Comfort food means different things to different people. For some, it's macaroni cheese, for others, pumpkin soup, tuna melts, or creamed rice. But at Vietnamese restaurant Banoi, comfort food comes in the form of cloud-soft steamed buns, fragrant pho, noodle salads, rice dishes, paper thin steamed rice pancakes, and crispy crepes and desserts.
Banoi bills its food as 'homestyle Vietnamese' and, like most dishes which evoke a delicious sense of nostalgia, these recipes are based on those handed down by co-owner Michael Nham's grandmother. Also on the menu are steamed taco buns (bánh bao kẹp) stuffed with pork belly or soft shell crab, traditional rice paper rolls (gỏi cuốn) filled with prawns, chicken, or salt and pepper tofu, and wonton noodle soup.
Before coming to Brisbane, Banoi built its formidable reputation on two bustling locations in Melbourne. It has now opened on the expanding King Street precinct connecting Gregory Terrace and St Pauls Terrace, which is replete with great new eateries including the illustrious Montrachet. Brisbane is also fortunate to be welcoming an additional location for The Lamb Shop.
Good value set lunches are offered on weekdays, and there is also a handy takeaway counter for those who need to eat on the run. Leave room for dessert, because there are a few mouth-watering options, including fried banana dumplings, mango pudding and fresh coconut water set as a jelly in a coconut shell.