La Velvet - Nha Trang's BEST restaurant?
La Velvet, Nha Trang - Restaurant Review
Location: Nha Trang
Style Points: 4/5
Having been in South East Asia for a few weeks and having eaten a vast assortment of local dishes, I was definitely craving some familiar Western dishes by the time I got to Nha Trang. Don’t get me wrong, I love trying new dishes and cuisines but there does come a time when you crave those foods that remind you of home. La Velvet is a restaurant with a menu of European dishes and ingredients that certainly made me think of home. The restaurant is located a little further inland and away from the main streets around the beach and is quite unassuming as you have to walk up a small flight of stairs above a little shop to get to it.
Once inside, you immediately notice how small the restaurant is but also how gorgeous and modern it looks without the need for over the top or unnecessary furnishings. Fresh flowers adorn a handful of tables that overlook a large window that looks out into the street below. The lighting is made out of beautiful vintage looking bird-cages and the walls are painted white to make the whole place feel both bright and vibrant. It’s a simple design but the place really is quite beautiful and cosy, complete with a cool breeze coming through the large window-cum-balcony to make you feel relaxed and homely.
The menu is small-ish with a selection of hot and cold snacks, soup and pasta dishes, and a few meat main dishes. However, the petit menu makes complete sense once you see how small the kitchen is! We opted for the Bruschetta to start which was full of Italian flavours and definitely not your standard bruschetta with a few chopped tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. It had a lovely pesto sauce alongside the cherry tomatoes and olive oil as well as fresh basil and sliced chili which really gave it a nice kick to bring alive your tastebuds. The plating of the starter was also beautiful and the dishes are a stunning turquoise colour that gives the whole table a nice splash of vibrant colour.
With our starter we had some Homemade Passion Fruit Lemonade which tasted absolutely divine and may well be the best drink I had in the whole of Vietnam (apart from the fresh coconut juice!)
Following our palette cleansing Bruschetta, we opted for a couple of dishes that seemed a little daring and quirky - Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce and Ostrich with Red Wine Sauce. The salmon, which comes with choice of homemade potatoes or grilled vegetables, was cooked perfectly and the passion fruit sauce actually went really well with the fish and was not as tart as I expected it to be. The salad that accompanied it had a lovely creamy dressing and was full of crunchy veg like red cabbage, lettuce and cucumbers to give the dish some more texture and bite alongside the soft salmon and homemade potatoes, which were also very tasty.
The ostrich, we were surprised to learn, is brought in fresh from an ostrich farm in Nha Trang and is quite a popular dish in the region. My husband nor I had ever tried ostrich before and we were quite excited. As first glance it looks like medium rare steak but the taste is like a cross between lamb rump and lean beef. It’s a familiar yet unique flavour at the same time and I really enjoyed it. Ostrich is also surprisingly low in fat and cholesterol, and high in calcium, protein and iron, so it’s a great alternative meat to have if you can find it. As it’s a red meat, it worked very well with the red wine sauce of which I felt the dish could have done with a little more. It was a great dish and we will definitely be eating ostrich again in the future without hesitation.
To finish our lovely lunch, there was a choice of either a cheesecake or strawberry soup. Finding that strawberry and soup weren’t a combination we were quite ready to try, we opted for the Passion Fruit Cheesecake, which was made fresh that morning. Again, the plating was masterful and artistic, with cut strawberries and sprigs of mint dotted around the plate with drizzles of strawberry sauce over the vibrant slice of cheesecake. It was a very nice cheesecake, with tartness coming from the passion fruit top that was cut through by the sweet strawberry sauce and finished with a mellow chocolate note coming from the Oreo style cheesecake base.
The Bruschetta was 55,000 Dong (Around £1.80 or $2.40,) the Salmon was 235,000 Dong (£8 or $10,) the Ostrich was 210,000 (£7.20 or $9,) and the Cheesecake was 60,000 Dong (£2 or $2.50.) The 1 litre of Passion Fruit Lemonade was 98,000 Dong (£3.35 or $4.20.) Overall, the price of our meal for two was 658,000 Dong or £22.51/$28.30. Considering we had both salmon and ostrich this is a steal of a price and
Beautifully plated and tasty food, unassuming charm with a chic/boutique feel, La Velvet is a little gem that is yet to stand out amongst the many restaurants in Nha Trang. Having only been operating for a year and a half, word of mouth and TripAdvisor reviews will undoubtedly push this restaurant to the top of many ‘must visit’ restaurants lists. I just hope it doesn’t lose the characteristics that make it standout without the need for gimmicks or pizzazz.
Book your table at La Velvet, Nha Trang.
Address: 60b Hùng Vương, Lộc Thọ, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
Special thanks to La Velvet for their hospitality!