Today I ventured out onto a new branch of the El and started my hunt up the Green and Pink lines. The first stop out of the Loop is the Clinton stop which is just near to the French Market. I figured I would save the market for a weekend when I had time to browse, so instead headed along beneath the rails to see what I could find. Nestled in between Dunkin Donuts and a 7-eleven was ‘Saigon Sisters’.
It looked nice inside albeit slightly empty, so I was surprised to be asked if I had a reservation when I walked in, after being asked ”I did” have a couple of reservations, but I pressed on. I sat up at the counter and had the pleasure or amusement of being able to watch a young culinary arts trainee being schooled in knife skills chopping up the chillies and slicing some duck breast.
Looking through the menu I was initially drawn to a dish called Op La which was Farm fresh eggs, Chinese Sausage, Benton’s ham, Viet Pork, pork belly, caramalized onions. The host persuaded me to try the Lamb dish though instead and being a sucker for Lamb I relented and went with his recommendation. He was right, but I was slightly miffed, especially when my choice of wine was questioned too. I guess he was doing his best to pair with the dish but to be honest I could not really tell the difference between my choice of Chardonnay and his choice of a White Burgandy. It tasted good though so I will give him that one too.
The Lamb dish arrived and after the guy behind the bar told me it was his favorite and a great choice I wondered if they were all on Lamb commission. The dish called Lamb Luc Lac comprised Lamb Tenderloin, oyster sauce, pickled red onions, arugula, french breakfast radishes, and broken rice. It was pretty tasty and after once again being told how to eat it by the host I was starting to feel ever so slightly patronised. “Yes why don’t you come round me Mam’s for Sunday Lunch and I will tell you how to fill your Yorkshire Pudding with gravy and not to leave the Broccoli stalks”.
I did like it though although it was not as full of flavour as I was expecting, I think I may well have enjoyed my original choice, which was dismissed as peasant food when I ask of it. Hold on I am a peasant, a peasant who lives on the nicer side of the haystack, but definately somewhere below the salt.
Did I have a pudding? Well yes I did, against my better judgement or rather the better judgement of my waistband. I went for the Chocolate Ganache, which was a black pepper funnel cake, flourless chocolate cake and house made ice cream. It was quite nice, a bit tricky to eat with the tea spoon they gave me, surely a fork is what I needed, that would have made it even trickier.
Pudding consumed I finished of the glass of wine, resisted temptation to have another one and headed out into the dusk and back on the El.
Saigon Sisters is located at 567 W. Lake St just next to the Clinton El Station.