If you’re after authentic Asian fare in Cape Town, look no further than longstanding favourite Saigon Restaurant, located on buzzing Kloof Street. The large menu – predominantly Vietnamese – boasts a wide selection of dishes that extends to Japanese, Chinese and Thai foods.
For starters we opt for the magnificent duck spring rolls, which are fried to a golden crisp and have tender and tasty duck on the inside. The pan-fried Japanese lamb potstickers have a slightly crisp outside, and are filled with mildly spiced ground lamb. They’re served in fours, which are perfect for sharing. There are also vegetarian options featuring the likes of Vietnamese-style crystal spring rolls.
The mains are categorically organised by beef, pork, vegetarian, poultry, seafood and rice and noodles. The famous ginger fish lives up to the hype: it’s fresh, fragrant and flavourful. The fish is cooked perfectly with a crispy outside, is slightly sticky, and seasoned with a harmonious combination of plenty of ginger, some chilli and fish sauce. Sticky-fried rice makes for a perfect accompaniment.
Carnivores can delight in the generous portion of lamb chops, which is tender, delicious and served with a freshly grilled mielie. The vast menu also stars fragrant soups; yellow, green and red curries; baked aubergine; and a fiercely named dish called ‘angry duck’, which is apparently indicative of how hot it is.
Round off your meal with the Vietnamese coconut flan. It’s light, smooth and creamy – great for sharing (or not!).
There’s a small selection of cocktails, bubbles and a wide selection of local red and white wines.
Although it’s busy, the waitrons are attentive, friendly and well-versed on the menu.
If you’re lucky to be seated near the window, you can feast your eyes on panoramic views of Table Mountain – thanks to the restaurant’s glass façade. It strikes the perfect balance between casual and formal, and the dark wooden interiors adds warmth.
They have a separate sushi menu, which includes everything from sashimi and nigiri, to california rolls and salmon roses.
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