Aug 28 2013

Red Camelia


Our tour guide Pet recommended we go to Red Camilia for dinner as she said this place served nice traditional Vietnamese food (and we later found out she knew the owner who was always telling her off that not enough of her tourists/ clients go there). Red Camilia is located on the main tourist street in Sapa, the Cau May street, and from the outside looks quite nice with a Vietnamese flag hanging outside and with a yellow sign. When we came in, we were eagerly greeted and seated by the window. Also this place was somewhat busy, only 1/3 full, but that is fuller than we had seen in any other restaurant in Sapa. 


We wanted to try the traditional Vietnamese rice wine that all the men drink here, so we ordered 2 glasses of this, and it tasted very similar to vodka, at least for me, as it was so strong and throat burning and just difficult to drink on it’s own, which is how we had it. The menu featured Western dishes, as well as Vietnamese dishes and a section on traditional dishes from Sapa, and we chose all our dishes from this section. 


I really wanted to try a dish with Sapa mushrooms, as the Sapa mushrooms seemed to feature a lot in different dishes, so I thought they were quite traditional and I ordered grilled Chamois meat, which is a mountain goat, with Sapa Mushrooms (Son duong xao hanh nam) and my boyfriend wanted some sort of a pork dish, so he had fried wild pork with chilli and lemongrass (Lon rung xao xa ot). We also ordered sautéed spinach with garlic (Rau muong xao toi). I wanted a small portion of spinach, and I had asked the waiter if we could have a smaller portion, but he said the portion on the menu was small, and he clearly lied, as there was a lot of spinach that arrived with a side portion of rice. I liked the spinach with garlic, and the spinach was not like European spinach, but more like Asian greens, which were delicious. My boyfriend did not get pork with chilli and lemonrass it seemed more like pork with some carrots and onions, and I could not really taste any lemongrass and there was no sight of chilli. I did tell my boyfriend to say something to the waiters about this, but he did enjoy the pork dish that he got and was not too bothered about changing it. 


My goat with Sapa mushrooms looked just like my boyfriends pork dish when looking at it, as the meat was similarly cut (it felt different, but not that different to beef), and it also had a lot of carrots and onions, so it almost seemed like they prepare every dish in the same way. I did enjoy the mushrooms though; they were delicious and reminded a bit of porcini mushrooms. 


Overall despite the similar dishes we got, that did not resemble what we had ordered, we had quite a nice dinner in Red Camelia. 


Date: 28/ 08/ 13

Location: Sapa, Vietnam

Price for 2 people with 2 rice wines: VND 315,000 (£9.6) and I left 20,000 service charge


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Red Camelia
30 Cau May Street
Red Camelia Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2