“Have you tried Sai’s chicken noodle curry soup?” I’ve been asked this question no less than five times by friends who work in downtown San Francisco.
It’s a popular hole-in-the-wall with the Financial District crowd, and around noontime every weekday, Sai’s becomes flanked by a crowd of suits waiting for a seat. Determined to finally try their infamous soup, I met a friend at Sai’s for lunch one day.
The chicken noodle curry soup, or ga xao cary, is rich. I mean, really rich. I tried this on a (rare) warm and sunny day, but I can see this soup being just the antidote for a typically foggy, chilly afternoon.
Filled to the bring with slabs of dark meat and chunks of carrot and potato, I could only get through half the soup before I became full. I would have liked more heat (and curry) to my soup, but that’s just me. It’s nothing a drizzle of sriracha couldn’t take care of.
Service is stealth and tends to vary at Sai’s, but I’ve gone on other occasions and one thing remains the same: the crowd.
The solution: Arrive early, or grab take-out and enjoy your lunch near the plazas surrounding the Transamerica Pyramid. The menu at Sai’s is typical of most Vietnamese restaurants in the neighborhood, so you’re bound to find something to sate your craving.