|3742 Far West Blvd. #113
Austin, TX 78731
Not only is Hao Q a very tasty little Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant on 3742 Far West, but in an unusual twist for the restaurant industry, Hong and Young, the owners, are sister and brother to Lyn and Kevin Quach, owners of Hao Hao on William Cannon. The couple met at Kevin and Lyn’s wedding and well, the rest as they say just took care of itself.
And take care they have done. Hao Q sparkles with authenticity and freshness, along with many compelling flavors.
The appetizers span a wide range of Asian favorites. The Vietnamese Egg Rolls have a uniquely different flavor and texture from Chinese Egg Rolls, and they really are quite tasty. I highly recommend. Likewise the Chinese-style pork ribs. Not many places do these well any more but Hao Q is a pleasant exception. They’re quite tender, and have that unique flavor characteristic of the dish. Another good choice is the Pork Dumplings. They are crisp and plump as they should be, and a deal with 10 dumplings at $5.95. (Most restaurants only offer six.) And you can always tell a good Asian restaurant by the soups. The Asparagus Crabmeat Soup is quite savory, and is given great texture by the crab. The taste is mellow and quite soothing. And there are a variety of Vietnamese soups as well. I like the Shrimp Pho which begins with the classic beef broth and is accentuated by crisp bean sprouts, jalapenos, and rice noodles. This soup is a meal in itself, and never fails to give me an “Ah hah” moment.
Their are some very tasty vegetable dishes at Hao Q. The key here is freshness but not to overcook and Hao Q nails them. I love the Eggplant in Garlic Sauce. This dish has classic flavors and is a must for eggplant fans. The garlic sauce is a great complement to the eggplant as it provides the dish with a nice zing. Another favorite is the Sesame Tofu. I’m a tofu fan, and this unique preparation lends a crispy and very accommodating texture to this Asian staple. The presentation is quite appealing as well.
The entrees also span the gamut of many Chinese and Vietnamese favorites. The Jalapeno Chicken is not overly loaded with heat, as can sometimes happen, and has a spicy but very tasty vibe. The Pork in Black Bean sauce is another good choice. The pork is tender and fairly lean, while the sauce adds a nice balance. Nothing bland about this dish which I really like. The Scallops in garlic sauce is probably my favorite seafood dish. The scallops have a nice firm texture, wonderful flavor, and the classic ying/yang of the garlic sauce works beautifully. The Crispy Five Spice Duck is another delightful dish. The key to this dish is not to dry out the duck and Young really understands his way around this tasty fowl. The result is a dish that is hard to pass up if you enjoy duck. The classic Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls are well represented at Hao Q. The Beef Vermicelli bowl with rice noodles is a good bet at only $7.95 considering its size and nicely nuanced flavors. The classic Chinese Lo Mein dishes are given their due at Hao Q as well.
So is their a sibling rivalry between Hao Q and Hao Hao? Only in the respect that they both work their tails off to please their patrons. Works for me!