French-Styled Vietnamese that Doesn't Disappoint

October 9, 2022

Kingfisher - Golden Hill // San Diego, CA, USA

Baja Striped Bass

When trying more fine dining Asian food (especially Southeast Asian and even Korean), the biggest internal struggle to deal with is, “should I really be paying this much for food that probably tastes just as good or even better at a mom and pop restaurant?” And it’s not just me, it’s a good amount of peers in my community who share the same sentiment.

Grilled and Smoked Eggplant

However, me being me… I like to take my chances and will try it anyway. Everyone decides what they want to spend their money on and for me it’s food experiences. Most of the time, I find it worthwhile. I think it’s interesting to see how chefs can dissect a humble, homey, usually family-style served type dish into a restrained, 3-4 biter that evokes the same flavor profiles.

That’s what I think Kingfisher does really well. Every dish that we ordered was so elegantly put together, but once I took a bite I was reminded of a dish or flavor that I’ve had at one of the local Vietnamese restaurants. Maybe the only thing that would beat out one of those local restaurants is the banana gin cocktail that I had… my friend and I each had two!

Bana Gin Cocktail

A few notes on the menu - some items sell out pretty quickly, so the staff usually asks if you want to put in an order ASAP (the smoked duck). Since I’ve only been there once, I don’t have an all-star team menu, but here is a list of what we tried:

  • Grilled and Smoked Eggplant
  • Crispy Chicken Wings
  • Diver Scallops
  • Baja Striped Bass
  • Vanilla Flan
  • Ginger Cheesecake