Bún Quậy Kiến Xây Sài Gòn



A seafood noodle soup native lớn Phu Quoc Island but with roots in the central coastal region of the mainland, bún quậy literally means ‘stirring noodles’. Sourcing ingredients from the rich seas of the Gulf of Thailand, bún quậy is all about the freshness of ingredients and, like so many Vietnamese dishes, a great dipping sauce. Best enjoyed on Phu Quoc, bún quậy is sold all over the island, but one place in particular is synonymous with the dish: loài kiến Xây. What started out as a family soup house has grown into a modest chain with multiple locations. Bún quậy‘s popularity grew with the advent of domestic tourism to lớn Phu Quoc over the last decade. When Vietnamese travel within their own borders, one of the first questions visitors ask on arrival at a new destination is, “Ở đây gồm món ăn đặc sản nổi tiếng không?” (What’s the speciality of this region?). On Phu Quoc, locals would answer by pointing visitors khổng lồ Kiến Xây for a bowl of bún quậy. Returning home, millennials và Gen Z-ers wrote about bún quậy và Kiến Xây on their blogs, online forums và social truyền thông media pages. It wasn’t long before bún quậy was a famous dish, con kiến Xây a local legend & a must-do-see-eat experience for any domestic visitor to lớn Phu Quoc (as it should be for any international visitor or expatriate, too).

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On this page, I’ve written a description of bún quậy, including its origins, what’s in it, where to eat it and how to eat it. I’ve also mapped all locations of loài kiến Xây so readers can find the one nearest to lớn them và go try a bowl. Click an sản phẩm from the contents below khổng lồ read more about it:

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The 8 locations of Bún Quậy con kiến Xây

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What is Bún Quậy?

Name và Origin:Bún quậy is most likely a riff on another seafood noodle soup, bún tôm, from the central coastal province of Bình Định. Settlers from that province brought the dish to lớn Phu Quoc and, over time, cooks on the island introduced different local ingredients to lớn the soup, tweaking the recipe khổng lồ suit local palates until, eventually, a new dish was born. These days, bún quậy is an outright, stand-alone, Phu Quoc Island speciality; just lượt thích bún kèn.

As with many such dishes in Vietnam, the name ‘bún quậy’ is descriptive: literally ‘stirring noodles’. The name refers lớn the action necessary in mixing the all important nước chấm (dipping sauce) into the broth, which ties the dish together (see How to Eat). When the dish started to lớn gain popularity among Phu Quoc residents it had no name. Thus, an informal ‘folk name’ began to lớn be used to lớn refer to the dish based on the aspect that most distinguished it from other noodle soups. Imagine a conversation such as this: “Where shall we go for lunch?”, “Let’s go to that place where you have lớn stir the noodles.” Over time, this folk name became mainstream until ‘stirring noodles’ was no longer a mô tả tìm kiếm of the dish, but the name of the dish itself: bún quậy. Vietnamese cuisineis full of instances lượt thích this – bánh xèo (‘sizzling pancakes’), bò cơ hội lắc(‘shaking beef’):at once prosaic và poetic.


What’s in it: A seafood-based noodle soup, bún quậy may not be as photogenic as other Vietnamese soups, but it’s just as fresh, complex, hearty & delicious as any of the more famous noodle dishes in the nation’s cuisine. White rice noodles (bún) and a simple, clear, slightly sweet broth are the bare bones of the dish. But, as ever, it’s the additions, accoutrements, sauces and chunky bits that really make this soup stand out. In the broth you’ll find whole baby squid, thick layers of shrimp paste, flattened fish cake patties, và even thin slices of beef. Garnishes include chopped spring onions, famous Phu Quoc black pepper and, most importantly, the dipping sauce which gives the dish its name & fame. A combination of four elements – salt, sodium glutamate crystals (MSG), chilli và calamansi – this nước chấm (dipping sauce) hits all the taste buds: sweet, sour, salty, spicy, umami. Prepare your dipping sauce lớn suit your personal taste (see How khổng lồ Eat), stir a generous spoonful of it into your noodles & let the flavours imbue the broth. This sauce is the essential component of the dish: it ties everything together. No nước chấm, no bún quậy.



Where khổng lồ Eat Bún Quậy?

The kiến Xây Chain: On Phu Quoc Island, kiến Xây is synonymous with bún quậy. What started out as a family-run noodle stall on the island at the dawn of the millennium, loài kiến Xây has grown into a small chain of bún quậy restaurants, with five locations on the island & two on the mainland: one in Rach Gia (port city for ferries lớn Phu Quoc), the other in Saigon (Ho đưa ra Minh City). But the original location on the harbourfront in Duong Dong, the island’s main town, is still generally regarded as the best of all the locations for quality and atmosphere.

Indeed, kiến Xây claim lớn be the original bún quậy on the island. Hence, on Phu Quoc bún quậy and Kiến Xây are inseparable. Based on their story (told through pictures và words in their restaurants và on their website) và on their popularity among the local community and visitors alike, I’ve no reason to doubt the veracity of this claim. There’s also no doubt that the chất lượng of bún quậy at kiến Xây is far superior than at other establishments. In fact, when I first heard of bún quậy và tried it several times on Phu Quoc & in Rach Gia at other restaurants, I couldn’t understand why people were so enamoured of the dish. It was only when I eventually ate bún quậy at con kiến Xây in Duong Dong town that the dish and its reputation finally made sense to lớn me.

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As we’ve already seen, there’s always a story behind a name in Vietnam. If I understand correctly, the name ‘Kiến Xây’ comes from the owner’s family having children all studying either architecture (kiến trúc) or construction (xây dựng), hence con kiến + Xây.



Freshness of Ingredients: Although I can’t speak for the other locations of loài kiến Xây, the freshness of ingredients at the original location on the harbourfront is exceptional. The bún (rice noodles), shrimp paste & fish cakes (made from cá trích – local herring) are all freshly made on the premises. You can really taste the difference: everything is crisp, bright, lively and full of flavour. The bún and the seafood are so fresh that all they need lớn cook is a splash of hot, hearty broth poured over them in the bowl just before serving.


Interior Design: With seating capacity for some 50 or more diners, the interior décor of con kiến Xây’s harbourfront property is urban-chic: a kind of industrial, converted-warehouse, modern look with large wooden tables, metallic chairs, bare concrete walls and exposed piping. Comfortable & good for photos, but also quite jarring at first for a Vietnamese noodle joint – especially one that extolls its family roots & traditions – the restaurant still has all the informality & human warmth that you’d expect of a local soup house. The walls are plastered will cartoon-style illustrations of the story behind bún quậy & Kiến Xây, as well as useful instructions on how to lớn eat and order. Overall it’s a neat, modern, concept-driven restaurant that, despite its attention khổng lồ décor & style, doesn’t thua kém sight of its primary focus: the noodles, the broth và the accoutrements.

How lớn EatBún Quậy?

Bún quậy can be eaten at any time of the day. However, it’s particularly popular for breakfast. Loài kiến Xây is xuất hiện all day, so you can just pop in whenever you feel hungry. Bún quậy is ‘fun food’. This is another dining concept that Vietnam knows well và does well. Fun food means the dish involves some amount of hands-on self-service, multiple components, and is good for eating as a group. In the case of bún quậy the preparation of the dipping sauce, which is fundamental lớn the dish, is made separately by each diner. In the middle of the restaurant a counter displays the four components of the dipping sauce: salt, MSG crystals, chilli and calamansi. Diners can set these ingredients into their own side dish to create their personal dipping sauce to lớn their own tastes: more spicy, more sour, etc. Kiến Xây recognize that this might be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the dish or if you don’t speak Vietnamese. Therefore, the restaurant’s walls are covered with illustrated, good-natured instructions about what khổng lồ do và how to do it. Staff are also very helpful.

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Even the menu is illustrated: each of the four options represented by a pie chart showing the percentage of main ingredients in each version of the dish – 40% squid, 30% fish cake, etc. The four options at loài kiến Xây are variations on the same theme: seafood noodles with squid, shrimp paste, fish cakes, or beef. I actually prefer the version with beef, because I feel it balances the rich, fishiness of the soup. Remember that bún quậy is all about the dipping sauce. When your bowl of noodles arrives on the table, spoon in a good amount of the dipping sauce & stir thoroughly (this is the quậy part of the dish). You can also dip the ‘chunky bits’ – squid, beef, fish cakes – into the sauce for extra flavour. Drinks include freshly pressed sugar cane juice, soft drinks và local beer. Prices are very reasonable: 35,000-65,000vnd (around $2) per bowl.


Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: all my nội dung is free & independent. I’ve written this guide because I want to: I lượt thích this noodle soup và I want my readers lớn know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure và Disclaimer statements here