We haven't noticed Saigon Grill going downhill, but then we never had the whole fish. While fish freshness is unfortunately variable in places like this, the sauce quality is certainly a concern.
We eat at or order from here at least once a month, and generally have salads, soups, appetizers, and the grilled dishes. Our faves on the grills are the prawns, eggplant, and the chicken. The best salad is beef and papaya (that's not mangoin there!!!!!!). They used to serve it with a side of coconut cream, but no longer do. Too bad, 'cause it was great. The salad still helps to make living on the UWS a more pleasant experience. However, I have always been disappointed in their grilled pork chop and never order it anymore. New Pasteur on Mulberry has stolen my heart on this one and I can't bear to eat it anywhere else.
Another very fine dish is their sauteed beef cubes on salad. Simple, elegant (as elegant as anything can be when you are crammed in a fishbowl), and delicious. It only pays to eat the beef cubes there, though, since they don't travel well at all.
We only eat other dishes for variety , and gnenally find them ok, but nothing special. From your report, it doesn't sound as much downhill, as consistently inconsistent.
I've not tried Saigon Grill. Maybe next time I'm in New York, I'll check it out.
Has anyone tried Miss Saigon? It's over at around 80th St / 3rd Ave (just opposite the organic food store). I was in NYC last October for a week and we ate there 3 times! It was that good!
I especially liked the pork chops! And the complimentary ginger sweets they gave us when we finished.
I live right by Miss Saigon (Third between 80th and 81st) and have enjoyed it when I want a classier meal than Saigon Grill--yet generally I prefer the East Side SG on Second and 88th (especially for their lightening-fast delivery).
I've never been to the SG on the West Side, but I haven't noticed a slip in the quality of the East Side location. So can I assume that my local Saigon Grill's escaped unscathed? Or should I be worried?
Been ordering delivery from Saigon Grill the last few years. Ate there once but found it too crowded. I've had very good luck with delivery since I live close by but I've noticed a decline in the food lately. Sorry to see that others have as well.
The new Korean place on 84th and Amsterdam is worth a try and supposedly from the NY times today now offers takeout and delivery.
FWIW, as further proof of the whole fish's former glory....the last time I ordered it, it was with a very discerning Cantonese chef and chowhound. He loved it. If a Cantonese guy goes nuts over a whole fish preparation in a non-Cantonese Asian restaurant, that REALLY means something! (this is a guy who refuses to go to Captain King with me because "Northerners know nothing about dumplings"!!)
Papaya! Doh! Wait, let me quickly fix that file before anybody notices ; )
When I checked this place out for my book, well over a year ago at this point, the pork chop, whole fish (and whatever else I recommmended...can't remember anymore) were excellent, and consistently so (did multiple check-ups).
Agree with you completely, Alan. I've found Saigon Grill to be consistently inconsistent, and generally all things seafood and noodles are relatively weak. The green papaya and beef salad is also my favorite dish there. I like some of the other dishes you mentioned, plus the Curried Okra, which a big mess of a dish, a hodgepodge of other vegetables as well -- but to me it's wonderful takeout/delivery food.