Vietnamese food is supposed to be fresh, delicate and well balanced.
The meal I ate in Saigon had none of these qualities.
In fact, none of the dishes, (bar the vegetable spring rolls), had any redeeming qualities at all.
The dim sum starters were half way between a Chinese steamed bun, a warm wet sock, and a thinly wrapped parcel of stodgy rice. Unappetising and visually off-putting.
The Saigon Wok Beef would have been sent into the nearby Saigon River had it been served up in Ho Chi Minh. It was served on one of those sizzling plates (very touristy), on a bed of lettuce (hot lettuce!!), and onions. The lumps of beef tasted of nothing.
I didn’t even bother sending it back, I just ordered a vegetable curry. I was hungry and I thought ‘How could you go wrong?”.
I was the one who went wrong. A watery bowl of curry was delivered, completely bland except for a blisteringly hot burning sensation given off by an overuse of curry flavours.
My partner had the Carmelized Pork. Disgusting, was the verdict. Lumps of sweetened pork in a sort of brothy gravy that lacked any sort of character.
The beer was lukewarm.
The waitress apologised. Thai, Japanese and Chinese were the culinary influences, she admitted. She was a good talker and tried to do her employer proud, explaining why each dish was they way it was.
We gave her the full tip, but I would have deducted 30% off the bill for the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen, if it were possible.
They should rename the restaurant; Pan Asian Mish-Mash of Mediocrity.
Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant
cnr Kloof and Camp
021 424 7669