Cam Ranh Bay in Banner Elk

110 High Country Square
Banner Elk, NC ‎
Visit the website:
Cam Rahn Bay
Facebook Page
(828) 898-4121
Reviewed by Danielle Bussone

by Danielle Bussone

One of the most delightful eateries you’ll find in the High Country is a Vietnamese/Japanese restaurant in Banner Elk, NC.  Vietnamese native, Nancy Nguyen, moved to the mountains eleven years ago and now considers Banner Elk home.  Since immigrating to the US after the Vietnam War, Nancy has worked in both Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants and knows both cuisines well.

Until recently, Cam Ranh Bay was known as Tokyo Express. Nancy changed it’s name to reflect her origins, having grown up  in the town of Cam Ranh Bay, Viet Nam.

Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Soup

Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Soup

I first became acquainted with Cam Ranh Bay when I attended a dinner for Nancy created for our vegan group, VegBoone, of 49 attendees.  The food was amazing and the service flawless.  To illustrate how much the community embraces Nancy, several Banner Elk residents showed up to work as voluntary servers for the event!  We recently held another event at her restaurant and it was even better than the first, if that’s possible.

Vegan Sushi Rolls

Vegan Sushi Rolls

Nancy also has a great deal of experience working with plant-based clientele.  She worked at a Vietnamese restaurant in Boston where all employees were required to be vegan.  She is fully versed in the concerns of the plant-based diner.

Vietnames Springroll with Dipping Sauce

Vietnames Springroll with Dipping Sauce

I have to admit that all three times I’ve been to Cam Ranh Bay I’ve been with a large party or with people who insisted on eating family style so I can’t speak with any authority on the regular menu items.  Nancy brought out a number of vegan dishes from appetizers to entrees which begin at $17 per person, depending on how much food you order.  Nancy will come to your table and ask, “Do you want more food?”  She ‘ll keep bringing out amazing dishes until you are satisfied and your bill will reflect your appetite.  We walked away stuffed and happy at the $17 price.

Vietnamese Salad

Vietnamese Salad

If you want more control over what you order, there is a vegetarian section on the menu which is largely vegan.  Their six vegetables and tofu options are $5.50 for lunch and $6.95 for dinner and include, Tofu Mixed Vegetables, Crispy Panko Tofu with vegetables and a ginger scallion dipping sauce, Ginger tofu (grilled vegetables and tofu with a ginger sauce), Habachi Tofu (grilled tofu with mushrooms, zucchini and onions), Grilled Tofu With Noodles and Tofu Fried Rice (ask for no egg).

Mixed Vegetables With Brown Rice

Mixed Vegetables With Brown Rice

Also available are Hibachi Vegetables served with fried rice, sweet carrots and vegetable soup or salad and Yakisoba (Lo Men Noodles) with mixed vegetables. These are $4.95 for lunch and $6.95 for dinner. There are numerous vegan appetizer options as well.

Bun (Grilled Tofu with Vermicelli and Peanut Dipping Sauce

Bun (Grilled Tofu with Vermicelli and Peanut Dipping Sauce

If you are in the Blue Ridge Mountains and find yourself yearning for authentic Vietnamese or Japanese Cuisine, Cam Ranh Bay is surely the place to satisfy your cravings!

Link: Cam Ranh Bay Restaurant

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is currently writing a cookbook for vegans called, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health.”

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle  directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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