You won't find me writing about Vietnamese restaurants or food very often, because I'm not a big fan of it. I'm not sure why. It must be the flavors they commonly use, and the fact that I don't like vermicelli noodles. The reason why I am writing about Saigon's is because a good friend of mine invited us to dinner, and since we don't get to see this friend or her husband very often, we accepted the invite.
Saigon's is neighbors with Toy's N Joys on Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki. We went on a Thursday evening and did not have trouble finding parking on the street. If you go during the daytime, you'll need to plug the meters.
It wasn't crowded in the restaurant, but we did see a number of take-out orders going out the door.
My favorite part of the meal was the spring roll appetizer. The outer shell was crunchy and the inside was stuffed with veggies. It came with vietnamese dipping sauce, which I believe is called nuoc cham.
My husband, who is also not a big fan of Vietnamese cuisine, ordered the rice plate with beef short ribs and chicken. He said it was "not bad". It must have been decent since he licked his plate clean, including all of the white rice, which is rare for my husband since he normally only takes a few bites of white rice. I think it was due to the fact that the meat portions were on the small side.
I ordered the rice plate with chicken and garlic shrimp. Both were good. The shrimp didn't have a lot of garlic, but they were nicely flavored and not overcooked. I too found myself eating everything on my plate and still felt hungry afterwards.
My friend Brandon (@wehearthawaii) ordered the pho, which is what most people order at Vietnamese restaurants.
A few people on our table ordered li hing lemon water - looked like water with li hing powder and a lemon peel with li hing. I didn't take a swig since I don't like li hing, but it looked like everyone was enjoying it.
I actually liked the food at Saigon's. I wouldn't mind going back for the spring rolls and rice plates. Actually, I could go there and just eat the spring rolls as my meal.
3624 Waialae Ave