Date 52: Generic Chinese with Mom, Sean and Anne (pt. 3 of the Mom Series)
Saigon Gourmet at 641 Dupont Street, Toronto; Call (416) 533-3399
Way back when I was living in Vancouver, my first summer there actually, my dad came to visit. We wound up having dinner with Sean and his family at our favorite restaurant: Golden Szechuan.
It was great to have worlds collide in that way. And what with Sean and Anne becoming such an important part of my life this year, it only felt right to have dinner with them and my mom when she was in town. With Anne quite pregnant, it made sense to eat somewhere close to their house, and hey, why not make it Chinese again?
Sean and Anne are fans of Saigon Gourmet – I believe the confusing name stems from the fact that it used to be Vietnamese, then Vietnamese-Chinese, now just Chinese – because the staff is friendly, the quality is reasonably high and it’s extremely close to their house. It serves Americanized Chinese food in the vein of egg rolls, wonton soup, beef with broccoli and General Tso’s Chicken.
I tend to agree with them.
There was a day when I used to dislike this type of food, finding it unauthentic. I’ve come to understand, however, that Americanized Chinese is a kind of authentic fusion, like the Hong Cafes (cha chaan teng) I’m becoming familiar with during my current travels. It’s an interpretation, and a valid one. I think a more important question is, how well is it executed? And Saigon does a good job.