One of Melbourne’s favourite Vietnamese restaurants, Banoi, will open in Brisbane this week.
After much success down south, cousins Viet Nguyen and Michael Nham are bringing Banoi north.
This is Nham’s second Brisbane venture — he also co-owns Super Combo, the Street Fighter-themed burger joint that recently opened on King Street.
Banoi will open right next door to Super Combo on King Street. With an emphasis on family, Banoi serves up Vietnamese favourites that have been passed down through the generations, and given a new spin by the cousins.
‘Banoi’ translates to ‘grandma’ in Vietnamese, and the name serves as a tribute to the cousins’ late grandma, Bon Thi Nguyen, who has been their primary source of culinary inspiration.
In the late ’80s, their grandma owned and operated ViVi Restaurant, one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in Footscray’s famous Little Saigon market. Eventually, her children — who had been helping to run the restaurant — started their own families (that’s when Viet and Michael came into the picture), and ViVi closed its doors.
As adults, the cousins began their professional relationship in 2010 with NSHRY, a beachfront Asian fusion cafe that continues to be successful. After their grandma’s passing, they began toying with the idea of rounding up the family recipes and opening a Vietnamese restaurant as a tribute to her, and in 2013, Banoi was born.
While the restaurant is a tribute to their late grandma, the food they serve isn’t necessarily ‘traditional’, a term Nguyen and Nham see as a straightjacket. Instead, their approach is simple — they make the same food at Banoi that they would make at home.
The menu in Brisbane will be very similar to their two Melbourne locations, so you can expect to chow down on plenty of spring rolls, rice paper rolls, beef and chicken pho, Cao Lau noodles (Banoi’s take on the Hoi An classic cold noodle dish) and even Banoi tacos, steamed Vietnamese taco buns with four kinds of delicious fillings — slow cooked pork belly, grilled garlic & soy chicken, tempura soft shell crab, or BBQ pork patty. Specialty dishes include their steamed rice rolled pancake, and Vietnamese crispy pancake.
Banoi opens on King Street, Bowen Hills this Friday 16 June. To celebrate the grand opening, they’ll be giving away free Banoi signature lunch and dinner sets all day long for dine-in customers — but you have to follow them on Facebook or Instagram to claim yours.