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Restaurants & Bars 5

Saigon at 99 Ranch, Richmond

mcchowhound | Jan 29, 200410:37 AM

The restaurant adjacent to the 99 Ranch complex in Richmond, formerly a Malaysian place "Banana Leaf?", is now "Saigon." (It's just north of Daimo, but has a separate parking lot.) Feeling in the mood for Vietnamese food the other day, we stopped in at lunch time and found: dim sum!

The place was absolutely packed on Tuesday at lunch. I think we were the only non-Chinese speakers. The dim sum can be ordered from cards and is also brought around by servers with trays - no carts. The prices run from $2.00 - $3.50: servings for items such as Shanghai buns or pot stickers are four pieces rather than six. There are also "Kitchen Specials" of things like walnut prawns (w/o rice) for $4.50. On Tuesday there were three lunch special rice plates in the $7.00 range. It tells you something about the place that one of the three was frog.

We shared a few of the dim sum plates. I thought they were really good and really ambitious. The Shanghai buns were especially good, and came with fresh ginger. The people next to us ordered something that looked like green jello mold in a sort of heart shape. I tried to ask what it was, but none of the servers spoke enough English to answer.

It's a big, barnlike room, but it has been redecorated completely with enormous murals of giant, brightly colored Yellow Submarine-ish fish. The sign says it's a seafood restaurant - maybe true at dinner.

All things being equal, it seems like a great addition. Does anyone know where the name comes from?

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