New Vietnamese Restaurant to open Summer 2017 on Central Ave in Scarsdale

The old Pagoda restaurant which closed due to a kitchen fire is not coming back. A bummer because they had some of the best, if not the best, regional Chinese food in Westchester.

The new place will be a “eccentric and unique Vietnamese cuisine concept” restaurant. “The tenants Tuong Bui and Michael Nguyen have been in the restaurant business for the last 30 years. Some of the previous restaurant venues they have owned are Nam Phuong at 19 6th avenue in NYC, NY, Zander House at 2300 North Central Expressway in Plano, Texas and the critically acclaimed Saigon Street at 3291 Independence Parkway in Plano, Texas.”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/recent-lease-transaction-just-closed-10-yr-deal-ny-2100-pannazzo?articleId=6219694112845623296

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Great news! Thanks JMF!

JMF, any updates on this report?

I drove by a few days ago and it didn’t look like any work was being done. But I couldn’t see into the back where the kitchen fire had been. I assume it will open some time between June and… eventually,

Sounds like the best location yet for me. White Plains and Hartsdale being off the beaten path. Hopefully there is a trend.

They will probably open in mid to late June. They have a hiring sign in the window, I think with hiring to start June 12th? (I may have the wrong date.)

There is a sign in the window that it is opening today, June 3.

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Thanks for the heads up…

Well, I am curious as to how it will be. There is not a glut of traditional Vietnamese restaurants in the area, like none. Saigonese is lightly Americanized and over priced for medium/small portions. The Banh Mi shop is mediocre, small portions, and Americanized to the extreme.

When I hear a “eccentric and unique Vietnamese cuisine concept” restaurant, or those words associated with any restaurant, especially Asian, it tends to mean small portions at twice the price, and dumbed down flavors. With Vietnamese this is a travesty since the flavors are so light, delicate, refreshing, and well balanced; even using some very hearty flavored ingredients.

Happened to be driving by. They are open. A few tables occupied. Here’s the take out menu. Not impressed, skimpiest menu I’ve seen in awhile, but maybe their sit down menu is more extensive. Never seen “Plain” Pho before. I’ll try some of their items and will see if they have a lunch special menu this week.

So I stopped by for a late lunch today. Five to six tables full at 2pm. Tom, the owner was walking around, chatting with tables. He sat down twice to talk about the food and other things.

The beef pho is very good. A long simmered broth that was very aromatic. I would have liked a bit more beef, but otherwise it was very tasty.

I also had the Van’s Spring roll with shrimp, which was a nicely made, but typical roll. Also the Fried Wheat Pork Spring roll which i really liked.

I look forward to exploring the menu fully. Oh, and they have a 15% off, grand opening discount right now.

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Thanks for the heads up on the 15% discount. I thought their prices were on the high side even though the food was good. Halo halo dessert $8.50, ridiculous! Don’t know if I’ll be back after the discount unless they have lunch specials.

They have lunch specials, a small discount on the price for some items, which are also smaller portions.

I just had the chicken broth pho with grilled pork chop. The broth is great. The pork chop was marinated and grilled with tons of flavor. I asked for one of the Vietnamese hot peppers, thin sliced, to add to the pho. Fantastic aromatic flavor, but it got spicy at the bottom of the bowl.

If you like spicy, let them know, they will do you up. Otherwise the spice level is nonexistent.

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I wish this place was getting more business. I really want them to stay around, but it has been a ghost town much of the time when I go at lunch time. The food is so much better at Vietnam’s Central, than at Saigonese up the road.

Vietnam’s Central is good. Visited for an early dinner last night and we enjoyed: a platter of pot stickers with pork; deliciously herbal plump shrimp spring rolls, a loaded bowl of Pho with flank steak beef; and a bowl of vermicelli noodles with grilled pork. We found the spice level to be fine even without asking, though I usually like to spike up my pho. Nice, comfortable room, too.
Caveat: Tom, the proprietor, is very friendly and communicative. While our appetizers came out in good order, the mains were delivered too quickly backing us up. I pointed it out nicely…

I’ve been to Vietnam and have traveled extensively throughout Asia. In Vietnamese restaurants and cuisine all food is brought to the table as soon as it is prepared. There is no real staggering of courses. This is so in many Asian cultures. In America some Asian restaurants will cater to the American idea of courses, and others don’t. Many of the dishes compliment each other and are meant to be eaten a bite of this and then one of that. I feel that the more authentic Asian restaurants in the US tend not to do courses.

The other day I ate at the most authentic real Sichuan restaurant I’ve been to in the US, in Whitestone Queens, Legend of Taste on Utopia parkway. Dishes came out as prepared, the cold dishes came first since they just needed to be prepped, then the hot ones, basically all of each at almost the same time. the contrast of flavors, textures, temperatures, etc. between the dishes made the meal even more enjoyable.

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I’ve been going to Vietnam’s Central 1-2 times a week since they opened. I really like or love most of the food. The only things I didn’t were items that I just don’t care for, but everything is very well prepared. I’m not sure which pho I like better the beef broth with beef flank, or the chicken broth with grilled pork chops.

By the way, their pork chops are fantastic. Thin, on the bone, tender, marinated lightly, and grilled up all smokey tasting. Besides having them sliced into the pho, they have them as an entree and I highly recommend them.

Listed under “Starters” the Mango Catfish is really nice. It’s a filleted, young catfish lightly battered and crisply fried. Very crisp batter, very moist, tender, and mild fish. The mango sauce is made from green mangoes, not sweet ripe ones, plus lime juice, and other sauces and vegetables, a hint of cilantro, and a tiny bit of chile pepper. It’s a cool refreshing sauce, not spicy. It’s good as an app to share, or if you order a bowl of rice to go with it, it makes a light meal in itself. perfect for a hot summer day.

The starter Lemon Shrimp are very lightly battered marinated shrimp, very tasty, and with a creamy, tangy, lemon sauce that is most definitely based on the French colonial influence on the cuisine. really nice if you like creamy lemon sauces.

The Lightly Caramelized Pot I had the pork, but they have Catfish, Pork, or Salmon steak and options, is long braised pork belly that had almost all the fat removed before cooking so it isn’t fatty, just luscious and mildly unctuous. All the goodness of pork belly, but with only a small amount of the fat, so while the dish can be on the heavier side, it isn’t the gut bomb of pure pork belly. The meat is dark brown from the tick sauces it is simmered in. It is meant to be eaten with or over the rice, and is a flavor packed dish of pure meaty goodness, lightened by the rice.

The Hot and Sour soup, with either shrimp or tofu, I got with shrimp, is not like Americanized Chinese H&S, but lighter, tangier, and more refreshing. And not gloppy like the Americanized H&S soup.

The entree of Vietnam’s Hot Wings were a bit too plain for me. Nicely crispy, nicely marinated before cooking, but not spicy at all. And I like my wings spicy. But if you don’t then they may be to your taste.

I will report back on other items as I try them. I have had others, but with how many meals I have out these days, since I don’t like to cook much on hot days, everything starts blending together and I can’t remember everything I eat.

I have experienced what you describe, JMF. I get your point. But I do not see why my bowl of pho was brought out while we were still eating our appetizers. They do not complement each other. Simple solution: in the future I will specify with the wait staff in advance…and we will be back.

I have noticed that in most Asian restaurants I have been to - especially the ones in Queens.

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