This is a quiet and quaint café with a relaxed feel, from the simple wooden two-seater tables and décor to the wistful staff who seem to magically appear at the right moments. It was like discovering a secret hideaway from the bustle of Chapel Street, with only two other diners in the café on an otherwise busy midweek lunch.
Bun Vietnamese Salad @ Saigon Rose #BED
The family-run restaurant's menu is simple, offering traditional favourites such as pho, roast quail and Vietnamese pancake, as well as modern creations like prawn and avocado rolls, caramelised Atlantic salmon and crispy pork belly with sweet potato fritters, made fresh. There are a few gluten free options, but it is somewhat limited for a vegetarian diet.
Being a hot Melbourne day, I wanted something light and fresh, so ordered the traditional Bun; A Vietnamese salad bowl comprising lettuce, bean shoots, mint, cucumber, pickled carrot, rice vermicelli noodles, shallots, and crushed peanuts, served with your choice of protein (tofu, prawn, chicken, or beef), and a side of nuoc mam fish sauce as a dressing. This healthy and delicious combination of fresh ingredients provided a sensational flavour explosion in my mouth. I could barely keep the conversation going with food so good and nourishing in front of me.
The service was impeccable with polite, attentive, and quietly spoken waitresses taking orders that were delivered promptly. Otherwise, patrons were left to themselves to engage in conversation and enjoy the meal. It's a perfect place for a private business meeting, date, or solo meal. I'll be returning here again soon.