Deals sites are great places to pick up good bargains and make new discoveries. It can be an intriguing adventure as you venture outside your comfort zone and explore and experience new cuisines and eateries. We recently paid a visit to Saigon Orchid Vietnamese Restaurant with a voucher from a deals site. Booking was easy and we turned up on time on a Sunday evening with a famished tummy.
Saigon Orchid was semi packed and was simply decorated. The small restaurant was dotted with wooden tables and chairs. A friendly waiter greeted us and ushered us to a window table. Sometimes restaurants can treat you like a second class citizen if you come with a voucher but Saigon Orchid welcomed us with open hands. We couldn't fault the service which was attentive and prompt throughout the evening.
We started off with Chinese green tea and Vietnamese red wine which we found to be quite ordinary. Our first entrée soon appeared with a flourish. The big pork and prawn rice paper rolls were delectable. The fresh mint leaves in the rolls made them refreshing. The accompanying sauce only enhanced the flavour of the rolls.
Next we tried the vegetarian spring rolls which were palatable. We wrapped the crunchy rolls in lettuce with mint leaves and coriander leaves and dipped them in the complementary fish sauce and savoured every mouthful. In my haste I burnt my mouth a little since the rolls were fresh from the pan and were very hot inside. Moral of the story is 'Do not be in haste with regards to sampling delicious looking spring rolls! They may be hot!'.
Our mains followed suit. The chicken with vegetables was quite nice. Cooked in a sweet and sour sauce with vegetables the chicken strips were tender and tasty. Some more vegetables would have definitely elevated our experience. Our next dish was the prawns with cashew nuts and vegetables which was more enjoyable. The succulent prawns served with crunchy nuts and ample veggies enticed and enamoured our tastebuds. The portion sizes were just right for two people. We eagerly polished off our food.
For dessert we had banana fritter with ice-cream. As we awaited the arrival of the final course we took pleasure in scanning the wine menu. The back of the menu listed some important Vietnamese phrases. We took great delight in trying to pronounce the Vietnamese words and concluded that the most interesting phrase was 'Cam On' which means 'Thankyou ' in English. For the uninitiated, the pronunciation can seem akin to the English phrase 'Come On'. Inclusion of the Vietnamese phrases was certainly a sweet touch to the menu.
After sometime our dessert appeared. A big, ripe banana was coated in tempura and deep fried and then served with vanilla ice-cream. The ice-cream was nice but the banana fritter was average. We loosened our belts as we tried in vain to finish our dessert.
At the completion of our satisfying 6 course meal, we bade our farewell and took our leave. Simple, satisfying and enjoyable are the three words which aptly sum up our visit to Saigon Orchid. Nothing fancy, Saigon Orchid is a cosy den for a lovely meal with family and friends without breaking the bank.
As a sidenote, there is some parking right outside the shop front which we overlooked and had to park on a side street. Saigon Orchid is open 7 days a week. Takeaway and home delivery services are available while BYO is accepted for bottled wine only. Saigon Orchid awaits you at 208 Blackburn road, Glen Waverley.