Just tell them how you want it cooked and they’ll do it. And if you need any extra flavor, they’ve got that for you too. Just a great option for a special occasion.
Sometimes, all we want is a big slab of beef. With apologies to all the vegans and vegetarians out there, there are days that quinoa just doesn’t cut it. So if, for some reason, you’ve got meat on your mind this weekend, we suggest you head to New York Steakhouse.
It’s in District 1, so there’s that. Just understand that it’s not the most central part of Saigon’s most central district.
New York Steakhouse is on the north end of Nguyen Dinh Chieu, in the Da Kao ward, near the border with Binh Thanh district. There are a lot of one-way streets here, as there are in other parts of the city, so double check your GPS before you head this way. Otherwise, you might end up stuck in traffic for a while.
Also keep in mind that this is not anywhere near Bui Vien Walking Street, the bustling nightlife hub so famous in this frantic city. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a beautiful thing. Not that you’re likely to find backpackers dining in an elegant place like this anyway.
You notice this as soon as you enter.
The dim lighting, leather seating and aged wood paneling made me feel like Sinatra had been here before. I felt comfortable, so comfortable.
It was also nice to have the restaurant to ourselves for most of our lunch, especially because we were a group of seven. For dinner, when it’s a bit busier, this might have been a lot tougher.
Instead, our only trouble was trying to choose from a menu full of delectable meaty options.
It was a company lunch but the boss allowed us each to have one adult beverage and at first I thought about wine.
Then one of my colleagues told me why she wasn’t ordering any — it’s too hard to have just one glass. I agreed and opted for one of my favorite liquors: Jameson, neat.
My boss got a cosmopolitan that didn’t quite satisfy him. It was fine, he said, because he was in the mood…but it could have been better. Maybe more booze, less sweet mixer.
Let’s hope the other cocktails suffice for those who like that kind of thing.
On this day, no one wanted to find out. No other libations made it to the table. Such a shame, considering we were about to stuff our faces. And we sure did.
Time to eat
Most of my coworkers got the set lunch, which was a good deal: 140,000 VND for a sirloin strip with a couple of sides.
My boss and I shared the chateaubriand, 500 grams of beefy bliss for 1,800,000 VND, and it was worth it. The chunk was perfectly cooked, and seasoned just the right way: juicy but not too salty. I could have swallowed my half whole.
There were a handful of mustards and sauces to choose from as well, and I tried a bit of each, all of them nice. Arguably unnecessary as well. That’s how good the meat was on its own.
We also got a couple of side dishes…potato au gratin and creamy truffle spinach. The potatoes were browned just the right amount and the spinach served with a generous splash of cream.
In the end, I was so full. What a load.
I didn’t stop there, though. Everyone was indulging in dessert and I didn’t want to be left out, so I ordered a piece of cheesecake. It was big. But not great. Seemed like it was frozen for a while.
I had a few bites then took the rest of it home, which I eventually finished for breakfast over two days.
Service and value
Even though restaurants here are often lacking in this department, the wait staff here was pretty decent. Sure, it helped that the place was mostly empty but that hasn’t mattered on so many other occasions.
They were friendly and attentive. The food took a while, but that wasn’t their fault.
Besides, it was worth the wait.
A steak like that back in New York, my favorite place I have ever called home, would have run me about four or five times as much. Just the tip would have hammered me.
After I left, I thought to myself: “This would make a great place for a date on Valentine’s Day.” I just didn’t follow through. I decided to try another steakhouse instead, a place I found slightly disappointing because my ribeye had too much grizzle.
Oh well. I guess I’ll have to wait until the next time a Valentine’s Day is on the calendar to come to New York Steakhouse.
After all, when you’re spending more than a million to eat some meat, you don’t want the experience to suck.