Saigon Quy-Bau opened in Aug 2021 and is named for the Chef’s Vietnamese name, Bau, and his older brother’s name, Quy, which together means “prestigious”. The Chef, Corey Nguyen, is a veteran of the Fountain and Swann Lounge at the old Four Seasons Hotel and previously ran the elegant Colonial Quy-Bau, which closed during the lockdowns. The new Saigon Quy-Bau claims to serve “French Inspired Vietnamese with a flair of Thai Cuisine”. We tried the Com Chien Thit Nuong which is Vietnamese style BBQ pork over jasmine fried rice, which was excellent. The pork was perfectly caramelized and had the sweet and charred flavor that you want from Vietnamese BBQ. The Pho Rau & Tofu, which is vegan, was less successful. The Pho broth was pretty good and had clear Vietnamese flavors, but the vegetables were over cooked and close to mushy.
The Dumplings: I am not used to seeing dumplings on a Vietnamese menu but the lunch menu at Saigon Quy-Bau has several varieties: crispy curry chicken dumplings in a sweet soy ginger glaze; steamed pork dumplings with a bell pepper tomato sauce; crispy wontons filled with shrimp and fresh herbs served with a plum ginger sauce; and steamed portabella mushroom and leek dumplings with a caramelized onion and shiitake sauce. We tried the steamed portabella mushroom and leek dumplings and were blown away, this dish is the reason to return to Saigon Quy-Bau. The dumplings were steamed to perfection so that the wrappers had a slight al dente chew to them and the filling was sweet and umami from the leeks and mushrooms. The sauce was also brilliant. It was light but so flavorful with onion sweetness, a slight umami funk from the shiitake and hints of ginger. If they sold this sauce in bottles I would buy it and if they provided straws with the dish I would slurp the sauce off the plate. The portabella mushroom and leek dumplings are vegan.
The Location: Saigon Quy-Bau is on South street in Philadelphia at the corner of Clarion street, which is one block East of Broad Street.