In a nutshell:A tiny hidden gem run by a spirited Vietnamese lady that serves authentic YUMM Vietnamese food in delhi – we were bowled over….
Address & other details: little Saigon
Meal for 2: ₹1000 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & nonvegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Short description- in case u r in a hurry:
5 years back we had been to a restaurant (blue ginger by Taj) and we were very impressed. We remembered the food and our chat with the chef hana ho. We never met her again in 5 years but the memories were fresh.
Last week we read an article in the press about micro restaurants (family members run specialty restaurants that people go primarily for great food). It mentioned little Saigon and we immediately knew this was on our list – the chef left Taj when the restaurant shut last year, went back to Vietnam, got bored and decided to come back to india. She weighed mumbai ( great seafood) vs delhi ( she had a good follower ship here) and finally decided for delhi. Salute the spirit and the brave decision….
She does not serve anything that is non Vietnamese. That means even in the drink (non alcoholic) section each and every item is Vietnamese.
The restaurant is a small shop converted to a dining room with 4 tables (converted from old sewing machines) and plastic chairs.
On the walls the only decoration was traditional Vietnamese conical caps.
On one wall was hand written ‘menu of the day’.
The menu card was a 2 pager with the Vietnamese name of the dish and description in English.
The place is not about ambience – it’s the simplest possible form of an eatery, very clean and well maintained. Not for a special occasion unless ur date is a foodie….
As soon as we entered the restaurant, the smell of fish and seafood hit us – strong and enjoyable. Advisable not to take ur vegetarian friends here.
Chef herself comes to the table, discusses order, manages the kitchen, sends out the food and occasionally chats with customers. One person mans the restaurant. When they began last year, only chef and her uncle used to run the place.
Service is home like
Food – not recommended for chinjabi lovers or those who like every food indianized. This place is a foodie’s heaven for people who can appreciate this cuisine and can accept the Vietnamese dishes as it is ( no tweaks).
Detailed description- in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
We started the lunch with Summer Rice paper roll. It was a very nice roll with layers inside it. Liked the sauce too. Rate it 4.25/5
Then came Saigon wrap and roll – A basket on which we were served A bunch of lettuce leaves, basil leaves, mint leaves, slices of tomato , slices of fresh red chillies , meat balls and rice noodles. Fish sauce was also served in separate container.
The tastebuds experienced a brilliant medley of flavours and textures inside the mouth.
The fish sauce had flavours of fish and had a slightly salt & sour tinge. The meat balls were unbelievably juicy, robust, rustic, bold flavours and YUMM. Charred ends made them more interesting.
Rate this dish 4.95/5
Stir fry prawn with lemongrass – Though it is a challenge to get good prawns in land locked Delhi, the prawns were as nice as flavourful as possible. The spices in the stir fry along with lemongrass was awesome. We were licking fingers. Rate it 4.5/5
Fish Saigon – somewhat reminded us of the simple bong fish fry where the fish has skin on and it has only salt and turmeric powder add as marinade. One had the option of biting the chillies to spice it up. Loved it. Rate it 4.5/5
Pork ribs – juicy pieces of pork ribs with some fat in flavourful thin liquid. Just too good. The texture was perfect , the taste was awesome and the juices at the bottom were to fight for. Rate it 4.75/5
Artichoke ice tea was good flavoured ice tea. Rate it 3/5
Calamansi fruit juice with ginger was very interesting- it had a very nice flavour and a very balanced taste. Rate it 4.5/5