Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saigon - Jackson (Part 2)

When I first wrote about Saigon,it was a rather curt review that mainly focused on the cheap and delicious phô. As much as a love the phô at Saigon, there are a number of other tasty things on the menu.

One of my favorites is the rice hot pot.

It’s a simple idea. Inside the pot is rice that has been cooked till the bottom is crunchy and then topped with bamboo shoots, onion and ginger. Even better, there are five options for your hotpot: beef, chicken, shrimp, special hotpot with chicken and shrimp, or seafood hotpot with shrimp, fish balls, and squid.

Today my choice was the special hotpot with shrimp and chicken or cóm thó dác biêt. I always love to hear the sizzle as I open the bowl. With that heat, the onions are perfectly caramelized and the bamboo shoots are very well cooked. Of course, the real treat is getting some of the crunchy rice at the bottom.

Rice hot pots really are a complete meal at Saigon. Not only do you get a clay pot full of sizzling goodness, you get a small bowl of phô broth and a few pickled vegetables. The only real downside is the shrimp. They are often on the small side and can be a little chewy, but you have to look at the big picture and this is a dish that I always enjoy.

Wait, there’s nothing fried in this meal, something has to be wrong.

Yea, I forgot the eggrolls. Like the first time I wrote about them, they taste great and are the perfect vehicle for rooster sauce.

Seeing as there are only 4 real categories to the Saigon menu, I’ll be back with a look at the vermicelli noodle and the rice plate sections soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy your phô and rice hotpot.

For Part 1 of Saigon, please click here


QB said...

The char-grilled pork vermicelli noodle is really good.

jeph said...

I have to agree with the commenter who had to wash her hands of Saigon Restaurant after witnessing an employee using the outside as a urinal. I, too, loved Saigon, especially the hot pots, until I witnessed a chef back in the kitchen picking his nose then plunging his hand into a bowl of noodles, which he then plated and handed to a server. That viewing ended up being my own, personal Fall of Saigon.