42 Cau May Street, Sapa
T: (020) 6264 027
A new Sapa dining opening worth checking out in Sapa is The Village Noshery, which offers great coffee and Vietnamese and Western dishes in eclectic, interesting surrounds.
The Village Noshery opened in mid-2012 on Cau May Street and its spacious downstairs area is inviting and stylish, decorated in similar style to the H’mong Mountain Retreat and Sapa Rooms, other properties in the Tet Lifestyle Collection, of which this is a member. Artwork is all original, handcrafted with locally sourced products, by locally skilled artisans. Everywhere you look you see something intriguing and unique, from the table made of bicycle chains to the H’mong costume wall hangings. Nothing matches but it somehow comes together in an appealing display.
The restaurant is open from 06:30 and is a good place to grab breakfast upon arrival in Sapa, with options such as french toast with caramelised bananas, sweet corn fritters, and Vietnamese pho and bun thang. Coffee is good too — and you’ll need that after the train journey: chose from Vietnamese coffee or a more decadent Lavazza. For tea fans, six different options are available in either a large mug or a pot.
Vietnamese dishes and a small selection of Western food are available from 11:30 until 22:00. The Vietnamese “BBQ tapas”, including lemongrass satay sticks or grilled purple aubergine, are a great idea, providing the opportunity to share a selection of small dishes or to eat as an appetiser. For mains choose from wok-fried or claypot dishes or something lighter such as a green papaya salad, pho or a big bowl of noodles.
Make sure you leave room for dessert, as the selection is hard to resist. Even on a cold winters’s night, the chocolate fudge cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream went down very well. Or pop in during the day for a cake and coffee after checking out the display near the front door.
As well as a good selection of teas and coffees, tempting juices — I recommend the Sapa Dream, a blend of mango, banana, coconut juice and lychee — cocktails, spirits, soft drinks and beer are also available.
Staff are all well-trained and friendly and speak reasonable English — this is set to improve as English conversation classes have started everyday. Volunteers are welcome; visit The Village Noshery or Sapa Rooms to register your interest.
The only downside to The Village Noshery is that despite its cosy appearance, it can get a bit chilly, as it’s a big space, so if you’re there in winter sit near a coal burner or ask for one to be bought over before settling in.
If you want to settle in for even longer, check out the guest rooms upstairs. Rooms with two beds and en suite bathrooms are available, with mountain views from the wrap-around balcony.
Disclaimer: The author of this post’s company in Hanoi has been working with Tet Lifestyle Collection on design of its marketing collateral and is friends with the owner. However, as all Travelfish.org researchers do, we paid in full for our stay and all meals at The Village Noshery.
By Sarah Turner
Last updated on 27th January, 2015.