Bites of Karma and Masala in Hoi An

By Christina Kim - August 23, 2017


I am not a conventional eater (nor a traveler in that sense) and I am probably one of the pickiest person you would know (you may know of others though, kindly make the introduction).

The saying "When in Rome, do what the Romans do", where to experience the local culture best is to just follow what the locals usually do, does not always nor necessarily applies to me, or perhaps it is me, who just sways away with my own mind especially when it comes to  food.

Therefore, if you think that I would have tasted most of the local food when in Vietnam, you'd think wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Vietnamese food and I do enjoy quite a number of them during my visit/stay there.
However, the thing is, I am not just a picky eater, but I also tend to be a creature of habit and I just like to stick to my comfort food.

It's hard to break away from my usual fare, and it takes some time for me to be convinced of something new, but the good thing is,when I am, I stick to it, loyally.

It doesn't even matter when I am traveling, I could just go to the same place and order the same thing every single day.
Yes, I am peculiar that way.

One fine example was when I was in Vietnam, and during my trip to Hoi An, I discovered some local gems that I loved.

They turn out to be local favorites and even rank high on the tourist recommendations too.
I am definitely not an outlier this time.

It was not Vietnamese food which got me in the charming historical town, though they are just as good all the same and one is just the hidden gem less visited.

It took me a good 15-20 minutes walk to reach this place from my hotel, and I have to say, given the scorching hot sun burning my skin, I almost gave up.
I am glad I did not.

Karma Waters is quite a hidden gem, and not many would know about it, especially if you are not a local.
Their name is unique and no, they do not serve you water with the karma you deserved as the name suggests (besides, if you have done nothing wrong, you would have no fear of any form of karma, don't you think?)


There is no one in the homey restaurant cafe when I reached, and only the lady owner runs the entire place.

Serving vegan (one of the rare places that offered the much-hyped trend), Karma Waters promised natural and all-organic food.
In fact, the entire menu was filled with really good choices and I have read reviews that their vegan burgers are really good though I did not get to try.

The concept of the cafe was definitely based on the practices of Buddhism, and they even make donations to the less privileged during certain times of the month, every month.
They do not encourage wastage of food; in fact, simplicity and minimalism seem to be the core of the entire business.


There is no air-conditioner, nor fancy menus.
Service is good, though the waiting time for the food, is stated beforehand, a little longer for the preparation upon ordering as it is all prepared by the lady owner personally, or at least, that was the case when I was there.

They do allow prior orders as well and their homemade cakes are highly recommended by some of the reviewers, though you would need to order beforehand.

In all, it is simply authentic and without fancy frills in a cosy and homely environment.


The food, was just as simple; and simply appetizing at a modest price tag.


Crunchy refreshing salad with mint, carrot, cucumber with a twist of citrus.

It was really good to start with this one and refreshing as promised. HAV9

These cookie-shapes are made with mushrooms and I couldn't remember the other ingredient (definitely veg), but this is amazing and just so addictive.






I would love to eat at this place everyday, but it was just a little too far and this one time created quite a good impression.
I loved how the place was run and how humble everything was in the business.

We couldn't finish our food and had to take away with a plastic container that the lady owner had to take some time to look for, and she told us that it would be on a rental charge and that when we return, she would just return us that minimal charge (less than a dollar).
I like how recycling was also incorporated, true to the overall concept of the business.

It is truly a gem, and besides suiting my fussy taste buds, the best part is the the peace in the cafe where I truly enjoyed that solitary eating time.

The second place that I would like to mention, and made me go back more than once, is this famous Indian restaurant, Ganesh.
(If you were to run a Google search, you would find this restaurant tops the list in Hoi An in no time).


I am not a regular of Indian food, but this restaurant changed my mind soon after and I enjoyed the authenticity of the cuisine served here.
Service was good and the prices, also honest.



Fish Tikka Masala is worth ordering on repeat.HAG1




Turns out, Ganesh is well spread out in the country with branches in most of the major cities, including Ho Chi Minh City.

If only they would someday expand to our country too, but I am sure, there are hidden gems like these in my own country which I have yet to discover.

My choices of food seem unconventional, but I think my picky tastes have never done me wrong.

I don't always do what the Romans do, rather, I choose to go where my heart takes me, and I take that on repeat.
Go ahead and judge me.

As long as it's good until the very last bite, it doesn't matter.


Restaurants mentioned in this post
1. Karma Waters
    213 Nguyễn Duy Hiệu, Cẩm Châu, Tp. Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
    Opening hours: 10am-8.30pm

  2. Ganesh Restaurant
      24 Trần Hưng Đạo, Sơn Phong, Tp. Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
      Opening hours: 5-10pm

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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