A Vietnamese Surprise!
The Place: Saigon Kitchen
The Location: 14071 W. Bell Rd., Surprise, AZ
By: Susan L Pricco
A bevy of strip mall style dining establishments line Bell Road in Surprise between Grand Ave and Bullard. In the middle of it all, I found a hip, sophisticated, trendy Vietnamese restaurant that should make the others jealous. Saigon Kitchen has indoor and outdoor dining, a full bar, and a private VIP dining room. But their modern Vietnamese food is what sets them apart.
The Garlic Noodles, look a bit like Top Ramen, but that’s where the similarity ends. Aromatic and tender, with a gentle almost-sweet garlic-infused coating, they are light and satisfying. Amplify your delight with the addition of the Grilled Shrimp option. The Shaken Beef, made with filet mignon cubes, comes to you on a sizzling platter with crisp-tender white onion and luxurious sauce. But don’t skip the seemingly humble bowl of crystal clear chicken scallion broth. Deceivingly delicious.
Everything on the menu is market fresh, and obvious in the deftly crafted spring rolls with silky peanut sauce. Refreshing Tropical and Ahi Tuna spring rolls are specials in the hot summer.
Chef Dennis’ fried rice, available in several options, tastes surprisingly new and upscale, leaving the conventional take-out staple a faint memory.
The menu is quite large, and gluten-free choices indicated. Open daily at 11 a.m., come for anything from light healthy fare to a hearty repast, a quick snack or evening cocktails. The setting is casual elegant and rather quiet, so it’s a good date place or for a family outing, but it’s close to the Surprise Recreation Campus and not unusual to see shorts (especially on the cushioned patio bench seats) and patrons watching a ballgame on the TVs over the bar.
What will you crave? A return trip.