Celebrate Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage month with Chef Nikki Tran of Netflix

HOUSTON – Chef Nikki Tran is the esteemed owner and head chef of Kau Ba Kitchen, a renowned Vietnamese restaurant here in Houston!

Her culinary journey began unexpectedly in Saigon when her head Chef failed to show up on the grand opening, prompting her to step up and embrace her calling of being a full-time Chef.

Getting inspiration from her Vietnamese roots and extensive global travels, Tran blends traditional ingredients and techniques with her unique contemporary flair.

Kau Ba Kitchen has garnered significant praise for its innovative approach, earning accolades such as being named of Houston’s best new restaurants by the Houston Chronicle and ranking amongst the best Vietnamese restaurants in America by Food and Wine Magazine.

Chef Tran has also made a name for herself on television, appearing in several popular cooking shows available on Netflix, such as ‘Street Food Asia,’ ‘Ugly Delicious,’ and ‘Somebody Feed Phil.’

In honor of AAPI (Asian-American Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, Chef Tran came to Houston Life to feature her ‘Viejun’ seafood menu, only available on Mondays and exclusively for the month of May.

‘Viejun’ is a term dubbed by Chef Nikki that blends the traditional Vietnamese cuisine popular in Saigon, with the Cajun-style of cooking. The unique fusion of flavors has become a sensation among foodies in the Houston area and beyond.

The menu will include dishes featured on popular culinary shows like Netflix’s ‘Street Food Asia,’ ‘Ugly Delicious,’ and ‘Somebody Feed Phil.’ Dishes like Viejun-style crawfish, and Vietnamese-style snails and oysters will also be on the menu!

Watch the video above for her interview and recipe for her signature Mango Scallops!



8 scallops

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of nước mắm

1 piece of mango

1 pinch of crawfish boil seasoning

1 tablespoon of garlic

1 tablespoon of green onion

1 teaspoon of fried onion.

Drizzle of Texas honey


Cut 8 scallops on the half, melt with butter and garlic, green onions and fish sauce, mince mango into tiny pieces, mix in a little bit of Cajun seasoning, put onto scallops, grill until golden and enjoy!

Chef Nikki Tran’s Kau Ba Saigon Kitchen is located at 2502 Dunlavy St, Houston, TX. They will open on Mondays during the month of May, offering this exclusive menu.

For updates on Kau Ba Kitchen, click here.

About the Authors

Beatriz is a producer for Houston life. She’s a dog mom who enjoys traveling and eating her way through new cities and cultures.

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