Food journey through Vietnam right here in Dallas!
A girlfriend of mine has been working at this Vietnamese restaurant for quite some time now, and has been begging me to come in and give it a shot. While I’m no, connoisseur of Vietnamese food, I am pretty particular with the cuisine, and had pretty high expectations when she told me that it was “fine dining Vietnamese food”.
Don’t blink when driving to Mot Hai Ba, because you will miss the location. Small quaint location with an intimate patio, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Dallas. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by a smiling hostess, Eryka Badu through the speakers, and the laughter of other guests enjoying their experience. Already I was excited! The communal seating was a wonderful experience, we had two separate groups of people come and sit with us while we dinned, we hardly even noticed. The decor was kept to a minimum but very well done for such a small space. If you have been to Greenwich Village NY, then you can kinda imagine this quaint space.
Chef Peja Krstic offers a concentration on Northern Vietnamese cuisine, which has a liberal take on some traditional dishes that I wasn’t familiar with, but so excited to try! They had a great cocktail menu, but I opted for a glass of the full bodied cab. Next we ordered a couple appetizers, the duck meatballs which were grilled and in a tomato based compote, and had some type of kimchi pureed into it. I could have eaten the sauce on its own as a soup it was so good!! We also had the fried oysters in a thai chilli sauce that was just enough sauce to not allow the breading on the oysters to get soggy. (which had me hesitant to order the oysters to begin with, but so glad we did). We had the sizzling cakes with shrimp which is a traditional Vietnamese dish, kinda like a lettuce wrap which were delicious but a bit messy for my liking. The Blue crab salad was my second favorite thing that I had, with cucumber, bok choy, and thai chilli. (I have been craving this sad ever since I left). For our main course we decided to share a couple entrees since we were slowly getting full from the apps that we had devoured. We ordered the shaking beef (my favorite dish we tried) which was marinated in a soy vinaigrette, and if you don’t order anything else make sure you try this! We had the eggplant marmalade which was different than anything I have ever had before, served with a side of wafer thin rice cakes to scoop it up with. The garlic noodles, bok choy and mushrooms as a couple side dishes, and we were STUFFED!!! Out of curiousity I had to see a dessert menu and when I saw they had Donut holes of course I had to get in on them, and so glad that I did. There was so much on the menu that I wanted to try and will most definitely be back for the whole fish because I was green with envy when the people next to us ordered it!
Over all Mot Hai ba offered more than just amazing Vietnamese cuisine, but they offered us an incredible dinning experience. Bring a date and be sure to impress with this hidden Dallas gem. And make sure you #dressresponsibly because you never know who you may be sitting next too! 😉