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Published April 16th 2014
Tantalise your taste buds
It is always hard to find that good, conveniently located, friendly and of course tasteful restaurant and when you do find it, it becomes your regular place to eat, drink and to simply enjoy... well at Saigon Tiger I have finally found that place that ticks all the boxes.
It may be small in size but certainly makes up for it with the huge flavours that make your senses run wild! Unlike some other Vietnamese restaurants, this is far from being bland and will have you keep coming back for more and more...
We ordered the rice paper rolls, spring roll combo – which is six rolls for $ 10 or each roll is $ 2 (1 per serving). The rice paper rolls were such a refreshing start, the freshness of all the herbs, pork and prawns united so well together. The Seafood & Pork minced spring rolls and Vegan spring rolls were cooked to perfection with a light crispy pastry and the right amount of filling inside.
Next we tried two entrees the Salt & Pepper Squid ($13) and Pearl of the East ($17). The salt and pepper was one of the best I have tried, it was evenly coated, and cooked to perfection with a crispy topping... I was addicted to it!
The tasty Rice Paper Rolls, Prawn & Pork Spring Rolls and Vegan Spring Rolls with dipping sauces...
The spices all worked wonderfully together and it really awakened the senses with the fresh aromas. The next entree was the Pearl of the East... Wow! I was not expecting this dish to look and taste the way it did. The scallops were seared flawlessly while the spices lathered on top really hit that spot, you could taste every aromatic spice and herb from the galangal to the coriander- it was all there....the flavours worked so well together it was like the perfect marriage!
Our entrees were followed by three main meals, Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab ($16), Grilled Kaffir Lime Chicken Skewers ($16.50) and we also tried the Green Mango & Papaya Salad with Pork & Prawns ($13).
If you are anything like me where soft shell crab is one of your favourite seafood, then this is an absolute must try. The flavours and the way it was cooked really gave justice to the crab.
The Grilled Kaffir Lime Chicken Skewers are, to date, my favourite Asian chicken skewers, after tasting that no other Asian style chicken skewer I had came close to that hit of zest. The tastes of the kaffir, the seasonings, that house made chilli seasoning on the side still lingers in my mouth, making me want to go back for more and more...
Grilled Kaffir Lime Chicken Skewers... The best Asian chicken skewers I have tasted...
Our last dish was the Green Mango & Papaya Salad with pork and prawns, all the ingredients worked well together from the spiciness to the sweetness of the green mango & papaya, there was just one disappointment and that was the prawns - was expecting the prawns to be fresh and maybe king size prawns rather than small frozen prawns, but other than that the dish was enjoyable.
The whole atmosphere of the restaurant is small, fitting around thirty people, but I really enjoyed it as it made it more intimate and of course provided better service. All the staff were professional and friendly and I even got the chance to meet the owner and chef Ho, who was an absolute delight to chat with as we shared his love for food and how Saigon Tiger come alive around two and half years ago.
The tasty Green Mango & Papaya Salad with Pork & Prawns...
The prices are relatively cheap all meals are under $20. It is also conveniently located within close proximity to Bexley North train station- less than a three minute walk and right opposite the restaurant is a free of charge carpark.
Saigon Tiger is a must visit to really experience tasty and full packed Asian flavours, as Ho quoted "It is what I like to eat, the flavours that I really enjoy I bring to the plate... They are not traditional Vietnamese flavours..." and I must say they are certainly the flavours I really love too and I cannot wait to go back for more!