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Two Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurants: A College Student’s View

There is a variety of options to choose from for travelers in Berlin when it comes to Asian restaurants. Every Asian cuisine enthusiast would certainly find something that suits any budget, dietary preference, and aesthetic demands and expectations. Two of the Vietnamese restaurants we visited were Quy Nguyen (QN) Vegan Living and Maison Umami, both located in the city center and differed by a number of points, however.

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The first one was QN Vegan Living – a small, cozy place on Oranienburger Street that lures visitors in with its cordial atmosphere. The restaurant is not spotted easily from the street, however, inside it is warmly lit, with oriental Buddha statues and wooden furniture. In contrast to the Maison Umami, it does not occupy much space, yet it compensates for that in other aspects. As for the second contestant, its location is slightly off-center, yet the venue communicates a more sophisticated atmosphere from the inside out. Maison Umami can be similar to Vegan Living in detail: both restaurants have paper lanterns integrated into their interiors. Having said that, the Umami, with its dark wood and monochromatic colors, pays attention to details: all the tableware matches the rustic style and there are real antique items used as decorations throughout the interior. Certainly, the restaurant occupies more space: it boasts of a spacious, green terrace that is relevant to sit at in the warmer time of the year.

Touching upon the topic of menu variety and availability, it is worth noting that both places offer some options for every taste. However, they differ quite a bit: QN Vegan Living is focused strictly on the plant-based version of Vietnamese cuisine. The chefs of Vegan Living reimagined their menu and made it the restaurant’s specialty to be both Vietnamese and vegan-friendly. Although, these changes could not affect the variety of assortment: the options one can choose from are quite limited. The guests can order a bowl of stir-fried vegetables or mushrooms over noodles or rice; either spring rolls, or a soup — that would cover a big portion of all options. It is quite different from Maison Umami: there are about sixty positions on the menu, with stews, noodle soups, stir-fries, rice dishes, steaks, and nourishing Buddha bowls. The restaurant is also vegetarian-friendly; however, guests prefer a plant-based diet and are limited in their choice here compared to carnivores. Most of Umami’s dishes also look more presentable: it is evident the chefs designed the menu so it is not only delicious but appealing too, while QN Vegan’s meals are more home-style.

Speaking of the pricing, certainly, Vegan Living is more reasonable than the two. Since it’s modest in space, and its meals are made to be tasty without the use of exclusive and rare ingredients, its pricing is tailored accordingly. The average bill starts from 11€ for a bowl and a smoothie and can go up to 30€ and more. At Maison Umami, however, with this being much more popular and its exquisite specials and rare ingredients used, the price tag can start at 50€ for a three-course meal and up.

The choice is quite difficult since both of the restaurants proved themselves to be a good option to spend a Friday evening at. As a college student, however, I certainly would give my preference to QN Vegan Living. Aside from it being much more affordable, the atmosphere is really cozy and has everything one can ask for a Vietnamese restaurant to be. Even though the selection is not as wide as it is at Umami, the dishes that they serve are extremely delicious and filling.

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StudyCorgi. "Two Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurants: A College Student’s View." October 29, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/two-vietnamese-cuisine-restaurants-a-college-students-view/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Two Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurants: A College Student’s View." October 29, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/two-vietnamese-cuisine-restaurants-a-college-students-view/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Two Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurants: A College Student’s View'. 29 October.

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