lifestyle • 26 May, 2017
Now Open: Pier 17
Seafood pop-up offers quality oysters and a lobster roll to drool for
Pier 17, located in the basement of the new RomeA department store on Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, offers carefully sourced and meticulously prepared shellfish from both Vietnam and North America that very few in HCMC will have tasted before.
“In Vietnam, we have some of the finest quality seafood in the world, but most of it is exported. We are capturing some of that and bringing it home,” says Na Dai Kang, the Vietnamese Canadian co-founder.
Right now this produce consists mainly of Rocky Bay oysters from Halong Bay, which the pop-up serves fresh or baked with a selection of toppings for between 59,000 VND to 89,000 VND for three.
The highlight and signature dish of Pier 17, however, is the lobster roll: a delicately flavoured American favourite that was the inspiration for the entire venture.
“I love lobster rolls – I eat them a lot when I’m in the US. Those on the West and East coasts argue over the best way to do it – so I’ve worked hard on the recipe for Saigon to cater to local taste,” says Kang.
At a price tag of 299,000 VND per roll, they do not come cheap – mainly as the lobsters have to be imported live from the states. However they are proving popular, with Kang claiming he is receiving more and more orders every day.
Kang is currently seeking a venue for a flagship restaurant that will do more justice to his offering than the current supermarket-based stall, suited best to a lunchtime bite. We wait with baited breath.
The ‘Ikura’ - fresh Halong Bay oyster in citrus dressing topped with salmon roe and roasted seaweed
Kang has plans to extend the bar for seating
The ‘Ponzu’ - fresh Halong Bay oyster in citrus dressing topped with fresh ginger and spring onions
Co-founder of Pier 17 Na Dai Kang
Pier 17’s signature Lobster Roll served with fresh coleslaw and chunky fries
Pier 17’s expert seafood chefs prepare fresh Halong Bay oysters
The ‘Sate X.O’ - one of two baked options topped with dried shrimp and scallops
The pop-up sits inside Bon Grocer in the basement of the new RomeA Department Store
Words by Rebecca Jones
Photos by Tuan Tran