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Cafe Hoang for Goi Ga - Spicy Chicken Salad

Cafe Hoang for Goi Ga - Spicy Chicken Salad
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  • Post #31 - October 18th, 2006, 3:25 pm
    Post #31 - October 18th, 2006, 3:25 pm Post #31 - October 18th, 2006, 3:25 pm
    Worth noting that Dong Ky also does an excellent version of this dish (not on the regular menu, but available on request), as well as outstanding renditions of the lemon beef salad and Vietnamese crepe.
  • Post #32 - October 20th, 2006, 4:02 pm
    Post #32 - October 20th, 2006, 4:02 pm Post #32 - October 20th, 2006, 4:02 pm
    I stopped into Hoang Cafe today with the intention of ordering the chicken salad but I was lured away by the shrimp and pork version.

    That was one of the best salads I have had in ages! Please, someone tell me you have a recipe for the sauce. The veggies are pretty straightforward but I've no idea about the dressing. I'll be back to run through the rest of the choices.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #33 - October 21st, 2006, 10:49 am
    Post #33 - October 21st, 2006, 10:49 am Post #33 - October 21st, 2006, 10:49 am
    Octarine:

    You can find my modest interpretation here. I'm sure it can be improved upon.

    -ramon
  • Post #34 - October 21st, 2006, 7:13 pm
    Post #34 - October 21st, 2006, 7:13 pm Post #34 - October 21st, 2006, 7:13 pm
    Mine is a little simpler. I eat this stuff by the quart on my diet.

    This is adapted from "The Everything Thai Cookbook"

    3 tbsp sugar
    4 tbsp fish sauce
    1/3 cup lime juice
    2 tbsp prepared chili sauce
  • Post #35 - October 21st, 2006, 9:33 pm
    Post #35 - October 21st, 2006, 9:33 pm Post #35 - October 21st, 2006, 9:33 pm
    Both sound good, thanks. Ramon's seems to only be missing the mint leaves which made the dish for me.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #36 - November 13th, 2006, 7:05 pm
    Post #36 - November 13th, 2006, 7:05 pm Post #36 - November 13th, 2006, 7:05 pm
    Halfway through my first bowl of this made at home. I used Will's recipe, added some garlic smashed. I grilled some chicken quarters and shredded them along with lots of mint, cilantro and thai basil. Oh my god is this good! This is going to keep me going for a long time, let me tell you!
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #37 - November 13th, 2006, 8:27 pm
    Post #37 - November 13th, 2006, 8:27 pm Post #37 - November 13th, 2006, 8:27 pm
    Ratio:
    1 fish sauce
    1 lime juice
    1.5 sugar
    3 water
    minced chili + garlic (to taste)
  • Post #38 - December 15th, 2007, 8:59 am
    Post #38 - December 15th, 2007, 8:59 am Post #38 - December 15th, 2007, 8:59 am
    stevez wrote:We ordered the duck version of the salad, which came a JiLS described, but I wasn't bothered as much as he was by the duck, although I would have liked it even better if the skin was a bit crisper.

    Steve,

    After having Cafe Hoang's Spicy Duck Salad, which I like, again yesterday I'm wondering if the duck is poached as opposed to roasted.

    Spicy Duck Salad (Goi Vit # 010)
    Image

    I found the rest of lunch slightly uneven, Vietnamese Pancake, Banh Xeo, was fine, but seemed slightly lifeless as did the Fresh Spring Rolls, Goi Cuon, but the Spicy Hue Style Soup, Bun Bo Hue, was one of the better versions I've had, lightly spicy with a flavorful broth.

    Vietnamese Pancake (Banh Xeo # 005)
    Image

    Fresh Spring Roll (Goi Cuon #002)
    Image

    Spicy Hue Style Soup (Bun Bo Hue #020)
    Image

    I also enjoyed Grilled Pork Chop, Sausage and Egg, but am a sucker for anything with Chinese Sausage.

    Grilled Pork Chop, Sausage, Egg (# 045)
    Image

    Another Cafe Hoang highlight is the pretty-damn-hot table chili pepper in vinegar.

    Image

    We also had Whole Crispy Tilapia ordered by a non-foodie friend of Jazzfoods, which was just this side of OK. The fish was a 30-minute wait, which means it was most likely frozen, and was not the best and brightest example of whole fish I've had. Frankly, I'd steer clear of the tilapia.

    Crispy Tilapia (#063R)
    Image

    In a funny moment, Marks, Jazzfood's friend, attempted to divvy up the fish, as he was the one who ordered it, and was having more than a little trouble. I politely suggested he let Jazzfood, a professional chef, do the honors both looked relieved. :)

    Jazzfood w/fish while Steve Z supervises.
    Image

    All in all an enjoyable lunch, though, to me, the key to a great lunch at Cafe Hoang remains the Spicy Chicken Salad.

    Spicy Chicken Salad, (Goi Ga #009) Picture not from 12/14 lunch
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Cafe Hoang
    1010 W. Argyle St
    Chicago, IL
    773-878-9943
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #39 - December 15th, 2007, 10:20 am
    Post #39 - December 15th, 2007, 10:20 am Post #39 - December 15th, 2007, 10:20 am
    G Wiv wrote:We also had Whole Crispy Tilapia ordered by a non-foodie friend of Jazzfoods, which was just this side of OK.


    This is the first time I have ever seen a whole talapia. Up until now, I had assumed that talapia was extruded in some factory and cut to filet-sized lengths as needed. :lol:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #40 - December 15th, 2007, 11:28 am
    Post #40 - December 15th, 2007, 11:28 am Post #40 - December 15th, 2007, 11:28 am
    Gary and Steve, you are correct on both counts. I think the duck was poached as well to give it that special dull brown-gray effect without the benefit of any crisp skin, although plenty of small shards of bones. The description read "spicy" as well, which it was not.

    I also believe that tilapia is extruded (after running it through a deflavorizing machine, or in this case with the addition of a freezer burn machine as well) into fillet sized cardboard portions. I have nothing but disdain for this fish. Similar to Mahi Mahi in Florida, aka the perennial food of that odd Florida species nearing extinction, the "early bird".

    I'm glad you noticed my discomfort in my friends fishing technique and said something. He means well, but a 1/4ed bone in freezer burned tilapia would have just added to the nonbrightness of the meal which was decent but not great. It seems I've been plagued with this lately.

    A trip to Khan bbq is in my near future... the most logical way to rectify a few recent meals of mine.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #41 - December 15th, 2007, 1:35 pm
    Post #41 - December 15th, 2007, 1:35 pm Post #41 - December 15th, 2007, 1:35 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:Gary and Steve, you are correct on both counts. I think the duck was poached as well to give it that special dull brown-gray effect without the benefit of any crisp skin, although plenty of small shards of bones. The description read "spicy" as well, which it was not.


    Succumbing to my duck lust reminded me again why I really like the goi ga (chicken salad) much better than the duck version. Jazzfood, if you ever find yourself back at Cafe Hoang, get the chicken salad. It's much better than the duck version (did I just type that?).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #42 - May 10th, 2008, 7:19 am
    Post #42 - May 10th, 2008, 7:19 am Post #42 - May 10th, 2008, 7:19 am
    I wonder if things have changed in the kitchen at Cafe Hoang as the description of the Banh Xeo by G Wiv has gone from "crisp and not at all oily" to "slightly lifeless" and now adding my experience from yesterday: "really awful".

    I was in the mood for an early Vietnamese dinner so we headed to Cafe Hoang. The Bahn Xeo was oily, flavorless (inside and out), and really just unpleasant to eat.

    "Deep fried tofu with onions and bean sprouts" was not at all what I expected (tofu seemed pre-sauteed and slathered in sauce rather than deep-fried) and flavored only by black pepper.

    Thankfully, the goi ga was tasty and big enough to satisfy.

    I suspect that either Cafe Hoang has an "A team" and a "B team" trading off in the kitchen, or that the "A team" has simply been completely replaced.

    Does anyone have any recent positive experiences here (before I knock it down my list)?
  • Post #43 - May 10th, 2008, 12:13 pm
    Post #43 - May 10th, 2008, 12:13 pm Post #43 - May 10th, 2008, 12:13 pm
    I was here on Thursday and had the waterfall beef salad and the combo pork chop/chinese sausage plate (see upthread)...food was consistent with previous visits, though maybe my items were not representative of a potential "downhill" alert.
  • Post #44 - May 10th, 2008, 1:56 pm
    Post #44 - May 10th, 2008, 1:56 pm Post #44 - May 10th, 2008, 1:56 pm
    I was also there on Thursday, and had the Goi Ga, Banh Xeo and Chicken Congee. All were as tasty as I've previously encountered. I would have actually described the Banh Xeo as crispy but not oily. The Goi Ga was terrific when I ate the leftovers yesterday.
  • Post #45 - March 26th, 2011, 5:39 am
    Post #45 - March 26th, 2011, 5:39 am Post #45 - March 26th, 2011, 5:39 am
    After discovering that Pho Xua had closed :( , I ended up at Cafe Hoang. I don't know why I stayed away so long. The Goi Ga is still the best version I've had, the Lemongrass Beef salad is its equal and the Grilled Lemongrass Chicken had a terrific depth of flavor.
  • Post #46 - June 29th, 2011, 10:26 am
    Post #46 - June 29th, 2011, 10:26 am Post #46 - June 29th, 2011, 10:26 am
    Had a good meal at Cafe Hoang on Argyle last week. Rather than post my own bad cell phone pics, I'll reference the excellent ones used above:
    G Wiv wrote:Fresh Spring Roll (Goi Cuon #002)
    Image
    Not bad. Mine were very fresh, but rather skimpy on the shrimp (one small piece per roll) and herbs. The sauce they were served with was also too sweet for my taste. I much preferred sprinkling them with a couple pieces of the chopped, semi-pickled bird chiles(?) and their vinegar.

    G Wiv wrote:Another Cafe Hoang highlight is the pretty-damn-hot table chili pepper in vinegar.
    Image
    These were absolutely perfect. The flavor has an instant connotation to Southeast Asia, for me. I got the impression that there might be some fish sauce in with the vinegar. Whatever it is, it's delicious and hot as hell. A better condiment for this type of food would be hard to find. We found this on several tables in Thailand and Vietnam, but to my recollection I haven't seen this particular preparation any other places stateside. Anyone know of other restaurants in Chicago offering these?

    G Wiv wrote:Spicy Hue Style Soup (Bun Bo Hue #020)
    Image
    A simply terrific bowl of soup. Rich, mildly spicy stock with a noticeable but not overwhelming amount of funk. Squeaky (in the best possible way) pork cake, tender beef and a hunk of trotter (with a few excellent morsels still attached for the braver souls) lie below paper thin raw onion slices, lemongrass and crunchy purple cabbage. A tangle of round rice noodles below and a spritz of lime juice on top complete the package. Usually, with Vietnamese soups, the broth and noodles are equally important to my enjoyment, but here the bún were playing second fiddle to the amazing soup base. I'm not sure if this was a less than great noodle, or just the way it's supposed to be. I'm leaning toward the latter, because this dish seems to be all about the complexity of the broth. Each cut of meat, herb and vegetable seems to play off a different aspect of the base.

    I'll be back to Cafe Hoang for the bún bò Huế, but next time I think I'll go for the bánh xèo or one of the salads to start.
  • Post #47 - June 29th, 2011, 7:48 pm
    Post #47 - June 29th, 2011, 7:48 pm Post #47 - June 29th, 2011, 7:48 pm
    kl1191 wrote:Anyone know of other restaurants in Chicago offering these?


    Sun Wah has a similar condiment on every table along with chili oil.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #48 - December 13th, 2016, 1:13 pm
    Post #48 - December 13th, 2016, 1:13 pm Post #48 - December 13th, 2016, 1:13 pm
    After a very unusually tepid bowl of soup at Nha Hang (Bun Cha Ca to be specific) I thought it would be nice to branch out a bit. We live much closer to Chinatown than Argyle so finding a nice Vietnamese place down South would be a huge boon so we trekked over to Cafe Hoang and then a week later we came back.

    First visit - we stuck really close to the recommendations of Goi Ga and Bun Bo Hue. Both were excellent, though I found the chicken in the salad a bit chewy, but the dressing was nicely balanced. I really loved the side of fish sauce peppers and the Bun Bo Hue was overflowing with toppings.

    Second visit - We went all in on the catfish. Canh Chua Ca is probably my favorite Vietnamese soup so I can happily report that Cafe Hoang does an excellent rendition. It's also stuffed to the gills with catfish, pineapple and other vegetables. It makes Nha Hang's look kind of skimpy. We also got Ca Kho To which is caramel fish sauce catfish. Very good and peppery and again very generous. Neither of these were the best renditions of these dishes, but they more than satisfied.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food at Cafe Hoang and very much appreciate its proximity to home.
  • Post #49 - December 13th, 2016, 1:27 pm
    Post #49 - December 13th, 2016, 1:27 pm Post #49 - December 13th, 2016, 1:27 pm
    Their bo tai chanh ("spicy lemon rare beef salad") is my favorite anywhere - very consistent, with an abundance of pristine basil and paper-thin onion and beef.

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