Location: 8450 Garvey Ave #103, Rosemead, CA 91770. (626) 307-8868
Date: December 26, 2021 & November 20, 2022
Rating: Excellent (and so full)!
Every November/December my Hedonist club goes to this awesome SGV Vietnamese place — which used to be named Phong Dinh and is now Sáu Can Tho. This authentic Vietnamese/Chinese continues to serve up interesting stuff — plus they’re happy to take some of Yarom’s “do it yourself” meats, like his recently shot wild boar. This is a composite post from 2021 and 2022 depicting the true belly bursting epicness.
Shredded Chicken Salad. Free-range chicken, julienne banana blossom, fresh coriander, sesame seeds. Pleasant with an interesting stringy texture. Not my favorite of the Vietnamese salads as this didn’t have the sweet/tangy/spicy thing that some do.
Grilled Squid and Mango Salad. A bit of fish sauce. Nice char on squid.
Wild boar sausage (Yarom’s boar). A bit spicy and ridiculously good. Ate way too much. We had a bit of a pacing problem where there was a lull in dishes and I kept eating these.
Spring-rolls with herbs. Delicious.
Goat ribs with beancurd marinate. Good flavor but VERY chewy. Hard to even chew through.
Coconut Snails. Barely any snail meat but the sauce was as good as its ever been. Top snails sauteed in coconut milk and topped with rice paddy herbs. The snails themselves are tiny and very hard to extract, but the creamy coconut curry flavor of the sauce is super addictive — quite sweet though and goopy with what is presumably corn starch. It’s extra good on the plain noodles, but I skipped that this time for carb avoidant reasons.
Fresh Water Prawn. Half prawns fried with garlic and butter seasoning. The huge mantis-type prawns had a somewhat mushy flesh but the crispy garlic/onion topping was super delicious.
Famous Baked Catfish. Super soft and tender this time. Delicious. Had 2 which was too much (full later). Whole catfish marinated with signature sauce and baked til golden brown. 2022’s version had very moist and tender meat but the skin was a bit soggy. Yarom had asked them to undercook as previous it was crispy but the flesh was dry. Probably better this way — too bad one can’t have both.
Condiments for the fish.
Spices and other toppings.
Sauce for the fish. garlic!
Noodles, ostensibly to go in the “fish tacos” but I like it with the curry.
Noodles with coconut curry sauce. So good, but certainly contributing to my over-stuffed state.
Lamb chops. Delicious, lots of char.
Alligator curry. The curry was amazing. Super rich and delicious.
Goat Curry Stew. Goat meat smothered in a spicy coconut curry sauce with clear noodles. Very soft “tendon-focused” goat meat in a scrumptuous super sweet and spicy curry sauce. Lots of flavor.
Crisps for the curry.
Vietnamese Rotisserie Squab. Squab braised in soy marinate and cut in quarters. Very good crispy squab with meaty dark flesh.
Garlic butter quails. Fried battered quails and dressed with aromatic garlic butter oil. These were even better than the squabs as they had more meat and the crispy garlic stuff (same as on the prawns) was again amazing. There is an ordering repetetion here which is a Yarom hallmark as we had the two birds in a row and the prep on the prawns was the same as the quail.
Salt and lime for the quail.
Wild boar curry. Again curry was delicious but the boar was too chewy to even get through.
Pepper beef. Tender.
Shaken Wild Boar. Wok stir-fried wild boar on a bed of watercress. This time the boar was fairly tender (maybe because Yarom didn’t shoot it) and this was a very tasty dish with a ton of black pepper flavor.
Lemongrass Chili Frog Legs. Stir-fried frog legs with spicy lemongrass and chilli. Great flavor, lots of meat, and without those “muddy” tones that sometimes mar frogs. Bones were pretty easy to deal with as well.
Goat Beancurd Hot Pot. Broth flavor was amazing. Too full to even try more than a taste. Lots of taro and beancurd.
Greens for the curry.
I’m sure the curry would have been great with the noodles, but I didn’t dare.
Jelly dessert. Super firm, vaguely sweet, and without much flavor.
I love this flavor — Peppermint Bark Gelato — Base is pure peppermint milk (subbed the sugar with crushed peppermint candies) and it’s laced with house-made double-sided peppermint bark, Valrhona Dark Chocolate and Ivoire White! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — The Peppermint Bark recipe was developed by a famous pastry chef and author, the mum of a Naughty Dog Alum @nancy_baggett — this year I added the two layer thing which is awesome — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #dessertgasm #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #peppermint #bark #Valrhona #chocolate
Passion for Pistachio Gelato — Sicilian Pistacchio di Bronte DOP custard gelato base with just a touch of Grand Mariner, ribboned with bits of Valrhona Dark Chocolate Passionfruit Ganache — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #pistacchio #bronte #Sicily #Valrhona #Chocolate #Passionfruit #GrandMariner #Ganache
Chocolate Raspberry Pie Gelato – The base is made with Valrhona 62% Satilla Chocolate and then layered with Raspberry Jam, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Squares, and house-made Gluten Free Graham Cracker “crust” — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #Valrhona #chocolate #raspberry #Ghirardelli #GrahamCracker #GF
Overall, Sáu Can Tho is a delicious place, and most of the dishes were great — particularly the catfish, boar sausage, snails etc. This is pretty spot on California style authentic Vietnamese, similar to many places in Garden Grove / Westminster. I suspect these are mostly Saigon style places reflecting the 1970s exodus of many Vietnamese to America and are part of our great Los Angeles cultural melting pot! I didn’t pace correctly and was so full by the end — painfully full. But I really do love this kind of full service Vietnamese restaurant. A lot of places are small and specialized but for a really epic meal it’s hard to beat Sáu Can Tho!