Why would the family that runs Saigon Sisters in the French Market open a second restaurant less than a block away? I meant to ask during a recent visit to the new location. But then the bao combo happened: Three soft buns wrapped around three different fillings—wagyu beef touched with coconut milk, pork belly tossed in a dark barbecueish sauce and chicken cloaked in caramel. The flavors run sweet, but they’re offset by daikon and jalapeño, and the result was delicious enough to distract me from my question.
Then came the lobster fritters, stuck like lollipops on the end of lemongrass sticks. Perhaps lobster corn dogs didn’t fly at Lollapalooza, but these things are a wonder: Crumb-coated lobster that retains its tenderness. Following that, the op la, an overwhelming plate of fried pork products (Chinese sausage, pork belly) next to two perfect fried eggs. I’m supposed to eat this? I thought. But then I started, and it was hard to stop.
There was the issue of my question, though. I tried to ask it between the entrées and dessert, but the che came too quickly. The dense sweet potato pudding, candied taro root on top, took all my concentration, and all my senses. It was so salty, so sweet, so unusually delicious. “How have I never had this before?” I wondered aloud. At the time, it was the only question that seemed relevant.