On the 19th of Feb, my partner (who is a chef himself), me, Emily – my sister who is also a chef and her partner were looking for a place to have dinner together. We chose Saigon Cafe Restaurant located at 462 New North Rd, Kingsland. My friends have been telling me about this 5-months-old new Vietnamese restaurant (and since Ryan wanted to know more about my culture as well) for a while now and I really wanted to try them out.
The menu looked authentic to me & Emily – from basic summer rolls/spring rolls, to Pho, Bun Cha (the one Obama had when he was in Vietnam last year), to La Vong market fish, sweet soup dessert and a great selection of viet beers. We ordered a big chicken platter to share and one mango salad with prawn (as shown on picture). The platter combine of 3 courses of chicken: boiled chicken serve with lime leaf + salt + pepper sauce, chicken salad and chicken-based sticky rice. It was interesting having chicken just like how we would have it back home though – free range, tender and juicy. And those herbs, yes, rare herbs which are hardly find in NZ too, Emily was surprised. Apart from that, we were not really happy with the sticky rice, which was still a bit under-cooked and the mango was not in the right shape for a mango salad either.
But in overall, plus the cozy atmosphere, Saigon Cafe Restaurant amazed us with the authentic taste, presentation and pricing. This is a wonderful option to go for if you happen to be in the area or want to try the real Viet food. Good job Saigon Cafe Restaurant team !
Erin M. & Ryan F.