When I first heard of this place I thought it was a Chinese restaurant. It’s actually a Vietnamese restaurant, but besides the fact there’s Pho on the menu, it’s hard to tell. Their website describes the food as, “Saigon’s Southern Vietnamese flavors, modernized with influences from French and American cuisine; all made with the freshest local ingredients available”. Sounds good to me!
The wine list is immense. So is the cocktail list, with many unique cocktails, just like the menu has many unique dishes. There were also some great sounding specials. Couldn’t remember everything the waitress told me, but among them were a crawfish cake with a curry aioli, a whole fried Speckled Trout and seared Black Drum with fried shrimp.
From the day’s specials we decided on the crawfish cake. Off the menu we ordered the Seafood Spring Rolls, Slow Braised Asian Short Ribs, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Laquered Duck, and the Banana Creme Brulee for dessert.
And the food!
Our waitress asked if it was ok to put the spring rolls and crawfish cake on the same plate. Of course we had no problem with that.
I’m a seafood lover, so a fried spring roll containing shrimp, crab AND lobster had me as excited as a kid at Christmas! One that gets toys, that is. When I was a kid I just got a half day off work, but that’s a different story. It was good, but the seafood was minced so small you couldn’t really distinguish anything. It had a seafood flavor, but it might as well have been just all shrimp.
The crawfish cake was pretty tasty, but I did have a problem with it. It was $17. We didn’t know that when we ordered it since it wasn’t on the menu, but even if we did, I would have ordered it anyway thinking it was huge and packed with crawfish! It was neither.
I normally never mention prices in my reports because “expensive” is relative. What is pricy to me might be reasonable, or even cheap, to you. But in this case, you can buy a whole pound of Louisiana crawfish meat for under $17. And unless this thing was packed with saffron, or some other exotic, expensive spice, some breadcrumbs and seasoning wouldn’t bump the price up to $17.
I had the duck dish. It was very good. I normally eat healthy throughout the week, which includes plenty of vegetables, and only cheat on weekends, so I don’t balloon up to 300 pounds! So when I do cheat, like tonight, vegetables are the last thing I want to see. Just give me meat and rice! But in this case the baby bok choy went great with everything else. I didn’t need my momma there to tell me to eat my veggies. I cleaned the plate!
My dining partner enjoyed the short ribs. She substituted the mushroom risotto for the mashed potatoes and thought it was terrific. She just wished there was more of it!
For dessert, there was bread pudding on the menu. Anyone familiar with my blogs know I love bread pudding, and hardly ever pass it up. I also love creme brulee, and have never see banana creme brulee on a menu, so I had to try it.
It was a thing of beauty. Instead of the normal torched sugar top, there was a layer of bananas that were sprinkled in sugar and torched until they had that nice crust on top. Delicious. And when you got to the bottom of the dish you could see all those little vanilla bean seeds, so you know you got the real thing.
Definitely a different and delicious take on Vietnamese cuisine!
4139 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70119 Ph: 504-482-6266