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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Posted on April 10, 2011, in Restaurants, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Oh man I love Pho! My boyfriend and I found a new place the other day that we like better than our other standbys, and it’s cheaper! I love the addition of the mushrooms and broccoli. When I get Pho it’s also usually served with sliced jalapeno, cilantro and basil, and lime slices on the plate with the bean sprouts. I love all the add-ins! Green onions make anything delicious IMO :)

  2. ha – candy at the end of the meal – my kinda place!

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pho but I can’t get it anywhere in small town BC. So that’s why I hightail it to my favourite Viet place whenever we go to Spokane! :)

  4. Yum! I went to Chinatown here in Chicago not that long ago and got the Chinese version of Pho (which was basically just ramen) and it was SO good. Must have been the guy making the noodles from scratch at the front of the restaurant! :) The soup looks good, though, and nice that they added extra veggies!

  5. Glad you found some hope, Susan! I’ve NEVER had Vietnamese food!

  6. i TOTALLY know what you mean! my parents live in a smaller town, and i would say in the past five years – their city is getting pretty hip with fun restaurants and whatnot. glad you enjoyed!

  7. Hi Susan,

    After enjoying Red Satay with you in the spring, I had to add a comment to your post to give you an update and let you know that i have stepped my foot in the door there for the last time. I went there twice this week (both previously planned, I don’t eat out every day of the week :o) and learned on the second visit how irresponsible and ignorant the owner is.

    The waitress told me anything on the menu can be made gluten-free. I ordered, ate and was sick. I believed the waitress and assumed something else must have made me sick. The next day i was there again and said I need gluten free, and the waitress (different woman) advised me there are only a couple of options. I said the waitress the day before said anything on the menu could be made gluten-free, and this waitress rolled her eyes and said “yes, but she is wrong. They marinate the meat in a lot of sauces that have gluten, and think sauces are ok”. I was shocked that they would be so ill-informed and claim the food is gluten free.

    I politely spoke to the owner and advised him what happened and he was aggressive and rude and advised me that he has no interest in even having a conversation with me about gluten. He said he doesn’t have any interest in serving the gluten-free population, or in learning more about sources of gluten.

    So, Celiacs and gluten-sensitive folks out there, this is one vietnamese restaurant that is not safe to eat at, nor are you welcome there!

    You will see a posting of a similar experience posted on the Happy Cow about their supposed Vegan menu. http://www.happycow.net/reviews.php?id=27043

    Thought you and your readers would like to know the diligence behind their claims.

    Joeanne

    • What!? Thank you for the heads up! People in the food industry should know that it is really serious to say foods don’t have ingredients when they do. It’s a shame people think of gluten-free as a “diet” now, because there can be very serious consequences for celiacs such as yourself who have even a little in something like a sauce. I’ll help spread the word!

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