Vietnamese food with a difference at Le Garcon Saigon
Vietnamese food is not hard to find all over the world especially in Hong Kong, there are a number of good Vietnamese places everywhere. But you are hard pressed to find somewhere a little bit different rather then the casual pho and bun noodle restaurant. Le Garcon Saigon serves vietnamese food with a difference in Wanchai on the streets behind Pacific Place 2. During the day this area is full of trendy shops, cafes and eateries but not a lot of them stay open for dinner service.
Outside the restaurant looks like a tropical garden with lots of green foliage lining the facade. With tables outside and opened glass doors it reminded me of a Parisian brasseries with nods to Asia.
Inside the European inspiration continues with a Parisian style wall painting as a feature wall which is tied into their logo and their menu. I guess that is where the “Le Garcon” in the name comes from.
Let’s get down to the food, there were 5 of us so we could order lots of different dishes to share which as you all know I’m totally fine with that eating strategy. We started with a bottle of french red wine and a plate of Vietnamese Charcuterie, pickles and Banh mi. When eaten together is a different way to dress up a vietnamese sandwich which you get from street vendors. The only thing which let this dish down in my opinion was the quality of the bread, it didn’t taste freshly made and the crust wasn’t really a crust.
I love vietnamese salads they are one of the tastiest other then Japanese in my view. We went for 2 of the 3 available on the menu. The shredded cabbage salad was good and not spicy, I loved the crispy yuba sheets sprinkled on top it gave the dish a great texture.
The green papaya salad was fresh and I loved the shrimp crisp and cashew nuts, it was very different.
One of my ultimate favourite things to eat are spring rolls. Can’t beat them in my books! Who doesn’t love a vietnamese one though? I am happy to say that the ones at Le Garcon Saigon were great, packed with filling, nice and golden and served with LOTS of lettuce, fresh herbs and nuoc mam dipping sauce. I would have had a 2nd plate if I didn’t know how much we had ordered.
Luckily I held back as I forgot how much we did order!
Whole red snapper served wrapped up in leaves at the table and cut open so you can see the steam waft out.
Wagyu bavette steak nicely seared on the outside but perfectly pink and succulent on the inside – yes it was insanely good.
All served with a LARGE dish of accompaniments of rice paper, fresh herbs, pickles, vermicelli noodles and dipping sauce. You basically make your own paper rolls with the fish and the meat and with whatever accompaniments you want. To be honest by the end I was just mixing it all together with the noodles making my own bun noodle combination on my plate.
There are a number of skewer dishes on the menu, we chose two however the kurobuta pork skewers was one of my favourites of the night slightly followed by the sugarcane prawns which was skewered on lemon grass stalks. They were slightly marinated and grilled so you can taste the smokiness throughout the dish. These were also accompanied by all the sides which came with the fish and beef.
We were not short of anything, but the staff were extremely helpful and gave us whatever else we needed.
We could have probably been comfortably full but we were highly recommended this dish which was hands down my favourite of the night. The banh xeo which is basically a vietnamese pancake filled with chorizo, prawns and bean sprouts.
Thin, crispy and light the pancake went great with the filling and mixed with lettuce and herbs was even better. I was a little worried about the addition of chorizo but it went surprisingly well. Adding a bit of spice and heaviness to the dish. YUM!
We finished with some desserts mainly made up of ice cream with asian flavours mixed in. But to be honest I was pretty full and could only manage a spoonful of each, but they weren’t overly sweet and a great spoonful to end the night on.
Plus they look pretty damn good.
The reason I love vietnamese cuisine is the way that the Vietnamese incorporate a freshness with fresh vegetables and herbs into their food which gives it a lightness. It is surprising how using the same accompaniments with different main dishes can create such different tastes. This isn’t just your regular vietnamese restaurant, it is somewhere with a beautiful atmosphere where you can come and hang out with friends and have a nice evening. So give it a try and don’t forget to bring lots of people with you to try more dishes.
What is your favourite Asian Cuisine? Let me know below.
For more information about Le Garcon Saigon check out their website.