Local couple serves Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines
When it opened in the late 1980s, Hao Hao Restaurant served mostly Chinese food.
Over time, owners Kevin and Linh Lieu Quach have added more Vietnamese dishes to the menu.
“By our 10th year, we had full-blown Chinese and Vietnamese menus,” Kevin said.
Many Chinese dishes, such as the egg foo yong ($9.95–$10.95), remain popular with diners, Linh said.
Those who explore the Vietnamese menu will find a cuisine that is light, healthy and cooked with small amounts of oil, Kevin said.
The bo luc lac, Vietnamese-style beef tenderloin ($12.99), is popular.
Noodle dishes and soups are common, he said. Two examples are pho, a traditional Northern Vietnamese rice noodle and beef soup ($6.95), and Vietnamese chicken hot and sour soup ($8.99).
Both menus are vegetarian-friendly and include several items that can be prepared without meat.
Kevin said he has no formal culinary training; he opened the restaurant because he likes to cook.
He learned how to cook from his mother and then picked up tricks of the trade by working in restaurants.
The Quach family moved to Austin in 1978 and worked in the Chinese restaurant industry.
“Armed with what we’ve learned, our father set out with a goal to build a stable business [Hao Hao Restaurant] for each one of his children,” according to the website of Hao-Q Asian Kitchen, which is co-owned by Kevin’s brother Young.
Hao Hao roughly translates as “very good” in Mandarin. Hao is also the name of Kevin’s father.
In 1986, the Quach family opened Hao Hao Restaurant at Dobie Mall. Kevin’s brother, Y (pronounced “e”), later opened Hao Hao Restaurant in Round Rock.
Young and Hong Quach opened Hao-Q Asian Kitchen on Far West Boulevard after the Dobie Mall location closed in July 2011.
In 1989, Kevin and Linh Lieu opened their own 80-plus-seat restaurant in Towne Square Shopping Center.
After 23 years, the eatery has retained the air of a mom and pop establishment.
Kevin said that he has watched diners grow up and later return to the restaurant with their own families.
While Hao Hao does not offer full catering, the restaurant can accommodate large orders of up to 300 people.
Longtime diner and family friend Cathy Holmes said she has been coming to the restaurant since it first opened.
“What I like is the friendly atmosphere they have in here,” she said.
“When you walk in the door, Linh knows what [regular customers] are going to order and how they want it specialized,” she said, adding that she enjoys the beef and scallops in oyster sauce ($12.99).
“She remembers names and faces. It’s incredible.”
The restaurant will be closed from Dec. 24–31, and will reopen at 5 p.m. Jan. 1.
- Fried or steamed dumplings—Eight per order ($6.95)
- Crab puffs—Eight per order ($5.95)
- Egg drop soup ($1.50)
- Wonton soup ($1.75)
- Egg foo yong—Chinese omelet with vegetables, chicken, beef or pork ($9.95), or shrimp or barbecued pork ($10.95)
- Moo goo gai pan—Chicken and mushrooms ($7.95)
- Kung pao chicken—Spicy stir-fried chicken ($7.95)
- Lo mein—Wide noodles with beef, chicken or vegetables ($7.95), or shrimp or the house special ($8.95)
- Pho—Northern Vietnamese rice noodle and beef soup ($6.95)
- Bo luc lac— Vietnamese-style beef tenderloin ($12.99)
- Hu tieu mi—Combination rice and egg noodle ($7.95)
- Seafood vermicelli—Pasta served with shrimp, scallop and squid ($10.99)
- Vietnamese egg rolls—Pork, noodles, garlic, black pepper, carrots and mushrooms. Three per order ($5.95)
Hao Hao Restaurant, 1901 W. William Cannon Drive, Ste. 115, 512-447-8121, www.haohaoaustin.com
- Tue.–Fri. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–9 p.m.
- Sat. noon–9:30 p.m.
- Sun. noon–9 p.m.
- Closed Mon.