Saigon Star Toronto

Saigon Star

Saigon Star is a restaurant most famous for its seafood dishes especially  its saucy plates of curry crab. They also do Vietnamese favourites like pork chops and housemade roti.

Nestled in a strip of plazas on Highway 7 flush with Asian eats, the restaurant has maintained its title as one of Richmond Hill’s most popular fine dining spots for almost three decades.

saigon star torontoThe business is operated by Bill Ha, a serial entrepreneur from Vietnam who also runs the Northern Chinese spot Tao, two locations of the gluten-free dim sum spot Riz, and more recently, Steamed Legend just a few doors down.

saigon star torontoThe modestly designed restaurant receives its shipments of crabs and oysters from Vancouver and P.E.I. lobsters every two days.

saigon star torontoThe thing to get here are the crabs which are tossed in a flaming wok before being doused in a rich curry sauce that’s more sweet than spicy, but still packs a little kick.

saigon star torontoServed bare, the price for crab is seasonal but averages around $60 per two pounds, which is just enough for two people but could leave some hankering for more. 

The result is a messy plate of saucy deliciousness that looks amazing even without garnish.

saigon star torontoI highly recommend putting on the gloves and bib provided – it might cramp your style, but any sacrifice is worth the ability to feast on this dish uninhibited.

saigon star torontoAn absolute must side order is a plate of French baguette ($1.75) – or even better – the flaky, buttery roti ($4.95).

saigon star torontoThe leftover crab-flavoured curry on your plate is the best dipping sauce you could ask for. 

saigon star torontoIf you haven’t jumped the gun and ordered the crab right away, the Vietnamese platter ($18.95) comes with shareable starter essentials like spring rolls, rice crepes, satay chicken skeweres, pâté, and sugar cane shrimp.

saigon star torontoThe crispy spring rolls are my favourite but the cold rolls make for good vegetarian bites.

saigon star torontoHuge charbroiled oysters ($5.95 each) come slathered in a garlic butter and lemongrass mixture, cooked with a salamander heater at the end to achieve the desired texture.

saigon star torontoAnother popular dish here is the black pepper lobster, which on average costs $26 per pound but fluctuates seasonally. Topped with some onions and peppers, the dish is a simple go-to for seafood lovers.  

saigon star torontoVietnamese-style grilled rack of lamb ($26.95) with dry seasoning is incredibly tender and comes with a sauce that at first looks like oil but is actually a limey vinaigrette dip that’s light and fresh.

saigon star torontoThe best dishes aren’t exclusively seafood; another star of the show is the pork neck ($10.95) which is grilled with a honey marinade and served in lean pieces that allow you to eat with less guilt than you would a fatty slice.

saigon star torontoBecause you’ll definitely be needing a drink to go with the meal, Saigon carries bottles of Tiger or Tsingtao beer, and fruit smoothies like strawberry, mango, and avocado.

saigon star torontoTo finish the whole meal off, the Vietnamese version of Halo Halo serves as dessert. 

saigon star torontoWhile Saigon’s menu offers an extensive list of Thai, Viet and Chinese meals, the best way to go here is all out. Save your dollars on standard dishes like pho and instead get your hands dirty with seafood that’s top notch.

saigon star toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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