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“Our Favorite Meal of the Trip!”

Vietnamese's Soul Food
Ranked #4 of 69 Restaurants in Cat Ba
Price range: USD 2 - USD 12
Description: Vietnam’s Soul Food is the place where you can find and feel the truly flavor of Vietnamese food. The restaurant was located in Cat Ba island, the island of natural and beauty charming. There are hundreds of dishes that you will be serving in Vietnam’s Soul Food such as traditional food, seafood, CatBa specialties, etc... you should come and have more experience for your Vietnam Adventure.
Restaurant details
Description: Vietnam’s Soul Food is the place where you can find and feel the truly flavor of Vietnamese food. The restaurant was located in Cat Ba island, the island of natural and beauty charming. There are hundreds of dishes that you will be serving in Vietnam’s Soul Food such as traditional food, seafood, CatBa specialties, etc... you should come and have more experience for your Vietnam Adventure.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We had Pho and Bun Cha which we have had elsewhere but this was by far the best. We spent about 250kD / $11USD for the dishes and and several beers.

There are more expensive options on the menu but it doesn't warrant the four money sign logo TripAdvisor gives it.

It's clearly written on the menu that there are no hired employees and as such service during peak hrs will be slow. We went around 9pm and waited 15min to food on the table.

We will be back.

2  Thank adam r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 - 44 of 208 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2018

After 2 weeks in Vietnam the food has been ok, but not brilliant, could be the wrong restaurants, or the wrong choice, so we tried this place for some home cooking.
No starters ok, long wait so had more beers, then the cat and dogs started to come sniffing around, the waiter tried to shoo them off but they kept returning.
The food arrived , my fish was good but the pork was tough with uncooked potato like veg.
The cat now was eating off another table and the dogs fighting for food , jeez get rid of these animals guys !!!!
It's obvious the trip advisor review has attracted many customers to this location and they just cannot cope.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank alguidos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

We arrived around 7pm and got a seat right away. The restaurant was full, most people had no food yet. So probably bad conditions forgetting your food early. On the menu there is a note that there is only one person cooking in the kitchen so waiting is expected. However we did not expect to wait for 2,5 hours.
Sadly they speak nearly no english so the attempt to ask if they already started to prepare our food was useless. In Europe we would have left the restaurant for another option.

After 2,5h our food came. It was good but not exceptional. And definitely not worth the long waiting.

So if you are hungry take another option. If you can wait it might be ok. However there are other good options in cat ba where you don’t need to wait that long.

1  Thank Matthias G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2018 via mobile

I’m not sure who I’m more disappointed with - the restaurant itself or everyone who gave this place a 5 star review. The fact that this is the top rated restaurant in Cat Ba is a travesty.

Why I am I giving this a 1 star?

1. The Wait

We waited two hours from the time our order was taken until we received our first dish, and we watched multiple other dining parties wait even longer. One poor old lady simply resigned to resting her head in her hands on the table, I’m pretty sure she was crying. At least three other couples sat around staring into a hopeless void of hunger, unable to make conversation with each other they sat in glum silence. The menu has a section explaining that they have no hired staff and appreciate everyone’s patience but I think everyone present was asking themselves at which point should we just stand up and walk out.

While you wait nothing is provided, in a country where peanuts or sunflower seeds are basically free this establishment provides neither.

2. The Food

No appetizers or soups tonight - not a big deal - you know, except if you arrive at a restaurant at 7 and get your first piece of food at 9:15.

The first dish we ate was a traditional clay pot fish entree. This was okay but a dish we’ve had better versions of elsewhere on this trip. Second, was mixed vegetables and tofu, this was terrible - a soggy pile of vegetables in a think pool of flavourless cooking oil. Third, grilled octopus in “lemongrass,” again a mushy heap of vegetables floating in oil with a few pieces of octopus and no taste of lemongrass. One would assume that after waiting so long we would be famished and eat whatever was served but this simply wasn’t worth eating.

3. The Staff

I got more attention from the dog who walks in and out of the kitchen then anyone seemingly employed by this establishment.

4. The Price

Our meal was 420,000 in total, less than $20 USD but keep in mind this was the one of the most expensive meals we ate during a month in Vietnam. It’s by no means a lot of money but the experience in total makes the value of this meal as close to zero as possible.

Also for a frame of reference, they sell Pho Bo for 80,000 dong - No where else in Vietnam have I seen this for more than 40k.

In summary, the outdoor restaurant on the bridge, full of locals eating peanuts while they wait for massive seafood hotspots and drink equally massive beers looks like a much better way to spend a night in Cat Ba.

4  Thank Geno C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2018

No, not really. We arrived at 7pm and were hastily showed the disclaimer stating they’re a family run show with no staff and they request our sympathy. Okie doke, let’s order... nothing available on the starters menu, no soups available... ok. Order the slow cooked fish, stir fried pumpkin and a couple of beers. People begin to get turned away at 7.30, and the place is two-thirds full. The beers are getting drunk by everyone faster than they can be refrigerated so expect your second or third one to be at room temperature. Customer attrition rate is high as they give up on their food after waiting two hours, but we persevere. Finally, at 9.30, the first dish turns up. The slow cooked fish is tasty albeit peppered with scales and bones. The stir fried pumpkin is bland in comparison. I appreciate that a family run restaurant can incur a bit of a wait on orders but this place was ridiculous, and their prices are up there with some of the most expensive I’ve seen in Cat Ba. If you’re going to charge restaurant prices, start running the place like one: invest some time in meal prep and hire some staff, otherwise it just smacks of being greedy.

2  Thank DanW1133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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