Daily Archives: April 10, 2011

Red Satay Grill – Vietnamese in the Hub City

I have to say, it is one of my new goals to show on this blog that New Brunswick does indeed have good food.

I mean sure, there’s no arepa cafe or bison straight from the farm. But we’re not completely void of taste and culture. And we are more than just blueberries and donair sauce.

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Case and point: Red Satay Grill. Or, “Satay Grill Rouge” for the Francophone folk. Moncton is an English-French bilingual city after all!

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This is one of the many new places that popped up in my absence. Especially along St. George Rd. An area previously barren of anything interesting, more sketchy than anything else. It’s slowly becoming home to decent bars, cafes, and restaurants.

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I came here for lunch on Saturday with my mom, sister and aunt. We were lucky to snag a seat in the near-full dining area. The lunch menu consists of mostly stir-fries and soups.

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You see that? Pho! Pho (pronounced “f-uh” not “f-oh”) was on my list of things to try before leaving Ontario. Who knew I could get it right here at home!?

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Not to mention, they’ve got a whole menu of vegan selections. I’m impressed. So very impressed.

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We decided to start with the vegetable spring rolls from the vegan menu. Served piping hot straight from the deep-fryer with a bowl of a watery sweet dipping sauce. The filling was like that of any ole’ cabbage egg roll. Which to me, is a good thing.

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Sara and I both ordered the Red Satay Vegetable Noodle “Pho” Soup with Tofu.

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Look at all those veggies! Pho is usually just broth, green onion, rice noodles and meat (traditionally beef). The addition of broccoli, mushrooms and onions were very welcome.

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It’s also served with bean sprouts on the side that you add yourself, along with a squirt of lime juice. The soup is served very hot to cook any slivers of meat you may have in there. It also softens the sprouts.

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The waitress suggested we get the Red Satay sauce on the side so we could adjust the temperature ourselves. I added maybe two teaspoons of it and it was just enough. Any more and it would have been too spicy for me.

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Overall, I really liked my Moncton pho. You can never go wrong with a big bowl o’ soup larger than your head. Plus, as far as eating out goes, pho is a relatively healthy restaurant choice.

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But how did it shape up to the famous pho of Ottawa’s Chinatown? I will say the broth was not as flavourful. The Ottawa pho had very light and flavourful notes to it like citrus and mint. The Moncton pho was a little more bland and watery. With that said, I really loved the red satay sauce. It was the kind of sweet and flavourful spicy that adds to a dish rather than have you chug a litre of water to get it down.

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My mom and aunt both ordered curry on vermicelli noodles and both gave reviews of approval. My mom said it was a little too mild for her tastes with too many noodles. I had a bite and would certainly agree!

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The best part was the Werther’s Original that came at the end. Nothing Vietnamese about it, but a fun way to finish the meal nonetheless!

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So yes my friends, there is indeed culinary hope for Moncton. I’ve already enlisted the help of my mom to try out all the new places I’ve been missing.

Except we’ve decided to eat out every other week for the sake of our expanding waistlines. I don’t think I can still get away with the “Toronto Ten” seeing as I’m no longer in Toronto ;)

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