Michael Nham has brought his popular Melbourne eatery, Banoi to Brisbane, opening shop next door to Street Fighter themed burger joint, Super Combo in the bustling new King Street dining precinct of Bowen Hills.
If you’ve not yet had a chance to check out King Street you should hop on down soon. The line up of venues is strong and it’s become quite the busy little destination for lunch and dins, and we predict newbie, Banoi will be no exception.
We stopped by Banoi for dinner (they’re open until 9:30pm Monday through Saturday). The venue has a clean, modern fit out, and a light and bright vibe that feels best suited to lunch or a quick dinner.
In the area that’s most important, the food, Banoi killed it. The Vietnamese on offer here is authentic with a contemporary twist. The menu includes the expected Vietnamese dishes (some good looking Vermicelli noodle bowls, rice paper rolls, pho, etc.), but is elevated with some interesting additions like Banoi’s own take on the Hoi An classic, Cao Lau cold noodles, and crispy Vietnamese savoury pancakes, plus a range of curries, salads, and rice dishes.
We ordered the delicate and delicious steamed rice pancake rolled with shredded pork, water chestnuts, and shitake mushrooms, topped with a Chinese doughnut and shredded cucumber, herbs, and shallots, because it was topped with a Chinese doughnut, obviously.
I’m not usually partial to spring rolls, but Banoi’s Imperial Spring Rolls have me reassessing my stance. These were stuffed with crab and prawn, and really, really good.
The Banoi Taco—a steamed bao-style bun—was another highlight. We had the BBQ pork patty and soft shell crab buns. Both were super.
Banoi clearly caters to the lunch crowd, offering takeaway and dine-in available with two weekday set lunch options which include pho or Bun Bo Hue, half a bahn mi, some deep fried goodies, and a Vietnamese iced coffee or kumquat lemonade for around $15 squid. Not too shabby.
Banoi has a solid beer and wine list, but it’s hard to pass up authentic Vietnamese-style coffee if you’re after a sweet buzz (think espresso drip served over condensed milk. Just hook it up to my veins, thanks). If that’s not your jam, the range of fruit smoothies and crushes make for a refreshing accompaniment to the street food-style menu.
For dessert, deep fried banana dumplings with salted caramel drizzle, mango pudding, or fresh young coconut jelly are on hand to round out the meal.
If you’re looking for playful and authentic Vietnamese in Brisbane that goes beyond standard fare, Banoi delivers.
Want even more newness? Check out The Directory for the latest new openings in Brisbane.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson