The Rooftop Lounge, formerly coined as “The Best Kept Secret in Nha Trang”, continues to innovate and improve, and has become one of the coolest bars around.  Frequented by the expat community as well as a diverse group of tourists, this French-Canadian run hideaway is refreshingly different to the typical bar in the city. Located on the 4th floor of the Havan Hotel, it’s a cozy lounge that combines impressive decor, soft lights and and a carefully selected music playlist that offers a welcome break from the norm.

Discover Nha Trang visited last Saturday evening for it’s inaugural Mussels & Fries Buffet (300,000 vnd per person including a glass of wine), which was organized to promote the bar’s recently opened kitchen. I was starving, having skipped lunch in the afternoon, so an ‘all you can eat’ meal of two of my favorite foods seemed like the perfect way to remove the hunger pangs.

We drank a glass of fruity white wine, and relaxed to the sound of Louis Armstrong and some melodic jazz tracks playing in the background while we waited for the food to arrive. Our intrepid photographer, Garry was busy chatting to the owners, Nicolas and Arnaud, while snapping some photos of the chefs busy at work in the kitchen

The mussels arrived in a clay pot, and upon opening the lid, we were greeted to that wonderful aroma of freshly steamed mussels, with lingering hints of garlic, onion and white wine. On the side was a generous portion of hand cut, thick french fries that had just the right amount of salt, and a delicious serving of homemade garlic mayonnaise.

Mussels can be a tricky dish to get right; if overcooked, they are tough and chewy, and undercooked, you are looking at numerous trips to the bathroom. These particular molluscs however, were just perfect. Soft and tender, and full of the salty flavor of the sea, I dived into the pot and had it finished in no time at all. The wine complemented the seafood perfectly, and soon I was ready for a second serving. I was starting to fill up, and relaxed my french fry intake to concentrate on wolfing down more mussels, and, by the end of the second plate, my hunger pains had firmly dissipated! 

My only slight complaint would be that the claypot was left with lots of the fragrant stock used to steam the mussels, which would have been best accompanied by a couple of slices of thick bread to finish off!  

We relaxed and chatted to some fellow expats, who were equally pleased with their meal. The bar’s resident cocktail master, Arnaud, then whipped up his signature ‘Mango Bomb’ cocktail – a tangy concoction of fresh mango and liquor, and a must try for cocktail lovers! The wife chose an equally delicious, Strawberry Mojito, that she thoroughly enjoyed.

All in all, the Mussels & Fries Night at Rooftop was a roaring success. While originally planned as a one off event, this writer certainly hopes it becomes a monthly thing, and I’m sure the other guests would agree.

Keep an eye out for our next article on The Rooftop Lounge, in which the owner, Nicolas, will discuss his plans for the new kitchen!

The Rooftop Lounge, 4th floor Havan Hotel, 3/2 Tran Quang Khai

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