HA NOI – reached into his pocket, Mr. Dao pulled out a crumpled 2,000 VND bill, and took it back to a tray of steaming rice. “The rice is delicious!”, The 73-year-old man nodded.
People around also continued to say: “Rice is fragrant and fragrant”, “There are fruits for dessert too” …
This is Yen Vui restaurant, the first restaurant selling for 2,000 VND per serving in Hanoi and the 13th restaurant in the Yen Vui rice chain and Smile sponsored by Lotus charity fund. The shop opens from December 14 at noon Monday, Wednesday, June, at 136, lane 88 Tran Quy Cap street (Dong Da, Hanoi).
The shop is located in an area where many street vendors, motorbike taxi drivers, shoemakers, homeless people … From 11:00 am, the poor workers began to gather in front of the shop, they told each other to “hurry up. hurry “to make room for others.
The shop sold 13 times, then Mr. Dao had a 12th meal. As a homeless man, Mr. Dao picked up cicadas around the Hanoi railway station area and spent his day mostly on charity rice. This year, due to Covid-19, even the cicadas could not be picked up. Listen to everyone’s saying that there is a rice shop for only 2,000 VND, so he came to. It takes only ten minutes to walk from outside the station. “I rarely eat this hot rice in the afternoon,” said the man. Only about 15 minutes, he finished his meal with fish stock, soup, eggplant and fruit dessert.
Spending time on the side of the road, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thuan entered the shop. It has just been opened for more than an hour, but the shop only has more than a dozen out of 200 meals. She gave 2,000 dong to receive the meal ticket, then exchanged it for a tray of rice. As she sat down at the table, the waitress brought her an extra bowl of hot rice. “There is a lot of rice. You can eat freely,” said the staff.
Mrs. Thuan immediately drank the bowl of soup to warm her stomach before starting to eat. Going to the market at 3am, when it was below 10 degrees Celsius, this was the first time a day she had a feeling of “warm people”. For nearly ten years, Mrs. Thuan has been peddling around Nha Dau alley, Van Chuong, Tran Quy Cap … Early every morning, she and five sisters from Phu Xuyen (Hanoi suburbs) go to Long market. Purchase margin on sale. Ms. Thuan sells onions, garlic, lemon, chili, betel and areca. Every day expensive goods can profit 50,000 VND. For several days it was cold, the goods were also dull, a load for two days was not over.
She said selling for a long time here should be loved. The restaurant usually only costs 10,000-15,000 VND. “But every day when I don’t have enough money, I regret eating 10,000 VND. I usually only buy 5,000 VND of rice and soup with sesame salt,” she said.
The 2,000-dong rice shop opened to help Mrs. Thuan save a part of the burden. Her husband had a catastrophe, she had been running the market for a dozen days and she returned to take care of him a few times. This year, 68, the oldest in the neighborhood, many people advise to leave, but she does not know what to do to have money, so she still sticks.
Mr. Nguyen Cao Son, the owner of Yen Vui restaurant, shared that the dishes of 2,000 VND clean and delicious are “love for people” in cold winter days, as well as hot summer days. Mr. Son himself and the staff and volunteers of the restaurant are just “shippers”. “At one end we give a tray of warm rice to the laborers . One end receives donations from donors,” he said.
From the day the restaurant opened until now, Mr. Son received “not knowing how much love to tell”. Once a motorbike taxi driver had finished his meal, he returned and gave the shop a bunch of vegetables, “bananas the children and grandchildren sent out from the countryside”. An old woman in an old apartment building with a cane brought a grapefruit. Or as she picked up the cicadas, persistently pleading to clean for the shop after eating.
After a few open sessions, a university lecturer came to see him. After eating, he decided to spend 70% of his income to contribute to the restaurant, and at the same time, sent back 100,000 VND so that he could come here to eat 100 vegetarian meals gradually. A farm received clean vegetables for the shop, a charity group raised more than 100 million VND to the shop …
Among the guests who came to eat, Mr. Son remembered the most luxuriously dressed man. Usually people who look like that are philanthropists. After a few dining sessions, this man confided that he was a business owner before the outbreak of Covid-19. The disease caused him to lose everything, his friends and relatives turned away. “He said he might have a harder time than some people come to eat, but he still has to keep the form outside to find a job”, Mr. Son said.
Before coming to the restaurant, this person did not believe that he had a meal of 2,000 VND. But then, in addition to eating delicious rice, he also felt the smiles of the sellers as well as the customers, making him feel that he also received love. This makes him have confidence to overcome the difficult period.
“We turn the kindness of the world into servings of the street people,” said Son. Son himself, working in the finance industry, also “asked for permission” from his wife and children to quit his job for 3 months to run the shop stably, then went to work.
The chef of the restaurant is Mr. Do Van Hung, currently working as the main kitchen at the buffet counter of a 5-star hotel on Tran Duy Hung street, but accepts less time to sleep to cook rice for people …
About 12h15 guests have served. A woman stops the vegetable cart in front of the shop. Mr. Son said happily: “There is still rice now.” She stepped forward, received the last meal.
Selling vegetables in the alleys of Dong Da and Hoan Kiem districts, Long Bien, Gia Lam, and 37-year-old Nguyen Thi Luong often come here when it’s late. Many meals run out of rice, she is served noodles. Every month, she and her husband work as a security guard and earn about tens of million dong. It was so bad that they raised 4 children, so they were always in need. “Grandchildren squeeze every dollar. On a day when I don’t have 2,000 dong, I only eat banh chung and donut”, she shared.
When the last guests left, a man entered the shop. The meal was over, he gave 1,000 VND to buy the instant noodles. When the staff carried out a bowl of instant noodles with two fried eggs, scallions and a bowl of white rice, the man couldn’t believe his eyes. “Thank you, thanks. Even the noodles are delicious,” he sobs, he said.
The man named Bui Van Phuong, from Nam Dinh, has been working as a shoe polisher in Hanoi for 30 years. While knowing the operation schedule of the restaurant, Mr. Phuong made this Wednesday appointment to invite his wife to come here for lunch.
According to Mr. Nguyen Cao Son, the rice set of 2,000 VND is just a symbolic price for people to see that they are spending money to buy rice and eat in a relaxed and happy mood. Mr. Son plans to open more Yen Vui shop in the coming months in Phuc Xa area (Long Bien district) and hospital K facility Tan Trieu.
Some photos in the morning of January 11 of the restaurant.