Alpaca Homestyle Cafe, Nha Trang: A quirky little cafe with heart and soul
Alpaca Homestyle Cafe, Nha Trang, Vietnam - Review
Cuisine: Italian and Mediterranean
Location: Nha Trang
Style Points: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
A short walk away from the hustle and bustle of the Nha Trang beachside, Alpaca Homestyle Cafe is a super cute and inviting space with an outside area filled with leafy green plants and white-painted wicker furniture. The cafe was set up two years ago and due to growing popularity the cafe recently relocated to this area where there’s more space to cater for the growing number of tourists eager to visit the establishment.
The ground floor has a couple of tables but it’s best to go upstairs where there’s a larger seating area with much bigger tables. As you go upstairs you are greeted with various alpaca drawings and artwork which gives the place a real quirky feel. The walls upstairs are quite bare and could do with a few more pieces of unusual artwork but perhaps it’s still a work in progress. I did, however, love the selection of wicker, wooden and fabric chairs accompanying the tables in no particular order. We sat by the window opposite a pulley-operated dumbwaiter that further added to the cafe’s peculiar style. There’s also a table on the balcony which offers great views of the bustling street but it was a little too hot to spend lunch outside.
We were presented with a cute little box filled with various photo menus of the many food and beverage items they serve. I really like searching through the box and seeing the stylised photos of the dishes. The menu offers a good range of Mexican and Italian dishes as well as other Meditteranean fair includings lots of seafood.
We decided to start with the Hummus with Sesame Oil. The hummus had a nice flavour of sesame but I felt it overpowered the chickpea flavour a little too much and felt more like hummus by association rather than hummus in its own right. The dish was served with pickles, a small salad and some bread on the side which all tasted nice and gave more texture to the dish but overall I was a tad disappointed with the starter.
Not to worry as we had the main courses next. For my main course I ordered the Chicken Burrito and my husband ordered the Spaghetti with Meatballs. The burrito was fully loaded and pretty massive in size. It was filled with chicken breast, rice, black beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes, red onion, cheese, and sour cream and a small salad on the side. It was quite delicious and I tried my hardest to finish but couldn’t quite do it! I would say it perhaps could’ve done with some salsa either inside or on the side as it was a little dry in places.
The spaghetti was of a reasonable portion size and there was a good amount of pork meatballs in the dish. My husband said it was size but a little dry due to a lack of spaghetti sauce which also needed a little more seasoning. The meatballs themselves were very nice though and the spaghetti was cooked perfectly but the sauce was lacking and it’s hard to overcome when there’s so few components in a dish.
Along with our lunch we had some homemade Strawberry Lemonade which was decorated with slices of strawberry and looked as well as tasted of summer!
Dessert was the highlight of the meal for me, which was homemade Blueberry Cheesecake. The cheesecake was rich in flavour and incredibly moreish. If cheesecakes could talk I hope this one was saying ‘eat me!’ because I devoured the lot without any remorse. The cheesecake was a perfect combination of salty, sweet, and malty, with a wonderfully fresh and not too sweet blueberry compote drizzled on top. A bit of a hit and miss at times, the dessert was the ace up the sleeve and really was triumph.
The Hummus with Sesame Oil was 75,000 Dong (£2.59/$3.24,) the Chicken Burrito was 110,000 Dong (£3.80/$4.76,) the Spaghetti with Meatballs was 115,000 Dong (£3.97/$4.97,) the Blueberry Cheesecake was 60,000 Dong (£2.07/$2.59,) and the Strawberry Lemonade was 110,000 Dong (for 2- £3.80/$4.76.) In total, our lunch for two cost 470,000 Dong or £16.24/$20.32** Let’s be honest, for pretty a three course lunch, that is incredibly cheap and reflects the fact that you can still travel around Vietnam on a shoestring budget and still be able to eat well for little.
**We also had a couple of coffees but couldn’t find the price so factor in a couple of pounds or dollars for this.
I really loved the comfy and relaxed vibe of Alpaca Homestyle Cafe. It’s a shame though that the food didn’t quite live up to the expectations but perhaps there are still some teething problems from the recent relocation to the new establishment. Or it might just have been an off day for the chef. In any case, it’s still a nice place to grab a homemade lemonade or fresh juice and spend some time away from the bus beach scene. The staff are really friendly and easy to talk too and it’s a lovely open and bright space.
Book your table at Alpaca Homestay Cafe in Nha Trang.
Address: 10/1B Nguyễn Thiện Thuật, Lộc Thọ, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
Special thanks to Alpaca for their hospitality!