The trio behind the popular Sweet Memes Dessert and Tea — one of the only places in Houston where you can find the cult-favorite drink known as Vietnamese egg coffee — have teamed up again to bring an exciting new Vietnamese restaurant to Houston.
Hoi An Quan, which just opened its doors over the weekend, is a project of Sweet Memes owners Daniel Quach, Jessie Nguyen, and partner Eric Nguyen. Named after the coastal port city of Hoi An in central Vietnam’s Quang Nam province, the restaurant will introduce Houstonians to several dishes that could not be found before in Houston.
*We don’t have any restaurants selling Hoi An food in Houston,” Quach, whose family is from Hoi An, tells Eater. “We were missing our hometown food. So, we wanted to open the restaurant to give people in Houston the chance to try authentic Hoi An dishes.”
The opening menu boasts a variety of options, with three signature dishes that are emblematic of the region. The first is cao lau (“cow loh”), a dish made of a special type of rice noodle that’s been soaked in lye. Hoi An Quan’s version is garnished with shrimp, char siu pork, lettuce, and bean sprouts and is served with crispy rice crackers in a scant pork broth.
The second dish, mi quang (“mee kwong”) originated and is named after the Quang Nam province. While other versions of this dish are made with yellow turmeric noodles, Quach says that the Hoi An version utilize white flat rice noodles, with pork and shrimp, chicken, toasted rice paper, and quail egg, topped with green onion and peanuts.
Another signature dish is the com ga Hoi An, a chicken and rice dish typical of that region. Here, it’s presented in a deconstructed format with steamed chicken, chicken salad, stir-fried gizzards, liver, and herbs. Rice steamed in chicken broth and turmeric is served on the side.
Rounding out the menu are appetizers such as hen xuc banh da, fried baby clams with toasted rice paper, and du du bo kho, papaya salad with beef jerky, along with a selection of banh mi, and Hoi An-style pho.
Quach tells Eater that the Hoi An pho is different than elsewhere because of the toppings and accompaniments. “Our Hoi An-style pho will have nam (beef flank), bo vien (beef meatballs, and tai (rare beef slices),” says Quach. “Then it’s topped with peanuts sauteed in annatto seed and served with basil leaf and pickled green papaya.”
The restaurant’s sprawling 4,500 square foot space — formerly occupied by Pop Pot — has been transformed into a charming bistro with yellow walls, bright blue doors, and hanging lanterns typical of Hoi An Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 21 tables total, including booths and street-style short tables, as well as larger tables for parties of eight and 10.
Hoi An Quan is located at 6348 Corporate Dr Suite E in Chinatown. Opening hours will be Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight. Follow the shop on Instagram for more details.