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Jun 10, 2012 08:24 PM

Foodies Beware!!!! - 'Saigon Star' is BAD! Way over-rated and Way overpriced!!!

Supposed to offer one of Toronto's must-try dish, Richmond Hill Saigon Star's famed "Curry Dungeness Crab" was well known even to out-of-town food lovers!

After 3 consecutive days of Cantonese food, we decided to take our LA guests to try out some high-end Vietnamese cuisine at this staple icon tonight. The result?! BIG MISTAKE!! A huge 'over-priced' thumbs down to their food that ranges from mediocrity to BAD!!

In addition to the Curry crab ( costing now a whopping $48 each, that used to be $38 ), we also ordered their house special Charbroiled Lamb Chops, Charbroiled BC rock oysters topped with minced garlic and buttered bread crumbs, charbroiled Thailand Fresh water jumbo prawns and Curry beef brisket hot-pot. To augment these, we also had a couple of bowls of Pho and stirred fry vegetables.

The House-Special Curry Crab was nothing special! Totally under-whelming with the crustacean smothered with a mediocre tasting curry sauce that lacked complexity, this was a bad start to our meal. For the price, I would opt for a 4 pound lobster from the Emperor!

The 'mini-size' lamb chop that was less than 1/4 inch thick was a rip-off! Though quite tender and relatively tasty, however, at $5 a piece, this tiny Middle-Eastern clone is day-light robbery!

The charbroiled oyster in the half shell was super-greasy. At $6 per piece, this morsel was twice as expensive as the one offered by' The Emperor' but half as tasty! A 4 fold swing!!

The Jumbo prawns was another mega-disaster! Incredibly expensive, this $12 crawler not only tasted bland and uninteresting, the meat, instead of chewy was mushy and some even tasted stale!!

The rest of our dishes were all so-so. Vegetables were greasy and over-cooked. The soup for the Pho was almost tasteless.

Lastly, one more rip-off item to finish off our disastrous evening. Some of us, due to thirst (msg?? ), ordered a few of their 'young coconut' drinks. Instead of a fresh green coconut, what we got was a tall glass of syrupy liquid filled with ice and a couple tiny sliver of coconut meat. For this glass of ice and sugar water, they charged us $4.50!!!

Not only will I NOT RETURN, if city bylaw allows, I might even be tempted to put a warning sign outside the mall entrance!!

Warning: The photos I posted below are deceiving! The food might look good but in reality they are :(

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  1. Wow.

    With a review like that, I might get to see some cause and effect.
    Will this be the nail to this this place.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Never get the prawns. They're a rip off and the waiters always try to push them on the diners there.

        1. Has it gone that downhill since you were last there? How long ago was your last visit before this most recent one?

          5 Replies
          1. re: T Long

            Myself, a couple of months! My relatives, regulars! Still, pushing questionable ingredients like the prawns is inexcusable!!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              It was still really good a couple of months ago!?? Perhaps they were just having a really bad day when you went this time then?

              1. re: T Long

                I posted this close-up photo of the greasy oyster on facebook and some of my friends actually commented the topping really looked BAD and 'gangrened'!!

                IMO , the standard of their food was never 'really good'! The first time I tried their crab, I was already at a lost as to what the hype was all about! Only acceptable dishes were their Vietnamese Spring rolls and their Curry beef brisket.

                Furthermore, for a Vietnamese restaurant to have a whole menu section on Pho but cannot even make a decent broth is impossible to justify!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Hmm... I guess it's revealing then the difficulty of getting really good non-Cantonese food in your part of the city when experienced foodies like you and the other poster below would take your out of towners to a place either not frequented or one that you already thought was a bit so-so. If you were able to repeat the experiience, where would you take foodies for non-Cantonese great food in your area?

                  1. re: T Long

                    Restoran Malaysia. But not all their dishes are good!!
                    In fact, I might take them for some down-to-earth Good Italian chow at Tutto Bene!! Still most consistent restaurant in the area!

          2. My last visit a few months back was also disappointing - the crab wasn't what I remembered. The belachan clams were really good during that visit though: