Monday, July 16, 2012

Hai Ky

Hai Ky on East Oltorf is one of just a few Vietnamese restaurants in South Austin, the majority of them being up north, where larger segments of Asian populations live. This place was one of my very early blog posts, but since it's been three+ years, it deserves another mention.

I scheduled a last minute lunch with a friend; she used to frequent this place, so she's more familiar with their menu than I am. (I don't think I had been here in the past three years, clearly a mistake!) I got a Vietnamese coffee and she suggested the the crab rangoon as an appetizer, which come with this outstanding sauce with lots and lots of ginger in it. The sauce also ended up being good on my entree!
I ordered a bun (vermicelli noodle) bowl, #44, with char-grilled pork and crispy egg roll on the side. The pork is cut into fairly small pieces, but has a nice flavor to it. The accompanying cucumbers and carrots were nice and fresh, though the lettuce in the bowl as well as from the appetizer plate did not hold up well at all to hot food being placed on them. While you can't see them, in the bottom of the bowl are thin rice noodles; I ate about half this bowl and saved the rest for dinner. Not bad for $6.99.
My friend recalled a dish she had consumed in the past, one where flat rice noodles are pressed into a cake and then fried. I don't know the dish was called, but it's #101, and it was really tasty and filled with fresh veggies. I love noodles, and this was different from anything I had ever had before. At first glance, I thought it was a tofu dish, but it's certainly noodle.
Hai Ky does serve some standard Chinese dishes, but what's not so typical about this Asian eatery is that all of the waitstaff were twenty-something hipster guys. Service was fairly prompt, and the dishes came out fast. A Google search does not come up with a working web address; the link above is what's posted on their Yelp review site, but interestingly, they don't list the Oltorf location on the website. And, my #44 was $7.29 at the Guadalupe spot, and $7.99 on Bee Caves. I'll stick to the Oltorf spot.