Lemoncillo is a hidden gem Vietnamese restaurant in Envigado offering very good and authentic Vietnamese food with reasonable prices. The name of the restaurant Lemoncillo means lemongrass.
Lemoncillo originally opened in December 2014. This is a very small restaurant with only five tables. The interior is simple with a few photos of Vietnam on one wall. And the other wall has Vietnamese words with the Spanish translation.
“Que aquel que coma una fruta, se acurde de quien la cultivó.” — That whoever eats a fruit remembers who cultivated it.
The chef of Lemoncillo is originally from Laos, where he was born of Vietnamese parents. He also reportedly lived in Saigon and Germany and knows how to cook authentic Vietnamese food.
I have eaten at the restaurant several times and the food has been consistently good. This restaurant is popular and on weekends the small restaurant fills up. But it’s a small hidden gem that hasn’t been discovered by that many foreigners, yet. I haven’t heard English being spoken any time I have been to this restaurant.
The Food Menu
Lemoncillo only serves Vietnamese dishes and it has a relatively small menu. Here is a list of the main Vietnamese dishes on the menu:
- Sườn Ram Mặn – pork spare ribs are slowly braised in coconut juice until they are fall-of-the-bone tender. Accompanied with sautéed vegetables and jasmine rice. This also comes in two version spicy or very spicy – 25,000 pesos.
- Heo Miến Xào – sautéed pork with ben noodles, Chinese cabbage, baby corn, carrots, tomatoes, paprika and jasmine rice – 19,500 pesos.
- Gỏi Thịt Heo – slices of pork tenderloin marinated in soy sauce, sautéed in oyster sauce, fish sauce, lemon, garlic and chili. Accompanied with jasmine rice – 21,500 pesos.
- Gà Mắm Gừng – chicken drumstick stewed with ginger, served with cilantro and Chinese cabbage. Accompanied with jasmine rice – 20,500 pesos.
- Bún bò – Vermicelli rice salad with beef, lettuce, Chinese roots, cucumber, carrot and lemongrass sauce, ginger, garlic and onion cooked in fish sauce – 19,500 pesos.
- Bò Lúc Lắc – Beef cubes marinated in oyster sauce, fish and soy sauce and sautéed. Accompanied with jasmine rice – 24,500 pesos.
- Vegetarian plate – sautéed vegetables (Chinese cabbage, tomato, carrot, paprika) tofu cubes, Chinese roots. Accompanied with jasmine rice – 18,500 pesos.
- Phở Gà – Typical Vietnamese soup with chicken, rice paste and a variety of condiments and fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, green onion and mint) – 20,500 pesos
- Tom Kha Gai – Coconut and curry soup with chicken, aubergine, zucchini, baby corn, paprika and carrot. Accompanied with jasmine rice – 23,500 pesos.
Also, there is a dish of the day for 14,000 pesos on Wednesday to Friday from noon to 3:00 pm.
In addition, there is a chef recommended special dish that must be ordered a day in advance – Thit Heo Kho – pork belly braised in ginger and lemongrass, served with cilantro, Chinese cabbage and jasmine rice for 34,500 pesos.
Accompaniments include sautéed vegetables for 10,000 pesos, jasmine rice for 5,500 pesos and a fried tofu dish for 11,000 pesos.
Also, there are a couple of starters. I like the Tom Kha Gai, which is a coconut chicken soup that is somewhat spicy for 11,500 pesos.
When I have been to this restaurant they didn’t have any desserts available but I have heard they sometimes have desserts.
The Drink Menu
Lemoncillo has a very small drink menu. The menu includes two beers priced at 5,000 and 6,000 pesos.
Also, there is Lemoncillada for 4,900 pesos, which is a lemongrass lemonade with ginger and lime. And there are sodas and water available for 4,000 to 5,300 pesos. In addition, there is Vietnamese coffee for 5,000 pesos.
How to Get to Lemoncillo
The easiest way to get to Lemoncillo in Envigado is using the Medellín Metro. To get there take the Line A metro to the Envigado metro station.
Also, it’s located about a 5-minute walk from Parque Envigado, which is about a 15-minute walk from the Envigado metro station. Or you could take a bus from the metro station or a minimum fare taxi for 5,500 pesos.
Website (unofficial): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurante-Lemoncillo/380721408771647
Address: Transversal 33 Sur # 39-39, Envigado
Phone: +57 (4) 270 6980
Hours: Wednesday to Thursday: Noon to 3 pm and 6 pm to 9:30 pm; Friday: Noon to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm; Saturday: Noon to 10 pm; Sunday: Noon to 3 pm.
Payment accepted: Only cash, no credit cards.
The Best Asian Restaurants in Medellín
On the Medellin Guru website, we have started a series to look at the best Asian restaurants in Medellín. So far, we have looked at only three of the best Asian restaurants and we plan to look at several more.
- Halong Vietnamita – a popular Vietnamese restaurant in El Poblado with very good Vietnamese food.
- Lemoncillo – a hidden gem Vietnamese restaurant in Envigado with very good Vietnamese food.
- BaoBar – a restaurant in Medellín with very good and authentic Singaporean food.
I like Asian food having lived in Asia for five years when I was younger. And I have found several good Asian restaurants in Medellín that we plan to cover including Korean and Japanese.
However, so far in over eight years living in Medellín I haven’t found a really good Chinese restaurant even though there are many in the Medellín area. Also, I really like Thai food. And there are some Thai restaurants in Medellín. But I haven’t yet found a Thai restaurant in Medellín that I consider good.
The Bottom Line: Lemoncillo in Envigado
Lemoncillo is a hidden gem Vietnamese restaurant in Envigado with some authentic and tasty Vietnamese food.
I especially like the Sườn Ram Mặn at Lemoncillo, which are pork spare ribs that are slowly braised in coconut juice until they are fall-of-the-bone tender. In addition, I really like spicy food. So, I always order the spiciest version of this dish.
We previously looked at Halong Vietnamita, which is a Vietnamese restaurant in El Poblado with very good Vietnamese food. Also, we plan to review more of the best Asian restaurants in Medellín.
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