After a brutal 10 hour flight from Seattle to Seoul, South Korea with a very confusing transfer, then a quick 6 hour flight, we arrived in Saigon around 11pm. We quickly changed into shorts and t-shirts (it was probably like 80 degrees out around midnight). We were headed out to find Red Hot Wok where we heard they served the bastardized version of salted pepper squid that we have grown to love in the USA - battered, fried and full of garlicy salt and pepper!
One bite of this crunchy-savory entree makes us feel as if the execs at our local potato chip manufacturer Kettle Foods had this very item before coming up with the Salt and Fresh Black Pepper Chips.Initially we doubted our internet source as the streets leading up to Pasteur Avenue were dark and deserted, until we spotted the red tale-tell sign.
A short walk down an alleyway where a woman sat out front to tag scooters for parking as they rolled into the alleyway! Yes, we are definitely back baby to the land of scooters! YES!At 1am the restaurant wasn't happening, but there were a few tables with people eating from clay pots and lots of cans of Saigon Beer lined the tables. We opened the menu and quickly became overwhelmed with all the offering so we opted for the squid and an order of the sauteed water spinach with garlic.
Most of our relatives in Vietnam refuse to eat water spinach, considering it poor people's food. But man was this buttery version dynamite! Exactly the soul comforting food to remind us we are back and ready for more!