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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Saigon Village, Haymarket

Somewhat spurred on by previous proof that you can't always judge a book by its cover (or a restaurant by its doorway), we decided to have lunch at Saigon Village--despite (or in this case, because of) its funny little windowless entrance on Sydney's Little Hay Street.

Apart from a protuding neon sign and a beckoning red lantern proclaiming "$6 lunch", there is little to attract the passing pilgrim. It's next door to the Shinju Teppan teppanyaki restaurant (I think I went there about 10 years ago) and both of them offer nothing more than a darkened doorway and a short set of stairs to whoknowswhere.

In an increasingly common occurence though, the tiny entrance belies a spacious dining area inside. And the place was suprisingly popular with uni students, families and Chinese older folk.

The decor was typically cheesy with a beach-hut style bar in one corner and prints and Christmas lights adorning the walls.

Vietnamese chicken noodle soup $6.00

Grilled pork vermicelli $8.50

The chicken soup tasted a little lacking but the portion was enormous. So too was the pork vermicelli which arrived as a mountain of noodle. The pork was a little too sweet and not enough fish sauce and lemongrass for my liking though (and hey, I do like to consider myself a grilled pork vermicelli-oso).

The must-eat dish, though, seemed to be the pho bo, or beef noodle soup. It's been a while since I've slurped my way through a bowl of mint and bean sprout- scattered lemon-squirted noodle soup covered with shaved slices of barely-cooked beef.

This is probably some of the cheapest grub you'll get in Chinatown outside of a foodcourt, but I think I prefer the dizzying array of backlit foodcourt options in claustrophic clattering surrounds. Even without the beach hut.

Saigon Village Restaurant
Ground floor, 6C/405 Sussex Street, Haymarket
Tel: 02 9281 0822

Open 7 days 11am to 11pm
1 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 4/14/2005 11:59:00 pm


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