Tag Archives: vietnam

Seastar (Phu Quoc, Vietnam)


Seastar is a resort on Long Beach about a 10-minute walk north along the beach from Mai House. They have a beachfront restaurant with open air seating and a good-sized Vietnamese menu. They also serve the best chili lemongrass shrimp I’ve ever had. We discovered it on our first night in Phu Quoc, and returned just almost every day for another hit. Yesterday we discovered you can order it on top of bun noodles instead of rice, which makes the arrangement very much like Tamarind Tree’s chili-lemongrass chicken bun.

Tonight we squeezed in a second 1/2-dinner just so that we could savor the chili lemongrass shrimp as our last bite of Phu Quoc (never mind that we had eaten at Seastar today already for lunch).

The rest of the food we had at Seastar was enjoyable, though not as mind-blowing. Salads were very fresh, with a spicy fish-sauce and lime dressing. The Seastar spring rolls were crispy and well-textured, though the seafood inside didn’t have much in the way of additional flavor.

Overall, Seastar has a nice view, good prices, friendly wait staff, and chili-lemongrass shrimp to die for. If you’re on Phu Quoc Island, take a stroll along the beach and check it out!

Chili lemongrass shrimp
Chili lemongrass shrimp from heaven

Papaya salad with seafood
Papaya salad with seafood

Practicing shrimp de-tailing
I had many chances to practice my shrimp de-tailing technique: spear bottom with fork, hold spoon face down, and wedge under the tail. Pull out tasty morsel.

Beach view
View from the restaurant. We never saw anyone actually playing volleyball here.

Ba Keo, 7 ward, Tran Hung Dao Street
Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
+84 (0)77-3982-161

Lunch, Dinner

Mai House Restaurant (Phu Quoc, Vietnam)


In addition to offering fabulous lodging and a private beach, Mai House also  boasts one of the better restaurants on this stretch of the island. Along with the included breakfasts, we’ve had a few dinners here while overlooking the amazing sunsets.

Mai House is run by a French expatriate, but the menu is distinctly Vietnamese. Our favorite dish (which we had 3 times) was the pomelo salad. Sweet, tart, and spicy with fresh pomelo, lime juice, shrimp and a generous topping of sesame seeds. We also liked the fish in lot leaves, a variation of the classic beef in lot leaves that incorporated blackened fresh fish into a Vietnamese dolma.

Overall, we enjoyed every dish that we ordered at Mai House, including a few memorable dishes. Good food and a stunning view, it’s hard to ask for more!

Pomelo salad
Awesome pomelo salad – we ordered ours sans pork

Black cod in lot leaves
Fish in lot leaves

Tuna in clay pot
Tuna in clay pot – caramelized and tender

Shrimp curry
Goa-style shrimp curry. While not much to look at, it was so tasty I ordered it twice!

Mai House Restaurant
Long Beach
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
+84 (0)918123796

Daily: Lunch, Dinner

Romy’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar (Nha Trang, Vietnam)


We’ve been on the road for 3.5 weeks now and I have yet to find decent-looking ice cream. To be fair, there’s a Fanny’s in Hanoi, but the one day we were nearby we were hankering for a pear tart instead.

Our first night in Nha Trang, we stopped at Romy’s and checked out their ice cream case. Good visuals, so we had a sample of passion fruit and coconut. Both tastes were good, and we walked out with a scoop of coconut. It was very creamy, with fresh coconut and not too much sugar.

Ice cream case
Ice cream on display, just how I like it

Romy’s is named after the owner, Fridtjof Rommeley, a German chef who moved to Nha Trang after running a creamery in Germany for 16 years. He’s done a good job of bringing European skill to local flavors. There were amazing-looking sundaes filled with local tropical fruits and three scoops of ice cream. As we ate kilos of fruit on the beach, the most we indulged at Romy’s was a double scoop of mango and chocolate:

Enjoying a double scoop of mango and chocolate

Over the course of our five nights in Nha Trang we managed to at least get a free sample of just about every flavor in the case. My favorite two standouts were almond (I’d never had almond ice cream before but I’m definitely making some with almond milk when we’ve back in Seattle), and coconut. Make Romy’s a part of your Vietnam beach experience, the ice cream will make you happy. 🙂

Romy’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar
1C Biet Thu St
Nha Trang, Vietnam
+84 (058) 3527-677

Daily: 9AM-11PM