Traditional Central Vietnamese dishes like mi quang & banh beo.
Reviewed by OC Weekly:
When it comes to the center of Vietnam, arguably the gastronomic capital of the country, however, knowledge tends to not go beyond the rich beef soup known as bún bò Huế, named for the ancient imperial city.
Quán Hỷ, then, is a much-needed resource. It specializes in the cuisine of central Vietnam with a moderately long list of dishes.
The restaurant occupies a surprisingly elegant space, given the utilitarian feel of most Little Saigon eateries. A wooden bridge spans a pond full of rocks and good-luck coins as you enter; Quán Hỷ itself is full of light wood and indirect lighting.
The first part of the menu deals with variations on what could best be described as Vietnamese mochi–chewy, sometimes crunchy discs of pounded rice with a minced filling of pork floss and dried shrimp with spices. Bánh bèo are pounded glutinous rice steamed on miniature saucers; bánh khot are fried in a dish that resembles an aebleskiver pan. Bánh ít are balls of stuffed glutinous rice, and bánh ram are crispy-fried glutinous rice balls. You can combine both to come up with bánh ít kep bánh ram, the former “stuck” to the latter.
Where Quán Hỷ shines, however, is in salads and noodle dishes. While mì Quảng, a dish of turmeric-colored noodles tossed with ingredients ranging from tiny shrimp to shaved banana blossoms and from grilled pork to sesame rice crackers, is a worthy dish to order. But the best dish on the menu is bún mít, noodles with jackfruit.
Rice vermicelli are tossed with jackfruit (a Southeast Asian fruit that is a great, slightly sweet stand-in for meat due to its texture), grilled pork, grilled shrimp and a greenhouse’s worth of herbs: red perilla, basil, mint, cilantro and thinly shredded banana blossom. What makes the salad, though, is mắm nêm, fish sauce for people who’ve grown too accustomed to fish sauce. It’s made by blending the whole fish into the fish sauce, then preparing the result with pineapple juice, chilies, garlic, limes and water.
I love the soup with the salmon and crab. My usual is that soup and an order of the banh beo. Everything was hot and fresh. The service is okay. If you need something, you will have to waive someone down. I don’t think you should expect anyone to check on you after all the food has been served. I drink a lot of water and sometimes it’s annoying to keep having to waive the wait staff down.
The plaza that Quan Hy is located in tend to get busy, but it never has been stressful to find parking or anything.
The koi fish are cute when you walk in and it has a good ambiance.
We came with a large group, everything we ordered was very good. A few favorites were their bun bo hue, banh ít ram, banh beo, and mi quang. Everything was fresh, authentic, and delicious.
For those that know these dishes well, you will appreciate it. For those that don’t, I highly recommend you give it a try.
How can I not give 5 stars to the restaurant that makes one of my Top 5 Favorite Dishes??
I’ve been here many, many times and I almost always get the same dish: Com Suon Ram: grilled pork riblets served with vegetables, steamed rice and bowl of soup. It’s one of my all-time favorite, dependable dishes in all of Little Saigon and nobody else makes it like Quan Hy. The balance of savoriness, saltiness, mild sweetness, tender but chewy bite, and unctuousness from coming right from the wok is just irresistible to me. I literally crave this dish like no other!
My partner and I both order this dish because we don’t want to share. We tried ordering this dish and another dish once to share and it didn’t end well.
There is often a wait for a table because Quan Hy has a nice balance of a varied menu, excellent appetizers, nice décor, and reasonably easy to find parking. Some people complain about the service but we’ve never ever had an issue in many visits. Granted they don’t stand around making small talk with you but that is really not expected in authentic Asian restaurants. The staff is always hustling to seat guests, clear tables and bring orders. If you need something, it’s as easy as flagging someone down.
Please just keep doing what you’re doing here and don’t ever change my favorite dish!
Best Hue food place in OC. I highly recommend “Banh beo chen” “My quang” and “Goi hen”. The portions are big and they dont skimp out on meat, which is always a big plus in my book. Im always so eager to eat their food that i never really took any pic. Ive never tried Bun Bo Hue from there because ive come to accepted the fact that good authentic BBH has to be homemade
My girlfriends & I came here for lunch & I instantly fell in love with their Banh Beos!
Banh Beo: A plate of 8 steamed rice cakes with shredded shrimp. These are phenomenal, I do not know how I have been alive for 27 years without tasting these before! So you add some sauce to the dish, scoop out the rice cake, & slurp up this goodness. It is so addicting, so tasty! Make sure to order maybe 2-3 dishes, because they will be gone before you know it.
Bun Bo: Noodle soup with pork leg & beef. The soup has a gingery taste & the meats are generously sized.
I really enjoyed dining at this place. I only had to items on the menu but it was more than good to me.
We tried Banh Beo and Banh It and it was delicious.
My 2 year old son loved their Koi pond. The place is very airy and service was great. They immediately greet and sit you down as you walk in.
I came here because I was craving for Banh Beo and thank goodness I did because it was so good.
If we’re ever in OC again, we will be sure to revisit this place. Might have to try their My Quang next time. Looked really good.
I highly recommend you try this place if you have never been.
Not to mention their bathroom smells really good and very clean.
We’ve been coming to Quan Hy since the very beginning. Their food is consistant and the service is efficient.
My daughter’s fav dishes are these little rice dishes (forgot what they’re called) and bun bo hue (white noodles in red broth).
Tasty central Vietnamese restaurants locate in center of Little Saigon
(TK plaza). Quan Hy meaning bright happiness, the food was delightful and different sauces for each dishes were perfectly matching. Experienced the joy & happiness with family!!
BEST BANH BEO & BUN BO HUE!
This is my favorite place for the two things listed above. I am so glad I found this hidden gem that serves amazing Vietnamese food. The banh beo is delicious. It is fresh and still warm when they serve it. The shrimp and crab meat they put on it is fresh and just so ughhh. delicious! I had one whole order to myself. It was worth the calories!
Bun bo hue: the best thing in the world. The broth is flavored so well. You can taste the beef in the broth & it just makes me so happy. The beef in there was extremely tender and melted in my mouth. I can’t say much about the pig knuckle they stick in there. I don’t eat that. I always take it out as soon as it comes in the food if they do not take it out before hand. The only negative review I have is that there wasn’t enough food! I wish they put more food in there.
Service: it was absolutely horrendous lol. I would give this restaurant one star because the servers are rude… they practically throw the food on the table and are reluctant to serve you. I do not want to discourage people from trying this quality food, hence the 5 stars.
Recommendation: you MUST try this place for the banh beo and bun bo hue. You will not be disappointed by the quality of the food.
Banh Beo, Banh It Ram, Banh Canh = Success
I always look restaurants up on Yelp before I try it. My Vietnamese friend suggested that we go to Quan Hy and a Yelp search reminded me of my first experience here years ago. I told him that this time he was going to be in charge of the ordering.
The Banh Beo here is very popular and delicious. The other two dishes he ordered are things I’m not as familiar with and I ended up liking them.
The restaurant was packed during lunch yet it ran very efficiently. It was a great meal!
Not going to lie, I was craving bun bo hue and had very (emphasis on very) low expectations for the BBH here.
Luckily for me, the bun bo hue was incredible here. Reminiscent of the bun bo I would order on my trips to Vietnam. The only thing lacking is the huge honkin’ gio heo (my Vietnamese brothers and sisters know what this is) in the bowl. They do, however, include smaller pieces of the gio heo in every bowl. The broth is good, meat had good flavor and they included traditional hot sauce (sate) that comes with bun bo hue.
All in all, I would recommend this place to anyone who wants an authentic bowl of bun bo hue (and please, add a lot of the sate. It’s the only way to eat it)!