Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant opens in Dieppe
Sixty-two year old Hanh Nguyen wasn’t able to stay retired for long.
The former owner and cook at Chan’s House, the Chinese food buffet in Dieppe that closed last summer, has opened up a new restaurant on Champlain Street.
“I closed my Chan’s House restaurant (and) I decided to retire, but I need to help the people,” said Nguyen, adding that she found retirement a little boring and was happy to go back to work.
This time around, Nguyen is cooking the food she personally loves to eat — vegetarian Vietnamese dishes along with a small selection of Chinese and Thai meals.
Called Veggie, the restaurant opened May 7 and has already had a steady flow of customers.
“There’s a lot of people now watching what they eat,” Nguyen said admitting, however, that even she has been surprised at the number of vegetarians who have come into the restaurant thanking her for opening.
All the food is home cooked by Nguyen and her friend and former Chan’s House employee, Truc Nguyen, 33.
Already popular amongst customers is the lunch special, which includes a soup and bánh mì — a Vietnamese sandwich made on a French-style baguette and stuffed with shredded veggies, such as cucumber and pickled carrot.
Many of the dishes are made with mock meat — some of it homemade — which is derived from soya bean curd. Some of the Vietnamese dishes at Veggie that are served with the mock meat include curried imitation chicken, stir fried imitation chicken with lemon grass, and imitation crab meat in a Vietnamese-style crepe.
Also popular on the menu is traditional Vietnamese coffee — a sweet and refreshing drink made with sweetened condensed milk and a lot of ice.
Veggie also serves a number of traditional Vietnamese desserts: ché, which is a sweet bean curd with coconut milk; dishes using taro root; and mango sticky rice.
Nguyen said she is happy to be making food again for the people of Metro Moncton. Originally from Vietnam, she moved to Dieppe in 1979 as a refugee.
• Veggie is located at 367 Champlain Street and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. It’s closed on Mondays.