Travel Report: The White Lotus Restaurant – Hoi An, Vietnam.
May 2018. In addition to its handsome riverfront, gorgeously preserved old town and bustling markets, Hoi An is also a bit of a culinary mecca home to some of Vietnam’s most celebrated dishes. If you’re looking to try out some local chow, head on down to The White Lotus Restaurant & Cooking School on Phan Boi Chau Street.
May 2018. The restaurant is a subsidiary of Project Indochina, an Australian aid organization dedicated to the betterment of Hoi An’s disadvantaged communities. I was given a very warm welcome when I arrived on a boiling hot afternoon. The restaurant was deserted and I got the star treatment from the friendly waitress, who was quick to bring me a glass of icy water and setup a fan next to my table.
May 2018. Their menu features a variety of western dishes in addition to local favorites, but I’d done my research and already knew what I wanted. First up came a plate of White Rose, which was both delicious and beautifully presented. What is it? Chopped shrimp and pork in rice paper dumplings topped with shredded onions 59000 VND (£2/€2.20/$2.55).
May 2018. As good as the White Rose is, it’s really just a lite bite, so for my main I went for another local favorite, Cau Lau. This bowl of tasty pork noodles comes sprinkled with crispy rice crackers, salad and chili sauce for 49000 (£1.60/€1.80/$2.10).
May 2018. I was fortunate enough to have a short chat with restaurant owner and Project Indochina founder Geoff Shaw. He even took time out to pose for this photograph, despite clearly being very busy and a little frustrated with the seemingly endless red tape of his upcoming visa renewal. He came across as a very humble and understated man who goes about his business with a quiet confidence. If you drop by for a bite he’s usually around and is very approachable.
Update: March 2020. Unfortunately, I have since learned that The White Lotus Restaurant is now closed. Their Facebook page is still online, but there’s been no activity since October 2018.
For an overview of the city sights, dive into my other articles on Hoi An.
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