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Viet Star, Vietnamese Seafood Specialists and Lounge in Eden Center - Closed

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Went to Viet Star for lunch on Friday. The place is more upscale compared to the other restaurants in Eden Center, and it has a large selection of seafood on its menu. We ordered 3 dishs - Cha Ca Thang Long, Tamarind Crabs, and a grilled clam platter. The waiter took our order on some kind of tablet without any feedback (like confirming what we ordered). The first to com out was the fish, without rice cracker, or any sauce (shrimp paste or fish sauce). I had to ask for bowls to mix everything in and they gave each of us a typical rice bowl. The fish was tasty but there wasn't any dill that I could see on the fish. The lettuce, herbs, and bun (noodles) served on another plate was plentiful. I would not order the Cha Ca here again because I think Hai Duong does this dish much better. The second dish to arrive were softshell crabs. Were these the tamarind crabs or something else? The seasoning tasted like salt and pepper crabs, not tamarind. In any case, it was quite good. The crabs were cut into pieces and there were lots of them on the plate, so I'm guessing at least 2 if not 3 crabs. More than half way through our first two dishes, we were told there were no clams. That sucked. I had a $30 certificate and now we didn't get $30 worth of food. We weren't hungry after two dishes so we didn't order anything else. I think this place doubles as a night club in the evening. Whether the food and service will improve or go downhill...I dunno.

P.S., other than Pho Bien (which I've never seen open for lunch), I've ate at every restaurant in Eden Center. I will continue to explore those restaurants that accept credits cards, which aren't alot so that makes it easier on me.

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Of the recently opened restaurants, only Viet Star and Rice Paper are still open and I fear Viet Star may go out of business soon. I like Viet Star because it has quite a large menu of seafood items and everything I've tried has been prretty good. On my visit this past week, they didn't have any hard-shell crabs so I ordered the tamarind clams. The clams were tender, topped with a sauce that's a little sweet and a little sour. For people who like clams, this is a wonderful and unique preparation that I just haven't seen anywhere else. This pretty much confirms that we didn't eat tamarind crabs on the last visit.


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So I went to Viet Star for lunch and was greeted with a sign on their door saying they're not accepting Specialicious vouchers. As I have a voucher in hand, I was not too pleased. I was told that they did not have a contract with Specialicious; therefore, Specialicious was not authorized to issue these vouchers. I contacted Specialicious and received this response:

"We are sorry for the difficulties that you’ve had with Viet Star. Research into this issue has shown that, going forward, Viet Star will not be accepting valid vouchers. We have issued a refund to your credit card for the amount that you paid ($15.00)."

We ate there anyway - tried their spicy hot pot ($32). It was mostly seafood - shrimp, squid, scallop, mussels, fish balls, sliced beef, watercress, and napa cabbage, served with a plate of vermicellli noodles. The broth wasn't quite as spicy as Uncle Liu's to start but we dumped quite a bit of chopped chili peppers in and it got pretty spicy, especially if you got a piece of the chili peppers. I like Uncle Liu's much better but if you want a seafood centered hotpot - Eden Center is a good place to go. Rice Paper and several other restaurants also do hotpots.

Service was slow today. Only one woman and an older gentlemen were working the front. It was mostly the woman working while the gentlemen stayed behind the bar. One guy came in, got no service for a while and he left in a huff.

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