A Vietnamese restaurant is opening on Dallas' Greenville Avenue in an unconventional manner that is a reflection of these COVID-19 times.
Called Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen, it'll open in September at 1907 Greenville Ave., in the space most recently occupied by Shivas Bar & Grill. But in the interim, it'll serve a limited preview menu of take-out items only, such as egg rolls, spring rolls, banh mi, and Vietnamese iced coffee, plus specials such as crab fried rice.
Ngon is from restaurant veteran Carol Nguyen, who has been in the business for a decade. She wanted to open a Vietnamese restaurant featuring food from her native Ha Noi including favorite street foods.
"This restaurant is close to my heart as it's food from my home and food that I love to eat," Nguyen says in a statement. "It's one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in Dallas proper so I want to do my best to introduce and celebrate the food from my home and from all three regions of Vietnam to diners."
Nguyen began cooking Vietnamese food after moving to the U.S., in an effort to recreate favorite dishes and flavors she missed. She trained in the industry working at restaurants in New Orleans, then opened Crazee Crab, a Cajun restaurant in Grand Prairie in 2014.
Her menu at Ngon will include dishes such as:
- King Crab Banh Canh
- a Taste of Hue flight of bites
- Bun Bo Hue
- Ha Noi-style pho, with a clearer soup and more herbs
- Bun Cha Hanoi
- Banh mi with housemade cognac-infused foie gras pate
- Vietnamese iced coffee or Ca Phe Trung (Vietnamese egg coffee) to-go or desserts in the future.
The restaurant features a Banh Mi station in front along with a patio area, where Nguyen plans to open late-night for coffees and bites.
Ngon has two meanings: It means delicious in Vietnamese, and it's also named for her mother, whose name is Ngôn. (Ngon with no accent marks is pronounced nh-awn; Ngôn with an accent is pronounced nh-own.)
Some of the recipes are from her grandmother, and the woman theme continues with her two managers, Lyna Tran and Nini Nguyen, who have helped her open her other two restaurants. (She also previously owned a sushi restaurant.)
Nguyen has surrounded the restaurant with plants and her favorite flower, orchids, to recreate the ambience of a Vietnamese home or business. There are also black and white photographs of Ha Noi.
Customers are considered extended family so hospitality and community involvement is a priority. Most recently, Crazee Crab provided free meals, gloves and masks to seniors, first responders, essential workers, the homeless community and to regulars to show their appreciation and support. Ngon will be doing the same in its community.
Orders can be made by phone or in-person, but they prefer in-person orders and contactless payments through Venmo @ ngonvietkitchen & Zelle 817-565-2687. Current hours are Sunday-Thursday 12-7 pm and Friday-Saturday 12-8 pm. Once open in September, the restaurant will serve take-out first by phone and walk-in orders with masks and then eventually open the dine-in area.