After an exciting game of Roller Derby, my friends and I were on the hunt for dinner and I suggested to go to the Pearce shops with just minutes down the road and multiple places to choose from. When we arrived, Rama’s and Ethiopian Down Under were so busy and they were fully booked inside and out, so we decided to go to the quiet Saigon Restaurant in the corner (maybe that should have been our first hint).
When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted with decor that hadn’t changed since the 80s, plastic bowls and plates and vinyl tablecloths. We had either found one of those places where the more dingy it looked, the better the food, or a restaurant that has food to match their decor.
Goi Cuon – rice paper fresh rolls (2 rolls for $5.80). The rice paper rolls didn’t look too bad but when I took a bite it was the driest thing ever. It was truly terrible and lacked all the exciting fresh herbs that the Vietnamese use in their cooking.
Mi Don Rau Cai – crispy egg noodles with mixed vegetables ($12.50). This wasn’t too bad, a very basic vegetable stir fry on top of some fried noodles.
Heo Ram Gung – caramelised pork with ginger and special sauce ($12.50). I didn’t really taste much ginger but it had a nice salty sauce, perfect for accompanying with rice.
Bo Rau Ram – beef stir fried in Vietnamese mint, peanut ($12.50). The most authentic dish because it had the Vietnamese mint but the beef wasn’t really all that tender.
I don’t think the food on the menu really represented authentic Vietnamese but rather a skewed version of Westernised Chinese food. Albeit the dishes were very cheap, it was really mediocre food and not really Vietnamese. If you like cheap stir fried “Asian” dishes then this is the place for you, but if you want Vietnamese food I would suggest going somewhere else.
Venue: Saigon Restaurant
Address: 3 Hodgson Crescent, Hodgson Crescent, Pearce, ACT 2607
Phone: (02) 6286 1235