Good Taste: Grilled salmon at Grill Fish Cafe

David M Warren / Staff Photographer
David M Warren / Staff Photographer
Posted: April 12, 2012

Benny Lai was already deep into the research for Grill Fish Cafe in West Philly, grazing the coast of Vietnam with his family, before he realized what his vision for the old Vietnam Cafe space was becoming: an Asian take on Greek Dmitri's, simple seafood plates with a light Vietnamese touch.

There's grilled octopus and crispy shrimp (but not D's "pil-pil"-style; the garlicky pepper-and-lime dipping sauce here is cut, like Viet coffee, with a dash of sweet condensed milk.)

My favorites, though, were the kind of affordable, straightforward entrees that make normally pricey seafood accessible for neighborhood regulars - crispy flounder streaked with spicy ginger and scallion oil; tilapia simmered in cilantro tomato sauce, and this generous slice of Scottish salmon, marked on the grill then splashed with gingered soy and fresh mint. Just enough to give the familiar fish a satisfying whiff of the exotic.

Grilled salmon with gingered soy and mint sauce, $16, Grill Fish Cafe, 814 S. 47th St., 215-729-7011; www.grillfishcafe.com

-Craig LaBan

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