Keeping it simple and delicious
Winston’s Burgers & Beer has, you guessed it, burgers and beer. The menu is specialised for one thing only so don’t expect anything but the best burger on Phu Quoc with a side of heavenly waffle fries. Choosing a burger feels like taking a personality test and embarking on an adventure. Which is right for you? “Basic Training” (110,000 dong) is for novices. On the other end of the spectrum is worryingly named The Terminator (365,000 dong). And once in a while, someone will saunter in and take on the chilli-packed The Devil’s Own. Vegetarians can eat… french fries.
Located on Tran Hung Dao at the roundabout, at the entrance to the night market beside Rainbow Divers, La Caffe Deli is a cosy nook with creative upcycled flair. Old chairs are adorned with new cushions, sewing tables have been repurposed into coffee tables while Willie Nelson CDs and an odd assortment of garage sale finds adorn the wall. It’s a lovely, friendly spot to watch Phu Quoc putter by while enjoying a fruit shake (20,000-40,000 dong) or something stronger – a shot of rum can be added to any juice for 30,000 dong. The food menu has Western mains such as pasta and burgers, for around 95,000 dong. The chalkboard sign says it’s open 24/7. We didn’t get a chance to test that out! (Heading to Con Dao? They have a brother restaurant there, Caffe Infiniti.)
Comfortable spot, scrumptious food
It wouldn’t be a sun holiday without ice cream and you can get scoops of New Zealand Natural at Buddy Ice Cream & Info Cafe. You can enjoy typical comfort food cafe fare such as sandwiches, salads and burgers, as well as a proper flat white. The front terrace overlooks the marina but it can be noisy with all the traffic whizzing by. Inside is a pleasant hang out spot and the helpful advice is free. The cafe also produces a handy map of the island that shows routes and road conditions to the beaches.
Outside Duong Dong
If you’re staying on some of the more isolated and remote beaches, dining options outside your own hotel/resort are limited. Luckily there are a few standouts.
Crab cakes at Mango Bay — divine
Several Phu Quoc residents told us, nay, commanded us to dine at Mango Bay Resort and they did not steer us wrong. The quality, freshness and flavour of the food is worthy of the spectacular view from their wooden deck on Ong Lang beach. Starters, salads and Vietnamese dishes such as crab rolls or grilled beef in la lot leaves hover around 160,000 dong, while fresh seafood dishes such as Phu Quoc mackerel poached in sweet soy bean and shitake broth, served with bok choy, cost 230,000 dong. It’s reasonably priced and if you’re staying elsewhere, well worth the journey.
To be continued…