Cabezon 2-course Set @ HK Saigon Seafood Harbor (Sunnyvale)
On Tuesday we stopped in Sunnyvale for dinner at Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Harbor to get out of rush hour traffic. We made a stop at the Chinese supermarket next door before eating, a convenience my mother appreciated.
Monday through Thursday, a special dinner set of Cabezon prepared two-ways is offered for $19.95. We ordered that and the fried oysters appetizer to start. The fried oysters were unremarkable other than that they were underseasoned and needed a hefty shaking of salt to taste like anything.
The Cabezon soup made with the fish bones, mustard green hearts, grass mushrooms, and soft tofu had a milky stock and relatively intense flavor for a fish stock. Ginger and white pepper highlights added spice. It was served in deconstructed fashion with a separate tureen for the broth and the contents piled on a plate and accompanied with a chili and scallion soy dipping sauce. The stir-fry was far less attractive than the photo on the specials poster. Unlike the picture, our plate did not have a mound of fish filets garnished with a few snow peas. Vegetables dominated the scene, yet the fish that did appear was done to a tee and delicious. We just wish there'd been more of it for this price.
Service was erratic even though there were only four other tables of customers when we started. All in all, I'd have to say that I enjoyed our dim sum lunch here more than this dinner visit.
Image of two courses -
Dim sum chowdown at Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Harbor (8/2006
HK Saigon in Sunnyvale is so disappointing, because its menu is so enticing with unique Cantonese (non-Americanized) dishes, and yet the execution is just so-so. If you can't do a great job, why make your job more difficult by offering exotic stuff?!
I brought a nice bottle of red, and while I don't mind paying corkage, it was awkward to see they took out Kirkland (very nice though) glassware, and never for the entire dinner did anyone come to pour wine for us. Is that unappetizing guy constantly rolling around the large garbage can still around?!
It's funny you mentioned the guy with the garbage can (the heavy set Hispanic dude with the mustache?), my dad was griping about that, too!
I was really disappointed with HKSSH when it first opened, but now I'm just sort of indifferent. A lot of the dishes are bland or boring, but some of them are acceptably mediocre.
That would be a good question for your to ask when you're there next. Judging from this dinner, I'd say probably not working the dinner shift. The underseasoned and pallid oysters were a far cry from the expert frying the Richmond team would turn out. Yet, the dim sum seemed pretty much in the same style (which is different from the other teahouses) and quality that I've had in Richmond, so maybe some or all of that team is here.
I was a really big fan of Saigon Seafood Harbor in Richmond for both dim sum and dinner, and also found the Sunnyvale HK Saigon branch for dinner quite disappointing. Was really looking forward to going HK Saigon in Sunnyvale, and when we arrived on a Friday night the place was packed, which added to the expectation. However, the food was just ordinary across the board.
The Richmond branch had my first and so far BEST version of Fukien Fried rice......incredible amount of fresh seafood and succulent sauce...I still dream about it and can't wait for the reconstruction...
Here's a VERY amusing Chowhound link about "Fukien/Fuking",...fried rice...
Heheh, yes, I'm pretty sure it's the same fish. On the restaurant poster, it's spelled Cabazon, but I believe that cabezon is correct. The waiter told me that it's a very large fish, 6 to 10 pounds.
Here's the post and photo from the Feldmanfest dinner at the burned-down Richmond location. You can see that the stir-fry prep is identical to what we had in Sunnyvale.
Oh, and I did ask about progress on rebuilding the Richmond original. The manager said they were hoping to reopen by March.