Kau Ba Saigon Kitchen and Bar

4.3
31 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Vietnamese
"If I won't eat it, I won't serve it," that's the philosophy behind chef Nikki Tran's cooking style. With two successful restaurants in Vietnam, chef Nikki Tran is bringing her take on vietnamese food across the world to America's hottest food scene, Houston. Freshest ingredients, minimal white sugar, and absolutely no MSG is the catalyst behind every dish that comes out of Kau Ba Kitchen.

With a massive following of hungry diners on social media and her recognition on popular food programs such as Netflix Ugly Delicious or Somebody Feed Phil; chef Nikki Tran is bringing her palette to America with her take on Viet Cajun, VIEJUN
What 31 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
3.9
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JP
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We loved our lunch at Kau Ba, and we were especially impressed with the lovely presentation and the flexibility of the chef in substituting ingredients for our specific dietary needs.

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SR
Houston
39 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Came here for the first time last Saturday with friends, and liked it so much we returned again tonight.

This time we ordered the dumpling special, which came with a delicious sauce of diced shrimp and scallions, and each had Bun with egg rolls and pork skewers, which came with spiralized cucumber and finely shredded green apple—delicious!! My only regret upon leaving was that it was so tasty I overate!

Servers are very kind and efficient. We will definitely return.

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JC
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is amazing. We ordered the Chef's dumpling, the special duck noodles and a beef noodle dish (that I can't remember the name of). All of it was incredible. The staff was very attentive and friendly. It also wasn't crowded or noisy. Overall, a really relaxing and enjoyable dinner. Seemingly a hidden gem :)

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CP
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really excellent food and service. Had the Mi Chay and the seafood Pho. Both were layered with flavors and were special.

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MB
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Atmosphere warm and low-key. Service friendly and helpful but unobtrusive. Food was great: chef’s dumplings just delicious. Excellent basil clams. Duck noodles and bun thit nuong were filled with subtle flavors. Everything was very fresh. I have already recommended it to friends.

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J
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Wonderful food. Fresh, fragrant, delicious!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding hidden gem despite a celebrity chef

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SM
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

We started our meal with chef dumplings which were very good. The shrimp bahn mi was not warm and disappointed us. The beef in my salad was overcooked and tough. The Saigon sunrise also disappointed: The pork was overcooked and tough and the rinds were cold and not crispy. The mojito was very good and the beer was cold and tasty.

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JG
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the recommendations. Great food! Need to expand dessert but other than that is was Fantastic.

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GA
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service. We tried several dishes and all were outstanding. My wife liked it so much that she went back for lunch the next day!

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2
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

We went with high expectations after reading Alison Cook’s review and ordered a few of the dishes she loved and some that she did not mention. Nothing was outstanding and some barely edible. The corn cobs in a seafood medley were ice cold, most of the clams were empty shells and the shrimp were tough. The noodles in one of our guests entree were so dry that she could not eat them. The wine list hardly deserves to be called that. Will not be going back.

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P
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 4

Excellent service. Interesting menu choices. Unfortunately all four of us ended up w upset stomachs

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OT
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 2

Appetizer salad and mains all came at nearly the same time. Corn was cold and all the clams were empty. Been here two other times and everything was great. Tonight was not good and I was disappointed

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GH
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Imaginative and tasty dishes, but Sunday night they could have used one or two more waiters. The one who served us was very nice, knowledgeable, and as accommodating as possible. Space used to be a Greek restaurant, and shares a building and parking area/supply yard with a marble and granite dealer.

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d
Houston
12 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

I was very excited to try this new restaurant after reading the glowing review from Alison Cook in the Chronicle. The place has a cool and casual vibe and everyone's very friendly. We were with another couple and we all felt the food was just okay. We did enjoy the eggrolls and my friend liked her salad. The guys got Mother's Chicken (off menu but not really because they tell you about it). They liked it but were surprised to see 3 chicken legs in a bowl arrive. My noodle dish was mediocre. It's not a hard no, but I won't be rushing back here. Too many good Asian restaurants in this city!

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OT
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

A pure delight of fabulous food!

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SC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 1

Poor Service, overpriced, very average food.
There’s no less than 10 Vietnamese places within 5 miles that are better options.

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B
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We wanted to celebrate our special day with a delicious dinner and our experience here lived up to the write up that I saw in the Houston Chronicle. We’re going back!

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o
Houston
61 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Clearly very good food. Just as clearly not near enough service personnel before 7:00 PM. Servers all were excellent and pleasant but trying to handle 6 or more tables for one server is not going to get it done. again food was great, all as advertised but the wait for the order and the order of the items as served (entrees before appetizers etc.) leaves a lot to be desired. Good luck to the place but sadly you are in Houston and this type of business management will struggle for survival in this market. My pet peeve: wine was barely OK but lacking in choices. Sorry but if changes aren't made very soon this place will be just another amateurish miss in a tough market.

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B
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, the service was excellent. Overall a very relaxing evening. Will definitely return and recommend.

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JO
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service, food, and ambiance were outstanding. They make you feel like a part of the family. I can’t wait to go back!

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ND
Houston
28 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We highly recommend Kau Ba Saigon Kitchen & Bar! The food is unlike—and in many ways superior to—any Vietnamese food we’ve had. We started with shrimp and pork dumplings and the taste was divine, as was the texture. The dumplings were wonderfully chewy and light (not the least bit heavy/doughy), though we advise caution on the accompanying red pepper sauce, which is extremely hot. My companion ordered the “Saigon Sunrise,” a very ample entree that includes a pork chop, pork and crab cake, shredded pork, fried egg, rice and kimchi. I had the much lighter “Mi Chay” entree of stir-fried egg noodles and veggies. Both were absolutely delicious. We’ll definitely be back.

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EH
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Thank goodness, we went early because by 7 p.m. large groups were moving in and the noise level was high.

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, beautifully presented, new tests and terrific service! Highest marks. This place needs to be patronized!

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A
Phoenix
13 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was great. The owner/chef came and talked to us about the food and special dishes, she was delightful.

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BB
Houston
12 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Unique twist on Vietnamese cuisine with a Cajun flare. We loved everything we tried (dumplings, seafood vietjun soup, and bananas foster dessert). Liked the bold flavors. The price point is a bit high but appropriate.

Would go back and recommend to friends.

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D
Houston
31 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was terrific, and the service was exeptionally friendly. The chef came to our table to make sure we were pleased with the food. The presentation was artistic. All in all, this was a great experience, and I'll definitely go back.

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RD
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish was super fresh and interesting. We loved the fusion of amazing flavors and spices!!

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B
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

We went on a Sunday morning and were greeted warmly. The space was peaceful and calming. We ordered the steamed seafood dish. I forget the name. It was delicious. Loved the sauce. But will ask for it on the side next time. Peeling shrimp and attempting to crack crab legs with sticky sauce was too messy.
Service was cheerful and helpful but we had to ask for items that should have provided such as a bowl to place shells from the seafood in and extra napkins. Also I recommend that the crab legs should come out of the kitchen cracked before presentation.

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K
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Had high expectations for the seafood viejun it was ok was not the same as the tv shows, expectations of whole prawns - lemonade was maybe one of the best in Houston - service was slow but very nice

I will go a second time for some pho

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L
Miami
19 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This Resturant is a hidden secret. The Chef will customize your dinner and experience. Great food experience.

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