of winding streets next to the Thap Ba Ponagar temple, Sunshine bar offers a selection of Japanese dishes such as Chicken Karaage, Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki and more.
We had a few beers and shared some Edamame, Tuna Skewers, Takoyaki, Fried Shrimp and fried Chicken and spent around $6 a head.
I’m not sure where Lonely Planet gets the impression that Yens is “atmospheric” as it is a very simple, plainly decorated restaurant, bar a few pretty hanging lanterns, but service was indeed pleasant and efficient, and the team spoke some of the best English we experienced in Nha Trang.
Once again, we shared appetisers of spring rolls (both fried and fresh) after which I enjoyed one of the best Bánh xèo of the trip. Its worth noting that Yens has an excellent selection of vegetarian dishes (as well as a huge menu all round, with dishes from all over Vietnam)
Set Menus are available for groups of 4 up and start at around $8 pp Expect to spend around $10 – $15 a head with drinks.
We were actually staying at the pretty Mia Beach resort, some 25 minutes drive from Nha Trang itself, and as such, we enjoyed many of our meals there.
Whether you are a guest or not, I would certainly recommend enjoying dinner or lunch at the hotels Sandals restaurant or dim sum and cocktails in the bar as we were very impressed with their high standards of service, as well as their interesting menus.All this comes at a price of course, expect to spend $20+ per person with moderate alcohol, but its definitely worth it for a treat.