Houston >Food & Dining > Thuan Kieu Com Tam
10792 Bellaire Blvd Ste A, Houston, TX | Directions 7707229.704068 -95.568771
Neighborhoods: Alief, Westside
Thuan Kieu is an unassuming little hole in the wall in one of the older strip malls on Bellaire. But don't be fooled by the outward appearance. Order the family meal and feast on dishes like caramelized catfish in clay pot, sauteed ong choy with garlic, squash soup with shrimp, and so forth. I order those three dishes to go whenever I feel like home cooking but can't get myself to lift a finger. It's clean, it's simple and it's always good. (People complain about service but if you overlook it you'll get great food).
Oh wow, all you can eat MSG – I gave it one star because the price is OK for the amount of food. However, the reason people think they got more food is because they used so much MSG, the foods were so salty you had to eat too much rice and get full before you could finish the foods on the table. Therefore you had to ask for rice refill at least twice. Then they will stop giving you rice without giving a reason. If you demanded for a reason they would say you have to pay for it. The service is OK but RUDE because of the above explanation. The food is so salty your blood pressure would go sky high and you veins would feel like busting. Watch out if you have a party of 6 or more, they would put tip in your bill so DO NOT give more tips, the owner would just come by and grab it himself.
Bad service, Cheap owner, The Worst! – Quantity of food is unbeatable but quality of food and service is terrible. Chicken was tough & chewy. Fried whole fish was still raw inside and dripping blood on the plate. Mussels were still cold seemed like they just poured sauce over them. We ordered family meal for 4 (com phan 4 nguoi) for the 6 of us since 2 people just ate and just wanted to chat. We had a separate table for 5 kids and they ordered 3 separate dishes. On our table, 4 grown men went through 2 bowls of white rice and asked them to bring another bowl. They never did and ignored our repeated requests. Finally we asked for to-go and asked the guy why they never send out the rice. He said we ordered meal for 4 for the 6 of us but their policy is only for 2 bowls of rice. Then he said we would have to pay for the rice if we wanted it for to-go. We said we were waiting for ever, had they told us this since the beginning we would not even wait.
After my relatives (visitors from Dallas) left I went to the owner and told him he shouldn't ruin his restaurant reputation over a bowl of rice. He said had we still eating they would refill the rice but not for takeout. I said we were still eating when they ignored our request when we couldn't wait any longer we had to pack up the soup for to-go. I also told him I just paid $78 for 2 tables he didn't want to spare a bowl of rice? He said "I don't care". Well they just lost our business. The owner himself was the one ordered his waiters not to refill rice. I saw him going around collecting the tips before his waiters could clean up. Now thinking back, a meal for 4 and 3 separate dishes do not cost $78. They must have included tip in the bill so be careful. We left them $8 tips for both tables. In summary, the owner is so cheap. The food is prepared in a hurry & not fully cooked. The service is terrible due to the owner's micromanagement. I don't know what people see but the quantity of food cannot make up for all those shortfalls. The owner himself is the major problem with this restaurant.
Worst Vietnamese Restaurant in Houston – This place used to be delicious but ever since they expanded the restaurant, the service is terrible, too much msg, and it is completely overpriced...probably due to all the new renovations. I would not bring my family back here again, especially given all the restaurants to choose from.
Best broken rice dishes in town – Excellent vietnamese restaurant in the Bellaire area serving up a wide variety of dishes. They are known for their com tam (broken rice) dishes, hence the name of the restaurant, and their com tam is as good as it gets. I usually order item C2 on the menu, which is com tam thuan kieu dac biet mon B - broken rice with shredded pork, baked egg, shredded pork skin, egg roll, bean curd skin with shrimp, shrimp paste, and beef.
They also have pho noodle soups, fried rice dishes, bun kho vermicelli dishes, banh hoi, canh chua soups, and a whole list of other main entrees.
They serve arguably some of the best vietnamese clay pot catfish (ca kho to) in town... it's got the right amount of sweet carmelized tastiness like my mom used to make.
They also have a pretty good family style menu where you can get a four course family meal for as low as $18.
I've attached my photos of their menus for your review. They recently renovated and nearly doubled their space after buying out the space next door. They are located in the shopping center across Bellaire from Kim Son next door to the Family Dollar store.
Also, as with many asian restaurants in this area, they are CASH ONLY so come prepared! Service can be spotty with the occasional attitude, but I don't mind as long as I get yummy food.
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