Traditional Vietnamese food is known for being based on fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil and heavy reliance on herbs and vegetables. Because of this, Vietnamese cuisine is considered one the healthiest in the world. Saigon Bistro upholds all of these values by creating fresh, seemingly effortless, yet incredibly complex, dishes.
Saigon Bistro, located at 11 Freshwater Road, is a family-run restaurant that is full of amazing talent. Over a decade after the closure of their parent’s restaurant, Saigon Cafe, Phung and Tuan Ly have revived their parent’s business model focused on authentic, fresh food and have condensed the menu to emphasize traditional Vietnamese. Their parents have even briefly come out of retirement to train new chefs and staff – so you can be sure the meal you’re getting is the real deal.
My first experience with Saigon Bistro however, was not in the warm, friendly environment that they have created at their small, cozy restaurant. It was in my own home – hair in a bun, no make-up, slippers on while cramming for my final exams. Yes, I’m talking delivery! I am going to tell you all about this amazing service very soon in a dedicated post, but as a head’s up: you should check out the Travelling Table.
Of course, when trying out any Vietnamese place, you have to try the Pho. So, we ordered the Phở Bò (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) with chicken. When you order Pho, the broth comes in the bowl with all the additions on a separate dish – this typically includes herbs, bean sprouts, hot sauce and noodles. The idea is to taste your broth and determine what you think needs to be added. You should tear up the herbs and add them into the broth, along with your other additions.
It was a little shaken up upon arrival but honestly, I think it would have been much more messy if I had done it myself. Props to the Travelling Table for their amazing service!
We got a big bowl and added in all of the fresh, delicious ingredients. Of course, you don’t need to put it in a bowl, everything comes able to be eaten directly from the take-out dishes.
The other dish we shared was the Bún Bì. This dish features rice vermicelli noodles with fresh herbs & spices, served with crispy Chả Giò (fried spring rolls), crushed roasted
peanuts and shredded pork topping.
Again, the ingredients were incredibly fresh. The flavours of this dish at first taste are simple, but as the ingredients combine it becomes complex and a true experience.
I had reservations about the spring roll, anticipating that it would add an oily texture to the dish, but it didn’t at all. The light, crisp flakes blended perfectly with the textured dish while the filling was a perfect compliment to the flavours. I can’t wait to eat these spring rolls again – actually, the whole dish.
My first tasting of Saigon Bistro was overwhelmingly perfect. Each dish had natural earthy flavours complimented by perfect amounts of sweet and spice that takes true talent and authenticity to achieve.
I can’t wait to try more of their food and hopefully experience it in the atmosphere of their restaurant.