Kien Giang is Spiffy
Just a FYI folks. Kien Giang has been closed for a "long time coming" renovation/makeover, but has just re-opened yesterday Saturday February 21st. I was hankering for a bowl of vermicelli with charbroiled pork and an eggroll, and was going to settle for 2nd best when we saw the OPEN sign lighting Kien Giang's window. We have fallen into a rut of what we order here, and the list is fresh unfried spring rolls, savory shrimp pancakes and lettuce leaves, vermicelli with charbroiled pork or shirmped, banh mi (Vietnames po boy), lemonade and iced coffee. That is it, we like these, and these are what we get. I have had some other dishes here, including some of the stir-fried dishes that mimic Americanized Chinese food, and I did not care for them. I did like the pho and hot-pot dishes. The hot-pot dish is one of the most expensive item on the list, but it reminds me of being a kid when my mom had chicken broth hot-pot (like fondue with broth). This broth is housemade broth, it is gentle, not like that over salted, mono sodium glutamate, artificially flavored canned stuff that is labeled "broth". Hot-pot is one of my comfort foods, like chicken soup is to the USA. I don't get this much unless I know people have had this dish before because the flavors are so natural or understated. The flavors are subtle, that of broth and the veggie or meat being cooked in the broth, there are not hot spicy or other flavors. I mean, you aren't going to get a lot of flavor from a bean sprout cooked in broth, but what you are going to get is really food flavor, what food is supposed to taste like.
The renovation has new flooring, new central lighting, crisp white paint on the walls, and a new cold case if you want to get some takeout Vietnamese desserts. There is a little antechamber built now around the front door, so there won't be the wind, cold air or hot air, depending on the season, rushing into the restaurant now. The kareoke stage with the giant tv is finally gone, allowing for a few more tables for diners to sit. The same artwork are on the walls.
My guess for this renovation/makeover is that Kien Giang was recently bought by the long-time chef from the former owner. The former owner didn't put much money into the restaurant, so that is why it was so rundown. The new owner wants to make his restaurant nice, and his employees are happy he bought the place, and wanted to spiff it up. I am happy he spiffed it up too.
Labels: Nashville Eats