You know that feeling when you find a little gem hiding in plain sight? That simultaneous how lucky! and but, of course!

One Friday nearly six weeks ago, we were moseying along the quais of Ouchy as one does on those optimistic May evenings when daylight stretches into night and the soaring temperatures inspire hours of chatter about summer vacation and which rosé wines to buy. Our wander took us farther than usual to the western side of the port, where we found ourselves standing, serendipitously, beneath the terrace of Hoi An BBQ.

With vacation destinations still filling our heads, we reminisced about a particularly memorable evening BBQ in Southeast Asia years ago. We decided that we had to give it a try.

The restaurant is a dive (as many of the best ones are) and the service is indifferent at best. But the fragrance of grilled meats marinated in Vietnamese spices and vegetables cooking over an open charcoal fire has tempted us back four times in the last six weeks.

For the Vietnamese BBQ, you select four of six meat options – beef, chicken, duck, pork, prawns, and calamari – which are served raw with a generous portion of vegetables. The grill is set up in the center of the table for you to cook your food at whatever pace you prefer.

Rice paper for making your own spring rolls as well as garnishes of fresh herbs, noodles, lettuce, chopped veggies, and a light sauce round out the meal.

The view from the terrace – a easterly frame out over Ouchy harbor, the castle, the deep blue of the Lake, and green shores giving way to imposing peaks – has a way of ritualizing the experience. Hoi An BBQ has earned a regular place among our cravings for food and for calm.

Just when we think we’ve got this little town figured out, Lausanne manages to surprise us, even if that surprise was hiding in plain daylight and right under our noses.

Hoi An BBQ
Chemin des Pêcheurs 7/Port d’Ouchy Quai de la Nautique
021 617 7151

Reservations recommended for the terrace – and let them know that you want the BBQ as there are some special tables with the grill built into them.

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