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  Senses Restaurant & Bar on Mui Ne Beach

Senses Restaurant & Bar at Blue Ocean Resort on Mui Ne Beach is a lovely coconut palm thatched roof bungalow nestled between a large swimming pool and the powdery white wind-swept sands of Vietnam's south-central coast.

We noticed the restaurant while walking along Mui Ne Beach.

Noticing its colorful silk cushion covers on the lounge under big trees in front of the restaurant, we decided to visit for some drinks after a big day out.

We chose a table next to the swimming pool with a view of the coconut garden. It was a Saturday late afternoon and we ordered two fresh coconuts (VND55,000 per one). The cushions were as comfortable as they looked.

This restaurant is not only a place for food and drinks. As the name would suggest, there is something in the atmosphere that helps diners relax, and feel easily connected with the surrounding nature.

The indoor area has only one wall, near the bar. In place of walls, the other three sides have bamboo curtains that were opened to offer nice views of the beach, garden and swimming pool areas.

If one prefers to be outdoors, there is also a terrace next to the swimming pool as well as a lush coconut garden and bungalow with sofas right on the beach.

It is a spacious place to chill out and enjoy the sea breeze and tranquility. We shared a fresh coconut juice and decided to come back for afternoon tea and dinner.

We stayed in a bungalow next to the beach and relaxed with our books and glasses of orange juice while looking at the panorama of Mui Ne Bay, which spreads out until it reaches the faraway white sand dunes dotted with green trees.

The landscape is imposing and both tranquil and very lively. It was a very windy day and the strong waves were perfect for kite surfers. Soon, the horizon was filled with the different colored kites they use to propel themselves across the water.

  
Deep fried camembert at Senses Restaurant & Bar at Blue Ocean Resort in Mui Ne
Senses Restaurant & Bar offers menus with both Western and traditional Vietnamese cuisines. At sunset we ordered bo la lot (grilled beef wrapped in wild betal leaves - VND129,000), deep fried camembert (VND183,000), basa fish with passion fruit cream (VND215,000), and beef with sesame (VND215,000).

For dessert we opted for crepes suzette (VND140,000) and nougatine (VND140,000). We also choose two exotic drinks (papaya lime VND65,000 and pineapple ginger VND65,000).

The beef with a touch of sesame and the basa with passion fruit cream were excellent, with a good balance of beef and fish with salad mixed with vinegar and boiled cauliflower, beans, and carrots.

We especially liked the bo la lot, which is a traditional Vietnamese dish that features the wonderful flavors of lot leaves covering the meat. Deep fried camembert was also a highlight of the meal: its crunchy texture combined with a soft taste, warm and fatty. The cheese was served with strawberry sauce and pear boiled in red wine and cinnamon.

Nougatine was also another highly recommended dish. The ice cream flavor perfectly matched with the sweet nougat and crunchy sliced almonds.

BLUE OCEAN RESORT

54 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St.,
Ham Tien Dist., Phan Thiet Town
 
We met Truong Thi Thu Lieu, the executive chef of the resort who designed the menu. She said she originally studied accounting but her true love was always cooking. She was recruited to work at the Novotel Mui Ne pastry kitchen when the first resort in Mui Ne opened in 1987.

She invited us for some hot pot the next day. She said she had introduced the hot pot to the menu and now planned to add some family-style BBQ options.

"For the hot pot that doesn't include many vegetables or roots, we add honey instead of sugar to the soup. Then the soup has a gentle tenderness and flavor," she said.

Seeing the darkness replace the sunset on the bay and starlit sky above the coconut leaves over our heads, I knew I would come back to the place for another relaxing and romantic dinner next time.

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