Saigon Corner is a newly opened restaurant situated at the corner of Esguerra Street and Eugenio Lopez Drive within the vicinity of foodie-friendly Tomas Morato.
It has a bright and airy interiors, helped by floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of natural light. Various design elements and bric-a-bracs serve to bring the feel of Vietnam to diners such as straw-covered walls, colorful shelvings, and even a vintage bike!
Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by fresh ingredients, aromatics and balances of various flavors. It is also heavily influenced by its local terrain that sustains bountiful harvests of rice, coconuts, jackfruit and herbs; the cuisines of its neighboring countries particularly China that brought stir-fries and noodles; as well as influences from its colonizer, France, that contributed the baguette to the Vietnamese banh mi and meat broth to the pho.
These flavors and influences came into play when I brought a friend over to try out Saigon Corners offerings. We split a hearty and healthy lunch which consisted of:
Goi Cuon | Summer Rolls (Php135). Fresh rolls filled with pork, shrimp and lettuce, accompanied by a peanut sauce. Vegetable rolls are usually the first course of a typical Vietnamese meal.
Banh Mi Thit | Traditional Banh Mi (Php185). The Vietnamese took the French baguette and made it their own by adding to the usual cold cuts and mayo/butter spread the distinct flavors of local ingredients such as cilantro, chilis, daikons, carrots and cucumbers.
Pho Bo | Beef Brisket Noodle (Php265). The pho is the soul of Vietnamese cuisine. Some say that when the French colonizers slaughtered cattle to feed their appetite for steak, Vietnamese cooks resourcefully took the scraps and other rejected bits to add protein to the pho. This pho consists of a flat noodle soup with bits of beef and other flavorings such as star anise, cardamon and cinnamon bark, among others.
Banh Da Lon | Scotch Brite Panna Cotta (Php100 for 3 pieces). I did a double take when I read the name of this dessert. Come to think of it, it does look like a Scotch Brite scouring pad. It is a steamed layer cake that has a sticky and chewy texure and tastes slightly of pandan.
And since I took advantage of a Metrodeal offer which gave me Php500 worth of food for only Php299, we were able to get a significant discount on our bill!
It was a filling lunch that also transported us to Vietnam, thanks to fresh flavors of the food and the friendly assistance of the wait staff. In fact, they let me while away the waiting time for our meal by playing around the place!
Saigon Corner is located at 40 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3680795 or +63 998 8491763.
It also delivers via Honestbee! Register using this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.
Check out my review of another taste of Vietnam nearby: Banh Mi Kitchen in M Place.
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Want to prepare Vietnamese dishes at home? Check out these books from Amazon.com.
Eat Real Vietnamese Food: A Step By Step Guide to the Classic Cuisine of Vietnam. With over ninety delicious, classical Vietnamese recipes, some of which may not be available elsewhere as Vietnamese chefs are notoriously secretive concerning their recipes, readers are treated to clear, easy to follow, illustrated step-by-step directions as well as the historical background of the dish.
Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook: Classic Vietnamese Street Food Made at Home. From phở and spring rolls to bánh mì and rice porridge, authentic Vietnamese food is as rich as the culture from which it comes―and replicating these dishes at home is easier than you might think! With the clear-cut guidance in this Vietnamese cookbook, you’ll enjoy cooking Vietnamese food just as much as you enjoy eating it.
Vietnamese Home Cooking. In his eagerly awaited first cookbook, award-winning chef Charles Phan from San Francisco’s Slanted Door restaurant introduces traditional Vietnamese cooking to home cooks by focusing on fundamental techniques and ingredients
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