Sneakily hidden in Duke street just off Chapel street, Saigon Sally might not be the most obvious place to visit if you’re just walking down Chapel Street but it’s definitely a destination of choice for foodies who flock to this restaurant to enjoy the food. On a wintry Tuesday night, this place was full and cheery with patrons enjoying the magnificent delights from the beautiful menu created by chef Adrian Li.
Inspired by the flavours of South East Asia, the menu features a variety of dishes that are sure to warm the hearts of those that visit. Combined with an exceptional drinks menu featuring some delicious cocktails and beautiful wines, Saigon Sally is the perfect venue for the perfect night out.
Saigon Sally has a wonderful cocktail menu, using some distinctly asian ingredients to make delicious drinks.
On the evening we visited, we tried a variety of different dishes beginning with a few small plates to share, just to whet the appetite! We enjoyed the Kingfish device with pomelo, green papaya, shallots and chilli on betel leaf which was a fresh start to the meal. Fried chicken ribs with Gocuchang, sesame, garlic and Sriracha Mayo was a bit of meatier appetiser and you really can’t ever go wrong with fried chicken. We followed this with Seared Scallop with Green Curry, Apple and Salmon Roe which was an interesting dish that was sweet, salty and spicy. A lovely spark to the starter dishes.
This was followed by a delicious Wagyu Tartare, young coconut, Vietnamese Mint, Perilla and puffed Rice paper. This dish was one of my favourites of the evening. The wagyu tartare was soft and deliciously flavoured. Paired with the Puffed Rice Paper it was a mix of textures – the crunch of the puffed rice paper – like a thick prawn cracker with the soft texture of the wagyu texture was delicious. We paired these initial dishes with a NV Cloudy Bay Pelorus (Sparkling).
Moving on to the larger dishes we enjoyed the Banh Xeo Taco, a take on the traditional Vietnamese Banh Xeo wrap where the Banh Xeo was in taco format and was filled with prawn, pork, coconut, turmeric, bean shoots and spring onions then wrapped in a lettuce leaf and dipped into a spicy fish sauce. I really loved this dish. The twist on the traditional dish made it just a bit more fun.
Speaking of fun, the dish that followed was one that involved chicken and a beer can! The Bia Can Chicken, a whole roasted chicken, with a bia hanoi sauce was brought out on a board with the beer can on the side, holding the sauce. This was a perfectly cooked chicken with savoury beer inspired sauce, a perfect match.
We followed this with the Sticky lamb ribs which were basted in Mandarin, oyster sauce, fennel and star anise. Lamb ribs seem to be everywhere at the moment and I really am never tired of eating them! These were exceptionally delicious with the sweetness from the mandarin balanced with the saltiness of the oyster sauce.
At this stage we had eaten enough for a small country but as they say, there is always room for dessert! And I’m really glad that we did. The Dame Blanche, a bounty chocolate meringue shell, coconut ice cream, coconut crenqux and molten chocolate was something that looked like it belonged in a Michelin star restaurant. It was an object of beauty, so carefully constructed and prepared, that it seemed wrong to eat it. But how could you not given the effort and design of the dish? I think I had died and gone to chocolate heaven – make sure you leave room for this spectacular dessert.
We also sampled the Tira-Mi-Sally – macaron, Vietnamese coffee parfait with condensed milk and peanut brittle which was just as delicious and perfect if you’re looking for something sweet but small.
The wonderful thing about the whole meal, that aside from the sticky lamb and Bia Can chicken – everything was gluten free so if you are gluten intolerant, there are many things for you to have from the menu!
Saigon Sally, 2 Duke Street, Windsor VIC 3181, Ph. (03) 9939 5181