Monday, October 25, 2021

Sochi Saigonese Kitchen

-Grubbing in Chicago  
New to the 'Scene'

Chicago has a decent Vietnamese food scene in that it's better than many but not on the same level as others. While Chinese and Thai restaurants are opening all the time around town you don't see as many Vietnamese spots joining the hustle. That seems to slowly be changing. The opening of Sochi Saigonese Kitchen is the latest example. It's not on Argyle or as far as north as most of the city's better Vietnamese options. It's actually in Lakeview of all places which could be another sign that Vietnamese food is close to going mainstream here in the Midwest like it already has out West. 

Recently Opened in Lakeview

Sochi is the project of a local couple and it's their first go at owning a restaurant. They're from Ho Chi Minh City originally so as far as the pho goes you can expect the Southern Vietnamese style. I suggest starting with an order of their unique around town egg rolls which are fried with a special rice paper they get from Vietnam. They're stuffed with pork and shrimp as well as rice noodles and herbs. These are popular throughout Vietnam but you don't see them too often in the States. 

Egg Rolls at Sochi Saigonese Kitchen 

The menu reflects the feel of the nice and sunny space. It's got an updated feel and has lots of elements you expect to find at a spot somewhere on Randolph, open air kitchen, loud music, younger crowd. I'd bet the Slap Ya Mama Crab Fried Rice is a popular dish with the groups out to eat. It comes with jumbo lump crab meat and also some butter grilled shrimp and was enjoyed by my wife. 

Crab Fried Rice 

I had to go with the pho since this was my first visit. As mentioned they do a Southern Vietnamese style recipe with flat and wider noodles and both short rib and skirt steak. First off I cant stress enough how important it is that pho come served piping hot and I was glad to see Sochi pass that test. They describe the broth as bone marrow broth and it had some nice deep beef flavor. A big plate of stuff comes on the side so you can customize the flavors of your beef noodle soup. I read that hoisin is a popular pho condiment in Southern Vietnam and I enjoyed the addition of it in this. Another thing I appreciated was the freshness of all the herbs served on the side. As far as our meal goes it was quite enjoyable and better than most other options in the area. The menu's limited right now so in time you might find a few more regional options. They serve a skirt steak banh mi during the daytime but I haven't been able to make it over for that. Sochi hits the spot if looking for Vietnamese in Lakeview. 

Pho at Sochi Saigonese Kitchen 

Sochi Saigonese Kitchen
1358 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 904-8511

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