Let me start out this post with a big THANK YOU to my genes for allowing me to enjoy the taste of cilantro, a common herb in Vietnamese cuisine.
There are no buts about it- All my friends know that I love Vietnamese food. One of my favorite places to indulge in such is at Hai Ky Cafe, located on the Drag near the University of Texas.
Hai Ky has a menu similar to those found at other Vietnamese restaurants, with a blend of common Asian choices, like Chinese or Thai, along with the regular Vietnamese dishes. One thing I love about Hai Ky is the convenient vegetarian page on the menu. The best part? Nothing is above $8.
I usually start out with the tofu spring rolls. They are an adequate size with a nice variety of fillings. I don’t know about you but I don’t like spring rolls that are 95% noodles! Hai Ky’s peanut sauce, which has a sweeter-than-most taste and nice viscous consistency, is the perfect compliment.
I have found that Hai Ky not only makes some of the best pho and bun I have ever tasted (ranking 2nd or 3rd among all the restaurants I’ve tried), they also considerably improve on favorites such as sesame chicken and pad thai.
The atmosphere of Hai Ky is very Austin-y (what with their vegetarian page and Bruce Lee stencil above the doorway) and casual with Asian flare. It doesn’t look dingy or hole-in-the-wall like some other great Vietnamese places are known to be.
In sum, Hai Ky is a restaurant with fresh decor, fresh ingredients, and a fresh take on Asian food.
P.S. If you stop by be sure to check out the artwork by my school mate, Julia Zaremba. She is truly a talented artist! You can check out her work here.