Hoi An Trip / Day 4 / Lunch At “Secret Garden”


The 4th day, the last day for us, in Hoi An.  Up to this day, we had lunch at the hotel every day because it was really hot outside during the day although not so bad in the shade.  My sister was going to take a flight to Japan around midnight and we had to leave our hotel around 9.00pm, so we decided to have dinner at the hotel so that we didn’t have to worry about the time, and go out for lunch.


Whenever we went out up to this day, it was just about cool enough to walk, it felt about the same as it feels when it’s the coolest time in Singapore but we didn’t feel like walking in the heat during the day.  From my experience in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min you have to be very careful with taking a taxi because you need to negotiate the fare, some of them take a long way to get more money from you, some of them cheat with the change, etc, so I wasn’t keen to take a taxi. However, I don’t know if Hoi An is different or in the last 8 years or so things have got better but in Hoi An they had organised proper taxis.  The drivers wore uniforms, they had meters and as far as I knew they didn’t try to cheat.  It was only about 5 minutes’ ride so the fare was less than US$1, which probably is a lot of money in Vietnam but very inexpensive for us.  I wished we took taxies earlier!  Still, walking was fun, too, so I didn’t mind that much but I was glad we were able to take a taxi during the day.

ランチは「Secret Garden」というレストランに行きました。お友達もお勧めでしたし、ガイドブックにも載っています。古い町並みの中にあるのでタクシーはその外で降りて、数分だけ歩きます。

We decided to go to “Secret Garden”, which was recommended by a friend of mine and is in many guide books.  No car can go into the centre of the old town so the driver dropped us of outside of the old town and we walked a couple of minutes to the restaurant.


Walls painted in yellow is very Hoi An.  I tried to find out why they paint them in this yellow but couldn’t find out a definite reason.  Some said it’s a symbol of the Royals, others said it goes well with this type of climate, but I don’t know what is the real reason.  Anyway, they looked very nice.



It was a little off from the main part of the old town, some were ordinary houses and some were a cafe or restaurant.






I think these are the noodles used for Cao Lau.





Are these rice paper?



The gate of “Secret Garden”.  It did give you an impression of a hidden restaurant with lots of green.











I saw some couple / family with a private tour guide.  This group was an elderly couple with their daughter, I guess.  It looked like they get a course lunch and were served so many dishes, I’m sure they left a lot.









My sister said she wanted to try a dish that you wrap pork with some other things in rice paper so we ordered one that looked like it but it was different, they came already wrapped.  We enjoyed them anyway.



We also ordered Cao Lau.  We had one on the day before but it was very small and we shared one small bowl.  The pork slices on top of the noodles were very tender and tasty here, too.  The sauce wasn’t as strong as the one at “Ly”, we felt it needed more ‘oomph’.  The noodles were different, too.  I think you can see from the photo, the noodles had very rough texture, which I guess is so the sauce can cling better.  We preferred the Cao Lau in “Ly”.



We also ordered Chicken Rice as we’d liked the one we had on the food tour but the one on the food tour was nicer, probably because their rice was more seasoned, it had more herbs and the green papaya added extra crunchy texture.  This was enjoyable enough, though.





We also had a dessert to share.  The menu said it was their version of Coco Banana, but I don’t know what Coco Banana is supposed to be.  My guess is it’s one of che that you see often, warm coconut milk with banana and tapioca inside.  This one was cold but also had coconut milk and banana.  The banana was a little sour rather than sweet.  I’m guessing the green sauce is Pandan Leaf sauce, but fortunately it didn’t have much taste of Pandan leaf (which I dislike).





During the meal we shared a bottle of sparkling water and I think my sister had coffee afterwards.  I cannot remember how much it was exactly but I have a feeling it was about US$20 or so.  Outside of the hotel, meals were quite inexpensive even at a high class restaurant.




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