The Blue Moon hotel has an outdoor barbeque buffet in its courtyard in the evenings. The courtyard can be entered either from the street or from the bottom floor of the hotel. I saw the set up for it going on as I returned from the walking around town in the rain, and one of the waitresses had asked if I planned on eating there that night after they opened up.
I decided to give it a try and went out about 7pm and was seated by the waitress I had met. The tables and chairs were aligned in a pretty nice set up on the pave stones, and there were two other tables of people eating there. The food was set up so that there was a section that had noodle soup , a selection of meats and vegetables for grilling, a selection of different foods (Viet and Japanese), a wonderful selection of breads, and then deserts and fruits. The selection looked pretty promising – so I thought that my choice of eating close by was a good one.
With a beer on my table, I went to the soup table and chose chicken and some other items for the soup, and it was brought to my table while I was choosing which items I wanted grilled from the meats and vegetables. I returned to the table and spiced up the noodle soup and got it just right and it was very good with a great broth. There is an art to getting noodle soup to balance out with green onions and chili.
When the grilled items arrived at my table – I found that the cook had lightly grilled them – for what looked to be a few seconds. That could be great if I did not have chicken and onions and eggplant as part of the few items I had picked. I took the plate back over to the grill and asked if they could grill them longer for me. I returned to my table, and my soup bowl was gone. I had eaten about 5 bites from it – so it was kind of obvious I was not done – but I had left the table – and so they cleared it. They left my glass of beer but also cleared the bottle, saying it was empty.
The cooks brought the grilled items back – and the chicken was still undercooked – and I sent it back again and went over and watched it cook and let them know when I thought it was grilled. By this time – I wanted it to be very well done. One always has to have a bit of patience, but after that experience, I decided I did not want anything else they had to grill. Maybe the cook was new – or maybe Dalat just does barbeque different than Saigon, but whatever was the case – eating the barbeque was not worth the extra effort I had to make.
I had a very good meal of baguettes and fruit and deserts – and made sure my table did not get cleared when I would go back to get some more. One of the great things about Dalat is the abundance of fresh fruit, and strawberries were in season at that time. I actually would have paid more money just for the tropical fruits alone if the buffet was in the USA! The pineapple was perfect – a little sour and a lot of sweet, and I really enjoyed it! Somehow as the rain started, it really was not that bad of a meal after all.