It’s hard to pick a place for breakfast in Ho Chi Minh because the choices are pretty much endless. Luckily, we were recommended a cheap place that supposedly served delicious breakfast. What we didn’t know until we arrived, was that it was vegan.
Life is a funny thing. One day you’re disappointed that there’s no bacon for breakfast and a month later you stop eating bacon completely (along with all meat, eggs and dairy for that matter). But I’ll explain all that another time. Plus, just because I don’t eat it doesn’t mean I won’t write about it!
Anyway, Cơm Chay Mani or Mani for short, blew us away as soon as we walked through the door. First of all, the staff here are incredibly attentive and friendly. The owner was in that day and he did everything he could to welcome us from the get-go. Then we saw the menu…
Although we came for a special breakfast deal that offered an unbelievable price for a choice of appetizer, soup and main course, my eyes immediately dropped to spring rolls. Dangerously cheap and with a nice variety of three different kinds, I decided to get one order (two rolls) of each. It cost a little more than the breakfast and I wasn’t sure that six spring rolls would fill me up, but I couldn’t resist.
The rolls came out two at a time. Two sets were fresh, the one other fried. Two had the typical sauce and one (the fresh mushroom one) came with a sauce made in heaven. I started by eating one of each to decide which one I liked the most to save for last because I’m weird like that.
This was a mistake because I needed help finishing because I got so full! But there was still room to spoon out the otherworldly sauce with my fingers until the bowl was clean. I guess I have a separate sauce stomach next to my dessert (and sushi) stomachs. The spring rolls were so good that we order three more sets to go to eat while we were on the bus to Mui Ne.
Isaac’s breakfast was great too. I took bites of everything and was shocked at how amazing vegan food was. Several flavors tasted exactly like meaty dishes. Except they were much healthier and packed with plant-based protein.
So to summarize, Mani is amazing and I would like to recommend it to all vegans, vegetarians, meat-eaters and aliens alike. The staff was great, the food was great, the prices were great and absolutely everything about it was great. Except that there isn’t one in every city of every country on every continent. Life’s not fair.
If you visit, which you most definitely should, make sure to bring cash. They didn’t accept cards so the owner had to point us towards an ATM that wasn’t too far. Check it out and let me know what you think!