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Oct 30, 2015

Local hải sản (seafood) restaurant puts others to shame...

Added note, 8 December 2015: Patronize this restaurant at your own peril. Last night, for the second consecutive visit, about 60% of the crab claws were "OLD". By that, I mean that they tasted ammonia-ish and were inedible.

I spit the first one out and started sniffing each before eating it. In the west, they would've gone back after the first one but, remember... I live in Việt Nam—the land of no returns or refunds. The second bad one went on the table. When I hit the third bad claw, I called the owner over and told her via Google Translate:

She shot me about two sentences of something I didn't understand and went back to work, leaving the plate of claws in front of me. I'm pretty sure she told me that she didn't care... or similar. I then put on my jacket and helmet, walked to where she was cooking, showed her a second screen:

paid the 65,000 ($3) I owed (it's Việt Nam!), and left.

She knows I'm a good customer because she greets me every time with a warm smile and "Xin Chao" (Hello) and, while I am getting seated, she brings over the bag of kitten food that I bought (third one) for her two kittens that were previously surviving on scraps, and feeds them. Other customers arrive and she might acknowledge them with a nod.

Yet she does nothing to keep me as a customer... like replace the bad claws with good or, what a concept, replace the whole damn plate!

Patronize her at your own peril.

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This little restaurant merits its own post...

When you come to Đà Lạt, you will have many choices of restaurants, some good, some horrendous, and some outstanding. In this way it's like most other places that aren't England.

In previous posts, I wrote about some of my favorites. For most of those listed in TripAdvisor's database, I wrote reviews. Ninety percent of the restaurants that the relatively non-affluent locals frequent are not in TA, and well-behaved foreigners are welcome at all of them—at least that's my experience; less so at some of the even more numerous cafés.

A couple months ago, My (pronounced "me") introduced me (yes, I know) to another place:

  1. In which I'm always the only foreigner
  2. Owned by a friend of hers
A daytime shot so you know what you're looking for at night
Which is this...
this...
And especially this!
We both highly recommend the crab (cua) claws... and the snails (ốc). Especially the cua! It's somehow fresher and more firm than what you get in a similar restaurant in Saigon and HALF the price. The other night we each had a bowl of crab claws (she like them with more spice that I, the guy who used to carry hot sauce everywhere he went, do) and shared a bowl of clams in lemongrass broth, and a few Bò Húc (Red Bull).
At this point, we're already well-into the cua...
The total bill was 200,000 VND (US$9) and we were FULL!

Here's the location on Google maps:

By the time you get to Dalat, you will probably already know about VN's "freeform" street number assignations. It's at the high point on that road and on the right as you come from town... you'll find it.

Enjoy!

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