Restaurants / Openings

New Vietnamese Restaurant Brings a Banh Mi Station, Egg Coffee, and Unique Ha Noi Bites To Dallas

Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen is Now Open For Takeout in Lower Greenville

BY // 08.05.20

Dallas restauranteur Carol Nguyen isn’t new to our dining scene. She got her start in the food world as a silent restaurant investor a decade ago, then opened a Japanese sushi concept with her family, followed by a Cajun restaurant called Crazee Crab in Grand Prairie. Her latest entree into the scene: a Lower Greenville spot called Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen, Nguyen’s first Vietnamese concept.

Training in New Orleans gave Nguyen the seafood experience she needed to open Crazee Crab in 2014. But the idea of opening a restaurant inspired by her true roots — one that pulled from her upbringing in Ha Noi and love of Vietnam street food — was never far from her mind. When Nguyen noticed movers hauling items out of the former Shivas Bar and Grille space on Lower Greenville (the pre-pandemic bustle of the neighborhood felt reminiscent of Ha Noi), she felt called to the space.

As for the name Ngon, the word means “delicious” in Vietnamese. It’s also the name of Nguyen’s mother, Ngôn. (There are different pronunciations to the words, but a delightful coincidence nevertheless.) Nguyen learned more about cooking every time she went back home to visit, where she also immersed herself in the food world of Ha Noi. The women-led restaurant team at Ngon includes Nguyen, along with managers Lyna Tran and Nini Nguyen.

Ngon’s seafood-heavy menu will feature foods inspired by Nguyen’s favorite Vietnamese street vendors, including bahn mi, iced Vietnamese and egg coffee, King Crab Banh Canh (made with Tapioca noodles), Bun Bo Hue, Ha Noi-style pho, Bun Cha Hanoi, and more. There will be about 18 different dishes on the menu once the restaurant is fully open for dine-in in early September. For now, you can order from a limited takeout menu for takeout featuring Banh Mi, Bun Cha Hanoi, Hu Tieu My Tho, Com Chien Cua, and Vietnamese iced coffee. An accessibly grab-and-go Banh Mi station (with Vietnamese subs made using French cognac-infused foie gras pâté) in the front area of Ngon is already proving to be a popular draw.

Ngon’s liquor license is understandably delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the restaurant does plan to eventually serve martinis and a rum Vietnamese iced coffee. For now, you can try one of the refreshers on the limited menu, including a Butterfly Pea made with mango and passion fruit. As the for the egg coffee, Nguyen says that they make theirs with espresso, condensed milk, and whipped egg yolk on top.

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