Tag Archives: Vietnamese

Dinner at Sao Mai

I went out with friends to Sao Mai Vietnamese restaurant and we ordered family style, so that we would be able to enjoy a wide variety of dishes.I started off with the Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which was quite strong and not creamy/sweet enough for me… It didn’t enough condensed milk, but it was still pretty good.

saomai_coffeeWe tried many different appetizers, such as the house special platter, which consisted of spring rolls, barbeque chicken, pork and beef and was served with lettuce, pickled carrots, mint leaves and light sweet dipping sauce. I enjoyed the barbeque meat, which was charred slightly (the way I like it).

saomai_appetizersI also really liked the shrimp summer roll with lettuce, mint leaves and vermicelli noodles, wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut sauce. The summer roll was delightfully airy and wonderful. Another appetizer we had was a steamed rice crepe, with minced pork and mushroom which was not one of my favorites.

saomai_summer rollAs for the main courses, we selected one dish per type of meat/fish/veggie: Lemongrass chicken, beef cubes, grilled pork chop, crispy whole fish and tofu with mixed vegetable in traditional Vietnamese sauce. The chicken had a nice flavor to it, while the beef was succulent, juicy and tasty. The pork chop was cooked perfection and had very nice seasoning.

saomai_porkchopThe crispy fish was red snapper with a ginger lime sauce and while it was a bit difficult to cut, it tasted delicious with a great amount of crunch.

saomai_fishOverall, a very full and fulfilling meal. The only downside was that they do not have any dessert, but all was not lost! Afterwards, we headed to nearby Veniero’s pastry shop. For once, I was actually did not need to have my own dessert so we shared amongst ourselves. I tried a little bit of the blood orange/chocolate cake and some of the chocolate cannoli. Both were quite lovely and enjoyable, especially the chocolate parts. The orange cake had a nice delicate quality to it and the cannoli was a bit richer with a more robust sweet flavor to it.

dessertsIt turned out to be a great night of culinary treats and was happy I had the opportunity to try so many different menu options first at Sao Mai, then at Veniero’s.

saomai_me

Sao Mai
203 1 Ave
New York, NY

Veniero’s
342 E 11 St
New York, NY

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Obao Hell’s Kitchen

I normally don’t write about Asian cuisine but this place impressed me enough that I went two times in one week, which is unheard of for me because I always prefer trying new restaurants vs. going back to restaurants I’ve already been to… OBAO Noodles & BBQ is a chic & trendy Vietnamese/Thai Fusion restaurant with several locations in NYC. The first time I went, my friend and I were seated upstairs underneath a ceiling of pretty sparkly gold material, making a very pretty atmosphere.

obao upstairs

I ordered the Sambai Spiced Calamari, which had an Asian twist, and was the best I’ve had ever! The calamari is mixed with scallion, onion, and served with cucumber relish sauce (sweet, and slightly sour). The calamari deep fried in butter spiced sauce, served warm and extremely crispy, savory and delightful, while still being tender on the inside. So good that I would go back and have it again… Not something I usually do.

obao calamari

The service the first evening was quite slow, but I went back with another friend, we were seated downstairs and service was excellent. The interior had cool orange-y lights, wooden walls and a trio of Buddha statues.

obao downstairs

This time, I tried the Thai Ice Tea which was deliciously sweet, cold and refreshing.

obao drink

My friend and I shared the appetizer of fresh shrimp rolls, which consisted of poached shrimp, vermicelli, bean sprouts, mint, and hoisin peanut dipping sauce. The shrimp rolls came upon a nice display on a long wooden plate and was pretty good. I would’ve liked a bit more flavor and definitely more sauce!

My main course was the Southeast Asian Fried Rice, which had a ton of ingredients (always a good thing for me): Shrimp, thai chorizo, thai pork sausage, cashew nut, pineapple, tomatoes, onion, scallion. Everything came together beautifully and I enjoyed the dish, though could not taste the thai chorizo. Overall, though, it was quite tasty and all the flavors and ingredients were fresh and delicious.

obao rice

My friend ordered the crispy duck with broad noodles and that was wonderful. Incredible savory flavors mingling together! The portions were very generous; we both had to take home at least half the meal.

Next time, I would like to try the crispy Vietnamese Spring Rolls with pork, shrimp, taro & mushroom, as well as the crispy (whole) sea bass.

obao me

 

Obao
647 9th Avenue
New York, NY

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