Sunday, 01/10/2023 10:22

Vibrant VeJo adds to city's veggie options

The restaurant is nestled in the tight-knit Old Quarter where every inch equals a tael of gold.

by Nguyễn Mỹ Hà

Tucked away on the small street of Bát Đàn in the Old Quarter, VeJo grew from a tiny fine dining option to address health-conscious diners.

Opening three years ago, VeJo defines its clientele as young office workers, who demand their food be clearly and certified sourced, grown, and cooked. 

VeJo moon cakes provide not only less sugar, but more healthy nuts. 

On its opening day three years ago, several garden owners came down to the Old Quarter from farms up in Sơn La Province, while mushroom farmers presented their methods to grow fungus from rice straw and reduce the amount of straw being burned in fields in the city's suburbs. Even the nuts, cashew nuts in particular, have been sourced from the orchards with the oldest trees in Bình Phước Province, which bring the world's best cashew nuts.  

This year, VeJo has also joined the exciting, if somewhat crowded, market for moon cake goodies. Made from cashew nuts, sesame grains and watermelon, pumpkin and lotus seeds, raisins, sweetened gourds and orange peel candies, their moon cakes provide not only less sugar, but more healthy nuts. 

The veggie spring rolls are the restaurant's signature dish.

"At VeJo, our team works towards convincing meat eaters that going veggie is not that hard," Thái Thanh Thủy, the owner of Vejo, told Việt Nam News.

"Two concerns of major meat eaters can be that vegan food does not taste delicious, and you cannot be full having only vegetables and nuts."

But Thủy has set out to challenge such preconceptions from the outsets, and said she met many diners, who came in with plenty of doubts, yet after dining at VeJo were left fulfilled and delighted with the excellent food. 

A delicious egg tart for dessert. VNS Photos Mỹ Hà

When you try VeJo for the first time, it's wise to try the set menu, as it has all the best-selling options, but bite-size. If they're good, you can definitely order more next time, and if they're not to your liking, it won't hurt your wallet.

For a set tasting menu of 10 dishes, including soup and main course at VNĐ150,000, you will be full and well-nourished.  

For starters, you have a small bowl of buckwheat soup, paired with a little tortilla finger food. Next comes a set of three little rolls: spring, summer and crispy angel hair rolls, which are great for roll-lovers.

A set of three little patties comes next, of which it is hard to finish all three. A salad can help accompany both small sets.

The main course can be a five-colour rice dish, or ramen for noodle fans. The glass noodle salad is also a great alternative for its sour-sweet flavours, and the coolness of the noodles. 

For dessert, a beautiful egg tart is the perfect end to the meal, and you can continue with healthy drinks, with anything from golden rice to a variety of other detox options. 

On hot days, a cold sweet soup with beans or chickpeas can cool you down a little bit. 

A set tasting menu of 10 dishes, including soup and main course of Vejo.

For those of you who want to stock up on dried mixed nuts and snacks, try the crushed salted sesame and peanut, or the shredded mushroom cotton with roasted seaweed; ready packed bottles are also available. 

At VeJo, there are healthy eating and living events throughout the month. Do check out the fan page for all the latest info. Well-located in the heart of the Old Quarter, VeJo offers the best dishes made with fresh ingredients from certified local farms.

VeJo has made it their mission for meat eaters to add vegetables to their diet, at least for a meal or two a week, and to go from there.

"Đầu xuôi đuôi lọt" as the Vietnamese saying goes, if the head can get through, so will the tail. VNS

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