Peter Cornish enjoys his time at a guilt-free vegetarian restaurant, Organik House. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Organik House is tucked down a small, unassuming hem on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, turning right from Nguyen Binh Khiem. Stepping up through the door, you find yourself in a cosy front room with bare brick walls and murals that give a glimpse into an imaginary world outside. A cat sits on a corner side-table by the window, peering out at the birds in an English country garden.
The small restaurant-cum-cafe has a homely, ethnic feel to it with an open kitchen at the far end where the delicious food is prepared.
Soft, low sofas line the walls and dark wooden furniture adds to a welcoming atmosphere that invites you to spend a while relaxing with an Italian coffee or an organic juice or smoothie.
Opened just a few short months ago in November last year, Organik House has already made its mark on the city’s booming vegetarian scene as a place that serves exceptional food. Healthy and delicious, and with a menu that changes daily, you really are spoilt for choice.
Founded by Quyen Tran and Alessio Sortino, the concept behind Organik House is to offer cruelty and guilt free food made from fresh, wholesome ingredients. originally a juice and smoothie café, Alessio, developed a menu that uses seasonal ingredient sourced from local suppliers, all of whom are known personally to the owners. The menu changes daily to take advantage of the freshest fruit and vegetables available.
Following the guilt free theme, all produce is delivered to the restaurant in recycled cardboard boxes and, where possible, the use of plastic wrappers is avoided. Cutlery is wooden, straws are metal and nothing is thrown out.
The day we visited, Alessio sat down with us to explain the menu. Originally from Italy, he has broad experience on which to draw as he decides what to cook for the day, taking inspiration from Mediterranean, North African and Lebanese cuisine, as well as influences from his time in Asia. With 50% of his customer coming at least three time a week, he’s obviously doing something right!
“Most tastes we experience are throwbacks to childhood memories and vegetarian food can be as tasty as anything else in the world. We must all eat, so let’s try to do it in a clean, health way that benefits us and minimises damage to the environment.” he explains.
On the day’s menu was spinach soup with pumpkin (VND80,000), a vegan curry (VND160,000), roast leaks with cheese and tuber mash (VND150,000), and four mushrooms with chickpeas and green peppers (VND160,000). Juices included a choice Detox (lettuce, apple, celery and honey) Immune Boosting (cucumber, zucchini, celery and green mustard) and the Anti-Oxidant (grapes, apple, lime and mint) with prices starting from just VND55,000.
A new addition to what’s on offer at Organik House is an all-day Sunday Brunch menu. Served from 10am till 5pm, and coming in at an inoffensive VND189,000 (VND99,000 for kids under 12).