Modern Nostalgia and the Spirit of Family at Quan Bui Restaurants

food - Saigon/HCMC: Sept. 17, 2018

In District 2 on a quiet street, a wooden sign guides us into a lush garden. Diners gather at tables tucked between trees. Plates of food fragrant with spices, lemongrass, coriander and meat are shared amongst friends.

quan bui restaurants

At a far table a man sits alone, concentrated on the work he has in front of him. He has the purposeful look of someone ready to take on the next project. This is Tran Danh, the founder of the beloved Quan Bui restaurant group.

quan bui restaurants

At 36 years, Tran is unexpectedly young considering his success in the food and beverage sector, yet, his youth is part of what pushed him to launch his brand. Seven years ago, Tran was working in the marketing industry. Like many of his contemporaries, he had no time to prepare food at home so he ate out for every meal. After a while this lifestyle began to wear on him.

“I literally never ate at home”, Tran said. “So I thought, why not open something for people like me? Office workers, middle-income people looking for something affordable but good. What their mum might cook, but better.”

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Tran wanted the kind of meal that would evoke nostalgia for family dining. Excellent quality in comfort and elegance.

And thus the concept for the first Quan Bui was born.

The flagship Quan Bui opened in 2011 on a small street in the centre of Saigon’s “Little Hollywood”. The restaurant fulfilled a need for healthy Vietnamese comfort food, prepared with no MSG and low sugar. The broths used in classic soups like the tangy, tamarind-flavoured canh chua are made in-house with no chemical additions or short-cuts.

quan bui restaurants

Now with four restaurants spread across the city, Tran has accomplished his goal. Each Quan Bui restaurant is enrobed in jewel-tones, warm lighting, and Indochine-style art and design. The general atmosphere is like being welcomed into the type of traditional Vietnamese home that has almost ceased to exist.

The menu covers dishes from three regions—North, Centre and South. Some of the signature dishes are the Southern canh chua soups, claypots from the Centre, and cha ca grilled fish from the North. Despite its roots in tradition, Quan Bui is still contemporary.

“Modern meets culture,” is how Tran describes the concept.

quan bui restaurants

A selection of 15 cocktails crafted by an expert bartender changes each month. There is also a selection of international wines available. One cocktail features kumquat and passionfruit juice, Vietnamese coriander, a salt and pepper rim, and for a final twist, a chili is carved into the shape of a flower and placed inside. It is an unusual combination of sweet, salty, refreshing and spicy.

Drop into any of the four restaurants for a memorable meal or choose Quan Bui for your next event. The garden setting at Quan Bui Original and Quan Bui Garden are perfect for an intimate wedding celebration or a birthday party, while Quan Bui Central and Bistro are ideal for business diners, company functions or wine tastings.

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Come to discover the smells and flavours of Vietnam at its finest, and leave replenished with the spirit of friends and family.

QUÁN BỤI - Bistro
1st Floor, 39 Lý Tư Trọng, District 1 (Corner of Hai Bà Trưng)
T: +84 2836 02 22 41

QUÁN BỤI - Original
17/A Ngô Văn Năm, District 1 
T: +84 2838 29 15 15

QUÁN BỤI - Central
2A Lê Duẩn, District 1 (Corner of Đinh Tiên Hoàng)
T: +84 2839 10 10 55

QUÁN BỤI - Garden
55A - 55B Ngô Quang Huy, District 2 
T: +84 2838 98 90 88

Image source: Quan Bui Restaurant