Quan Bun Ban Mai specializes in canh bun, a little-known soup from northern Vietnam. The owners are from a small farming town about an hour south of Hanoi.
It’s a lot like the more common bun rieu, Vietnamese crab noodle soup, explains hppzz. The base for both canh bun and bun rieu is the same pork bone and minced crabmeat broth, but canh bun uses thick rice noodles, cooked in the broth for a silky-soft texture. The noodles are the same sort as you’d find in bun bo hue (noodle soup). Lovers of Japanese noodles might find them vaguely reminiscent of udon in thickness, heft, and softness, while bits of morning glory infuse the entire broth with their flavor.
There are other good soups on the menu, including bun rieu, bun oc (snail soup), and some northern Vietnamese specialties. But the canh bun is the dish that’s kept them in business for more than 20 years, says hppzz.
Quan Bun Ban Mai [Little Saigon]
8890 Bolsa Avenue, Westminster