Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

April 21, 2010

Chef's Night Off

Vietnamese Seafood Dinner

Royal Seafood Bouillabaisse*
Brown Rice
Wine: Trimbach Gewürztraminer 2006

According to The Red Michelin Guide, a three-star rated restaurant is worth a detour. The 299 seat Saigon Grill, may not earn anything for its decor, but its Royal Seafood Bouillabaisse is worth a trip: its bouillabaisse is a culinary feast, on par with its top French counterpart.

The Royal Bouillabaisse** (# 63 on the menu) contains prawn, scallop, salmon, crab claws, shrimp, New Zealand mussel, calamari, squid, and assorted unidentified pieces of fish. Vegetables include okra, red, yellow, and green peppers, onion, string beans, and cellophane noodles. The broth is heavily spiced with curry.

There is nothing subtle about this dish. You don’t necessarily know what you are eating. But what you taste is a heady combination of seafood and vegetable delights. One portion, put into two 1-quart size containers, yields two ample meals. At $19.05, including tax, it’s a bargain,even with bus fare.

I find the stretch on Amsterdam Avenue from 86 to 91 Street fascinating. There is Barney Greengrass, the Sturgeon King, the Popover Café, Schatzi, The Butcher, nine different ethnic restaurants, a few delis, the Gold Leaf Stationary store, a wig store, and a Funeral Parlor.

**Not to be confused with the Royal Bouillabaisse, the Vietnamese Seafood Bouillabaisse (# 62 on the menu), is distinguished by its hot and sour broth, lemon grass, tamarind and aromatic herbs seasoning. I don’t think it measure up to the Royal Bouillabaisse. However, that is a matter of personal taste. If you tried it, let me know what you think.

Saigon Grill is open seven days a week from 11:00 AM till midnight. If you live in the neighborhood, they deliver.

Saigon Grill
Amsterdam Ave. & 90th Street (212) 875-9072

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