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Venture Beyond Your Usual Vietnamese Fare With Small Bites from DaNang Souphouse

Banh bot loc tran at DaNang Souphouse are small shrimp and pork dumplings in tapioca-skin wrappers.
Banh bot loc tran at DaNang Souphouse are small shrimp and pork dumplings in tapioca-skin wrappers. Didi Paterno
Vietnamese cuisine isn’t a stranger to DFW, and neither is DaNang Souphouse. Open since 2019 near the skeleton of a Sears department store, this restaurant brings to the table newer regional Vietnamese dishes from its namesake city of Da Nang that are perfect for anyone looking to expand their dining repertoire.

You will not miss out on your favorite beef pho, but also try the assortment of barely palm-sized dishes, some wrapped in banana leaves. They're steamed parcels of savory bites, and each dish’s name is translated into English to help ease your mind and appreciate what it's made of.

Start with a plate of the bánh bot loc tran, thimble-sized shrimp and pork mini dumplings encased in a crystalline tapioca skin, served in threes, topped with caramelized crispy shallots and fresh chopped green onions. There’s also the banh bot loc la, which instead of coming in the shape of dumplings, is flat, wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf. Unwrap the dainty package and reveal its translucent skin, where a tiny shrimp is nestled and curled on its equally tiny bed of pork belly.

Then pick up a banh nam, a flat, ground rice cake topped with a blend of ground pork and shrimp, also wrapped and steamed inside a banana leaf. Last is the banh it tom thit, a glutinous or sticky rice dumpling with the same shrimp and pork combination.
click to enlarge Banh bot loc la, banh nam, banh it tom thit from DaNang Souphouse are small bites steam in banana leaves. - DIDI PATERNO
Banh bot loc la, banh nam, banh it tom thit from DaNang Souphouse are small bites steam in banana leaves.
Didi Paterno
The banh bot loc is chewy while the banh nam melts on your tongue, leaving the ground pork and shrimp to finish with a chew. The banh it tom thit is your middle ground, chewy and yet just enough to chew before it melts on your tongue.

Proceed to picking up the spoon-sized savory cakes, the banh beo.

DaNang Souphouse has two kinds: the banh beo tom thit and the banh beo tom chay, which have the same steamed ground rice base but different toppings. The former has a minced pork and shrimp sauce, and the latter comes with minced, toasted shrimp and crispy shallots. Each can be topped with chopped roasted peanuts to add crunch to each melty bite.
click to enlarge Danang bahn beos and bah bot loc tran from DaNang Souphouse - DIDI PATERNO
Danang bahn beos and bah bot loc tran from DaNang Souphouse
Didi Paterno
All are complemented with a splash of nuoc mam cham, seasoned fish sauce with a sweet finish and a pinch of heat.

Since you are on a roll to add more onto your Vietnamese cuisine repertoire, you might as well head to their noodle bar.

Your favorites, pho and bún thit nuong, vermicelli with grilled pork chops, are present. But venture out to sample the bun rieu, with rice noodles in a tomato and pork broth with crab, shrimp and pork meatballs, or the mi quang with yellow flat noodles, lightly sauced with broth and topped with shrimp, slices of pork and half a boiled egg. Again, DaNang Souphouse lovingly holds your hand with Vietnamese and English signboards that explain which herbs and roughage goes best with each bowl of noodles.

Danang Souphouse, 1600 E. Belt Line Road, Richardson. Open Friday through Sunday, lunch service 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner service 5:30 -9 p.m.
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