I visited Vietnam for the first time in September 1996. It impressed me in many ways, but what impressed me the most was its cuisine. My friend, who was stationed in Ho Chi Minh City, took me to several restaurants he knew. The food that I experienced in those restaurants was excellent. Their dishes were very well presented and visually pleasing. The spring rolls, which were made from rice paper, were fresh and lightly seasoned; they were best suited for people who had just arrived in the country and were tired after their long plane trip. The chicken based rice noodle soup was also slightly salty and flavorful. I later learned that the Vietnamese are proud of their cuisine as it is a mix of native Chinese, French and Vietnamese influences. His pride is quite understandable.
Although it is not easy to find an authentic Vietnamese restaurant in Japan, I have found many good Vietnamese restaurants in San Francisco and in the Bay Area. They are generally good; however, he was looking for something more. There had to be a restaurant in this area that served the same amazing food that I had in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
It was my wife who told me about Slanted Door after hearing about the restaurant from her Vietnamese friends. I would have liked to know the reason for the impressive Slanted Door name, but there was nothing on their website to tell me the reason behind it. The restaurant is located in Ferry Building 1, near the Bay Bridge, and has great views of the Bay Bridge. There is a bar to the left of the entrance.
The dining room is located along the shoreline of the bay, and there is a patio dining area outside. The interior of the restaurant is modern and futuristic. I like how the windows facing the shoreline of the bay bring in the sunlight.
Dinner was excellent. My wife ordered spring rolls as an appetizer, and I ordered the green papaya and oyster salad. My wife ordered crabmeat noodles for the main course. I ordered the restaurant’s famous “shaky beef”. My wife loved her food. Later he told me that the restaurant had the best Vietnamese-style dishes he had ever tasted. My oysters were fresh and tasty, and I loved my meat dish. The meat was tender and juicy. The sauce was a combination of Vietnamese-style fruity sweet spicy sauce and a little sour vinegar. I told my wife how good the meat was and she took an interest in my plate, even though she doesn’t usually eat meat. She tasted some and ended up eating half.
The only problem with this restaurant is that it is very popular and crowded. As we went there without a reservation, we had to kill over an hour before getting our table. Although it was worth the wait, we recommend making a reservation for lunch and dinner.