Saigon Cafe and Noodle House

James Street, Northbridge
14 October

Saigon Cafe is not my favourite Vietnamese eating establishment in Northbridge. I prefer Phong Vinh and Tra Vinh. However, I do eat here regularly, as I have a couple of colleagues who like eating here, wine is only $8.50 a carafe and the food is good.

Today’s choice grilled pork and spring rolls with rice vermicelli. A favourite summer dish of mine. For the sum of $10.50 you get a couple of small spring rolls, a serving of grilled pork and crushed fried peanuts in a soup bowl on a bed of rice vermicelli and Vietnamese salad of bean sprouts, mint and shredded carrot with a spicy and sour dressing provided.

It is just one of those dishes, were the whole is more that sum of the ingredients. The tart dressing, the crunchiness of the peanuts, the tang of the mint, all just made the meal, I throughly enjoyed it.

Saigon Cafe, does have advantages over other most other Vietnamese eating establishment in Northbridge, it is licensed so you can get a beer or wine with your meal. The menu covers more than Vietnamese, with a range of Malaysian, Thai and Cantonese dishes on the menu.

On the other hand service can be a little erratic and some dishes, particularly the Pho just do not match up with Phong Vinh and Tra Vinh.

Eating with friends who want a meal choice beyond the normal Vietnamese fare, want a wine or beer with your meal, you can do far worse than Saigon Cafe. I agree with one FourSquare commentator with “I have never had a bad meal here”. All my meals have been good, unfortunately not great.

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