LA MAISON DELI $$-$$$
It was a surprise – and a shame – that the leafy garden courtyard in La Maison Deli wasn’t busier. When passing it in the morning and evening, you’re bound to see at least a few tables of the Vietnamese middle class sipping inventive coffee creations or decadent smoothies.
But on a hot Thursday lunchtime, I was the only person there. The downside: there wasn’t much atmosphere – the upside: it was very peaceful!
Smiley Mrs Thuy gave me a warm welcome and when I’d chosen my table outside, she set up a very welcome pressure fan to cool me down from the midday heat. I then cooled down further with a zesty lemon & mint frozen mocktail. Instantly refreshing, it was totally worth the brain freeze!
La Maison Deli has a huge range of dishes – Vietnamese, European, Japanese, Thai and Korean – it even has a separate congee menu! Normally, I’m wary of places that have such large menus… as is often the case, they offer so many things because they don’t excel at any one thing.
Thankfully, La Maison Ville wasn’t one of those places. And while the food wasn’t astonishing, it didn’t disappoint, either. I enjoyed my shrimp, squid and pineapple salad very much – the flavors were fresh, the texture of the seafood was great and it just looked so impressive!
Based on Mrs Thuy’s (and Tripadvisor’s) recommendation, I also tried the pork ribs. Although they looked beautiful and the glaze was very tasty, the actual meat was a little rubbery and tough. Still, they definitely satisfied any craving I had for ribs. So, job done.
It’s an interesting one. Because although the food at La Maison Deli is fairly expensive and is presented so prettily, you’d expect fine dining. Which it isn’t. Still, it is satisfying – and the portions are generous – so I can’t say I was disappointed. The flavors are nice and fresh and the dishes themselves are a feast for the eyes.
There were so many options on the menu that I would’ve been happy to try – like the Australian beef salad with taro, the grilled cuttlefish with cinnamon sauce or the rabbit fish hotpot – but alas, I could only eat so much!
A good option (which I saw too late) would’ve been to try a set menu – very reasonably priced, considering how much is included for 300,000 VND.
Alternatively, this place is ideal for coffee and dessert. I tried the dumplings in coconut milk, infused with fresh slices of ginger, and it was delicious. Likewise, the coffee concoctions – such as the durian affogato – looked amazing but I was too full by that stage to indulge!
The Wash Up
Overall impressions? Having been there, I now understand why this place is often quiet. It’s a little out of the way for tourists and it’s a little too expensive for locals (Mrs Thuy told me this herself).
However, I still maintain that it’s well worth a visit. It has a nice outdoor setting, the tables are perfect for laptop work (digital nomads, I’m looking at you!!) and the drinks are a cut above what you’d get in your usual cafe. For people travelling with kids too, it ticks all the boxes – parents can try authentic Vietnamese food and let the kids have pizza!
I had a really pleasant lunch at La Maison Deli. It didn’t rock my world but I will be stopping by again. As should you!