HOUReview

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Bodard Bistro review image
8.4

Bodard Bistro

$$$$

9140 Bellaire Blvd, Houston
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Bodard Bistro, a small Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown, serves a soup that will change your life. This tiny spot has less than a dozen tables, and it has all the appeal of a hospital waiting room. But the well-tended and deep green house plants let you know something special is happening. 

Bodard Bistro review image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

And sure enough, once the food arrives, Bodard Bistro blossoms into an oasis. The canh chua cá trê, a Mekong Delta staple stew, is and bright and refreshing, with an otherworldly tropical tang from tamarind and pineapple. It’s like somebody planted a vegetable garden by the beach, and then made a soup out of it, with whole tender filets of fresh catfish, stewed tomato, okra, and a melody of sharp herbs. Nothing prepares you for the first bite—or the last, because the woman waiting on you will insist you finish every morsel. 

Bodard Bistro review image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

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Food Rundown

Bodard Bistro review image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Canh Chua Cá Trê

This homestyle soup, in which sweet pineapple and tangy tamarind get mellowed by stewed catfish and fresh tomatoes, hails from south Vietnam. If you’ve never had it before, you’ll be inexplicably transformed. Ladle it over steaming white rice and enjoy it any time of the year.

Bodard Bistro review image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Bánh Khọt

Sort of Vietnam’s answer to savory pancakes, these thick coconut and rice flour cups are golden yellow with turmeric. Each wiggly little tart has crispy, crunchy bottom and sweet shrimp on top. Just pop one in your mouth.

Bodard Bistro review image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

Nem Nướng

Imagine a spring roll, filled with a fried wonton, and a tangy pork sausage. Then dunk that roll into a warm bath made of paté, hoisin, and fish sauce blended together with a sticky rice congee. It’s warm and rich and crunchy all at the same time.

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