Saigon Sisters Restaurant

Xie Jiankun Photography

Saigon Sisters Restaurant

By Matt Kirouac

A meal at Saigon evokes the aura of the streets of Vietnam, albeit filtered through a modern kaleidoscope of flavors and techniques. A far cry from the divier dining spots along Argyle Street in Chicago’s Vietnamese enclave, Saigon Sisters proves that Vietnamese cuisine can be just as progressive and complex as any other refined ethnic cuisine. Chef Matt Riordan tweaks popular dishes ever so slightly, so as to update and upgrade. From petite fried spring rolls—called nems—to kimchi-studded glass noodles awash in aromatic broth, Riordan packs a wallop of flavor into each nook and cranny. The bao are not to be missed, especially when grilled and stuffed with succulent slabs of pork belly. Beef doesn’t get any juicier than the bo luc lac, a plate of nugget-sized Wagyu beef morsels swimming in oyster sauce. Vegetarians can feast well with dishes such as BBQ eggplant and a vegetable-strewn quinoa medley. Be sure and finish with a cup of hot Vietnamese coffee and a bowl of ice cream. If you’re lucky, flavors du jour may include pho spice and, fittingly enough, Vietnamese coffee.

"Taste of Vietnam" Sample Menu

Porky Bao
Special spring roll (shrimp or bacon)
Nems–fried spring rolls with duck and foie gras with apricot nuoc cham dressing
Chicken wings
Papaya salad
Bo luc lac—Wagyu beef with salad with rice
Seasonal sorbet or ice cream
*Vegetarian menu available upon request

... on the side

if I were a movie…
Saigon Sisters feels like Anna and the King, but modernized and sleek, and with Rahm Emmanuel instead of a king. With the nifty mix of rustic wood paneling and stylish, modern decor, the restaurant would be an apt place for Jodie Foster to tutor children over bowls of pho.

extra spice
In case you can’t get enough of that Saigon Sisters sizzle, they sell bottles of their house-made sriracha sauce for customers to take home. It’s better than any generic sriracha sauce on the market, so stock up and get your fill.

decibels
Medium

hours

Lunch: Mon–Fri 11 AM–3 PM
Dinner: Mon–Thu 5:30 PM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–11 PM
Closed Sunday

price range

$12 (mussels) to $23 (lamb luc lac)
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