Dinner at Pagolac South Side

 Had another dinner at Pagolac restaurant, but south side this time. I’ve blogged about this restaurant before here. We started out with the deep fried squid.

Then had some butter garlic chicken wings. The other two dishes are raw beef, shrimp, and squid.

Don’t worry, we didn’t eat them sashimi style. They were cooked in this mini hot-pot with sliced white and green onions and a vinegar-y broth.

Then wrapped with vermicelli in rice paper.

Don’t forget the veggies.

Fish sauce, not straight out of the bottle though. This is mixed with sugar, lime juice, water and white vinegar. Most of the time you’ll also find shredded carrots and chopped garlic in your fish sauce at Vietnamese restaurants.

This was not on the menu but the owner made us two dishes of deep fried soft-shell crab. The sauce in the middle is just mayonnaise. Needless to say, this was my favorite dish. If you’ve never had soft-shell crab before, I highly recommend it. The whole crab is dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried. Yes, you eat everything including the shells.

Ended the night with a group picture. From left to right: Pagolac’s owner (uncle), Mom’s friend from Yellow Knife, Dad, Mom, myself , and of course my kiddies. Yes, that’s why we keep going to Pagolac, cause it’s family owned. Don’t get me wrong though, we still pay when we go. Do you see the resemblance between the owner and my Dad?

And there’s my uncle with his famous, “I can dance while balancing a beer bottle on my head” performance. Gosh I love him!

Since this is a family owned restaurant, I didn’t want to comment on the dishes and risk sounding biased. Guess you’ll just have to try for yourselves ;-). This post was actually in my drafts folder so it’s an older one that I forgot to post.

Have you ever tried soft shell crab before? If you ever get a chance to try it, I highly recommend it. Until next time, friends and family :-D.


32 Responses to “Dinner at Pagolac South Side”

  1. 1 Anna Johnston February 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I’m fascinated with the soft shell crab textures, I imagine its be wonderful, it looks like its been lightly battered. Love the fish sauce ingredients you’ve shared too. Aaahhh, wish I was there for that meal with y’all, it looked amazing. I love rice paper rolls, they’re my ‘lunch of choice’ almost every day as I’ve never really found anything that doesn’t taste great in a rice paper roll 🙂

  2. 2 denise @ bread expectations February 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Hey LeQuan – hope you and G-man had a wonderful, wonderful V Day!

    Yes, I have had soft shell crab tempura and it is wonderful!! My boy Joseph LOVES a shoft shell crab sushi handroll and will happily wolf down 3 or 4, which is a big deal as he is pretty picky about food.

    You have such a delightful family. I wish I had family in the food business – so I know where I could go to for good food, and not be dissapointed with the quality. Of course, I would always pay too! Family or not, it’s still a business…

  3. 3 j3ss kitch3n February 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    ahh these looks so delicious, a in-between Vietnam and Thai food! i really miss food in Canada its been years since i last went there sigh!

  4. 4 Blackswan February 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I’m a sucker for fried food so the 1st pix caught my attention! Hahaha!

    And of course, I’ve eaten soft-shell crab. I cook them very often at home too. Anything fried, works for me. Oops! I shouldn’t announce to the world that I’m such an unhealthy person.

    Family-owned restaurant?? Cool!

  5. 5 Sharon Moh February 16, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Hahaha I like the part about how your uncle can dance balancing a beer bottle on his head lol. He’s legend! Love deep fried squid, they’re SO good! This looks quite similar to hotpot or steamboat. In HK, they use water or sometimes soup but don’t drink it. But in Malaysia we use soup and cook the meats in it then have the soup with noodles etc. It’s like one of my favourite dishes! I’ve never eaten it Vietnamese style though, so I’d love to give that special sauce with fish sauce etc a go and wrapping the food in that rice paper. We never know what to order in Vietnamese restaurants (normally just rice or noodle dishes) so next time we’re definitely getting this! Funny how one dish can be eaten so many ways isn’t it? I’ve only had soft shell crab at Japanese restaurants, and yes they are AMAZING. SO delicious. I was doubtful the shell could be eaten at first but you’re right, it’s a must try! Sounds like one fun night :D. Great food in the company of lovely family (and one super cool uncle!), can’t ask for much more!

  6. 6 Pachecopatty February 16, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Hi LeQuan, Thanks for sharing the family photos and this amazing meal. My husband and I would be having dinner at your Uncle’s place tonight if it was just a little closer. We love soft shell crab and will usually order it when ever we see it on a menu. I like a soft shell crab BLT, yum!
    I also have tried a hot pot, cooking in hot seasoned broth, on the table with friends and prefer this to frying in oil. The broth is so good to have a cup after the meal.
    Ps. I love the little blue crocks, your children are adorable;-)

  7. 7 5 Star Foodie February 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Sounds like a lovely family dinner! I do love the soft shell crab, the best I’ve ever had was at our local 5 star restaurant here in Virginia and it was pecan crusted 🙂

  8. 8 Faith February 16, 2011 at 8:58 am

    What a wonderful meal this was! Your uncle looks like so much fun, and I love the pic of him with the beer bottle on his head. The soft-shell crab looks incredible and has defintely given me a craving for it…wish I lived closer because I would definitely head there!

  9. 9 Light Delight with Tou Tou February 16, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Big, happy family! your uncle looks so young 😀 I am glad that you have so many people around !
    I love the deep fried squid – but I didn’t know that you can order that in a Vietnamese restaurant ! I always stick with their noodle soup 😀

  10. 11 Stella February 16, 2011 at 9:20 am

    First of all, your uncle is awesome (smile)! A professional balancer of beer bottles right on top of the noggin is my kind of guy:) Second, that squid looks so nice, LeQuanis! I really need to find an authentic Asian restaurant around here. I miss being able to go to a truly decent place and have good Asian food cooked for me (not by me). You’re too lucky to have family with a nice place like that. Oh, and the food really does looks delicious.
    By the way, I love soft shell crab. In fact, it’s my favorite next to snow crab. Ooh, and I bet fried soft shell crab on that Vietnamese bread (can’t remember the name) with a bunch of aromatic Asian veggies and some sriracha mayo would be an awesome lunch sandwich! Yeah, that’s a freebie from this witch for your uncle (smile and kidding).

  11. 13 Leah @ Why Deprive? February 16, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Im still getting over the fact that you can eat the entire crab. That is WAY beyond my comfort zone. 🙂 Everything sounds so good though.

  12. 14 tigerfish February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Love the soft shell crab stretched like that ;p …for a second, I thought you were having raw shrimps! :O…

    P.S Hope your kids get well soon and start cooking with Mom again

    • 15 lequan February 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Aww…thank you Tigerfish! Them being sick is worse than me being sick.

      I’ve had raw shrimp, but only in Japanese restaurants. Raw seafood is so sweet and yummy 😛

  13. 16 brittany February 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    my hubby wants deep fried squid so bad!!!! am going to have to get it for him soon! : ) we are doing sushi this weekend so maybe they have it there it looks good to try!

  14. 17 Autumn @ Good Eats Girl February 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Your meal looks amazing! I want to try soft shell crab! Looks awesome! Love the family pics!

  15. 18 Ameena February 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I love the family pic LeQuan! I definitely see the resemblance.

    I had soft shelled crab once at this random restaurant in the most random area of downtown L.A. A cute guy dragged me there back in my college days (not my husband) which was the only reason I went. 🙂 It was tasty but not exactly up my alley. Especially then seeing as I didn’t eat fish. But gosh, what I did for a boy!!

  16. 19 A Canadian Foodie February 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Be as biased as you want! I would love to hear you describe the food. It looks fantastic. Is the hot pot Vietnamese or Chinese? I have had it before and really enjoyed it. But, the soft shell crabs… never had one and it is ON THE LIST. Definitely let me know when he puts these on the menu. I will be there! I guess I should call my fish monger to learn what season he brings them in at. A fantastic meal and what a wonderful man you uncle appears to be. So lovely for your dad that he can have a brother here. I didn’t know there was a South Side restaurant. Which one is your preference?

    • 20 lequan February 17, 2011 at 11:59 am


      Hello hello my dear! The hot pot is Vietnamese. It’s just used to cook the meat and seafood to be wrapped. Chinese hot pot doesn’t include wraps and the broth is very different. We go to the downtown location a lot more because we do grocery shopping and visit my parents too. It’s a lot more convenient for us that way. There is also a west side location right beside WEM, but it’s called La Pagode. Hope you’re having a lovely week!

  17. 21 pigpigscorner February 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    haha for awhile I thought you were going to eat those raw beef and seafood!

  18. 22 Monet February 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    My Grammi adores soft shelled crab. Reading this post made me think of her! I always love seeing/hearing your family. It is evident that you are surrounded by so much love. All of this food looks delicious. Thank you for sharing with me tonight. I hope you have a great Friday. I’m so ready for the weekend!

  19. 23 Quay Po Cooks February 18, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I never fail to order soft shell crab hand rolls whenever we are at a Jap Restaurant All the food looks delicious. Your uncle looks like a fun loving person. I am sure he is a good company. Lovely family pic. You all look so happy.

  20. 24 MaryMoh February 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I bet nothing is better than eating in your own uncle’s shop, even though you pay. I’m sure he gives you the best and extra, too. I love those fried squids and soft crabs. I have eaten those soft crabs at a Japanese restaurants…..expensive but really good. I think I have seen it sold in Costco. I have to go there and check again. I can cook at home and eat my heart’s out 😀 Beautiful family photos with your uncle and parents. Your uncle actually looks comical. I would love to see him dance with a beer bottle on his head…haha.

  21. 25 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors February 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Dear Le Quan – Did you know that hot pot is one of my fave foods and could have it weekly with never a peep…also my goodness those soft shell crabs and squid have me swooning.

    You have WONDERFUL family and you always make me so happy…with your joy 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  22. 26 sophia February 19, 2011 at 1:55 am

    In Japan, they place those deep-fried crab on top of pastas. 🙂 I prefer them between bread though! With remoulade sauce or something like that.

  23. 27 Biren @ Roti n Rice February 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I was just thinking of having a hotpot as the weather has turned cold again. So nice to have a restaurant that you can count on for good food. Soft shell crabs are nice but not easy to come by. Have a wonderful weekend!

  24. 28 Jos February 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Soft shell crabs are the greatest! I haven’t had them for a while!

  25. 29 Juliana February 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

    LeQuan, I love hot pot, specially when the weather is cold…it is so practical…it seems that you all had a great time…the soft shell crab are great…and I love them deep fried as well…have a great week ahead 🙂

  26. 30 Magic of Spice February 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Some beautiful food there, obviously runs in the family. I am basically vegetarian but I do eat seafood on occasion and soft shell crab is a favorite 🙂 Delicious post…If I ever get to visit I will request a meal here, sounds like a fantastic menu.

  27. 31 Cindy March 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Love Love Love soft shell crabs. There’s a Thai restaurant nearby that serves them in a panang curry sauce. Holy cow…fried soft shell crabs and panang curry on one plate. Guess where I’m eating tomorrow. 🙂

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