This is one of those magical dining experiences where you go in knowing that everything you get is going to be basically perfect.

Unlike the banh xeo place, we have literally NOT FOUND a bad thing on the menu, and this is after eating here on an almost weekly basis for months. That’s a pretty bold statement, but I’m pretty serious – this restaurant is on my “take every guest” list of places. No matter what we’ve gotten, big groups or small, not one person has ever said “…nahhhhhh.”

That’s a hard recommendation, nerds.

Quan Bui is a small restaurant in District 1 that specializes in traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Everything’s made fresh to order and between the presentation, atmosphere, service, and flavor, I’m not sure that there’s a quibble to be had.

From the moment you enter you know you’ll be taken care of. You can sit on the ground floor or ascend the incredibly steep staircase to the first floor where an air conditioned room and an outdoor patio filled with plants await.

The minute you open the menu, though… you know you’re going to have to do some soul searching to fulfill the particular craving you’ve got. For, I can guarantee it, if you’ve got a particular need in your soul, you can get that itch scratched here.

Since I really can’t speak highly enough of the food, I’ll let it do the talking this time. Click on for a photo album of (merely) the dishes I remembered to take pictures of before digging in!

Start with a drink – like many Vietnamese restaurants, they have an immense selection of juices, smoothies, tea, soft drinks, beers, and wine.

The fruit shakes and juices are great, and you get a huge amount – some restaurants stiff you. Quan Bui charges you the same, but gives you more.

The honey chicken or pork is a solid bet. Every time. Honey sauce, mmmmmm…. Comes boneless or totally boned.

The rice dishes are all winners. This is Fried Rice with pineapple and prawns. We were under a weird light for this picture.

Housemade tofu with lemongrass and chives – this stuff is amazing. Little tender pillows of tofuy goodness! Perfect.

This dish was a surprise! Stir Fried Beef with Coconut Shoots. The things that look like crinkle fries are actually coconut shoots, and were so, so tasty. Kind of toothsome.

Possibly my favorite veggie dish – Stir Fried Pumpkin Flowers with Garlic. DROOL.

Singapore-style Fried Noodles with Vegetables – didn’t expect the egg, but it was great. As usual.

You’re gonna need some rice with that. Depending on your dish, both the Garlic Rice (above) and the Steamed Brown Rice (below) will get the job done tastily… especially that garlic rice. Dayum.

And that’s all I’ve got for today. If this isn’t making you drool, you’re doing this food porn thing wrong.
Also, check out my restaurant reviews again from time to time – I’ll update with  pictures and reactions to new dishes as I try them!

UPDATE: January 2014

Pork and Shrimp Fried Spring Rolls – perfection. Both these and the vegetarian ones (which are actually vegetarian, in a surprise move critics are hailing as a ‘breakthrough’ for the region) are a perfect appetizer.

A Vietnamese salad, served with shrimp crackers. Coconut shoots, shrimp, port, peanuts, and a simple citrus dressing made this better than I could have imagined.

Fried brown rice with chicken and cashews. Has the power to render even the most talkative dinner guests powerless. Unbelievable.


Fried noodles with seafood and vegetables. Simple but serious.