I love to explore each and every nook and cranny of Bangkok. I wanted to venture out of my neighbourhood of Silom and wanted to try something unadulterated Vietnamese, and well, I just happened to find this little gem, Saigon Recipe tucked away in a corner of Thonglor. Saigon Recipe is located in between Phrom Pong and ThongLo BTS stations and once you get there it is a bit of a hike on foot, best to hop on a tuk-tuk or motorbike to this quaint little place. I hopped on a Grab motorcycle taxi for just 37 baht! Can’t beat that!
Saigon Recipe story began when a Japanese gentleman met a Vietnamese lady who then brought these recognizable homemade generational recipes from Vietnam to Thailand. The Japanese gentleman’s love for Vietnamese cuisine was the inspiration for this place. For anyone who has been to Saigon, they will definitely know what I am talking about.
The ambiance of Saigon Recipe feels like you are sitting in the middle of nowhere with recognizable Vietnamese lanterns delicately hanging above.
Now begins the long love affair I have had with Vietnamese food. This is my go-to food and I’m always ready for some really good beef Pho and spring rolls.
The first couple of appetizers that touched down on our table were the Shrimp, Mushroom and Potato Croquettes and Fried Spring Rolls (also knows as chả giò chiên), served with fresh herbs and rice noodles. These 2 appetizers, I would have to say made a lasting impression on me! The fried spring rolls, I took a piece of lettuce and put the spring roll in it, with (crushed fresh Thai chillies) and the best fresh Thai basil in the world, wrapped it up and devoured it! It is a delightful way to eat these mini rolls as they come piping hot, so wrapping it in the lettuce helps to hold the rolls, the savoriness of the spring roll plus the crunchiness was a joy for those who love the crunch!
The Shrimp, Mushroom and Potato croquette (chả giò hải sản) came with a spicy like mayo for dipping, which was a nice blend of spiciness. A good combination of ingredients.
Originating on the streets of Saigon, the Banh Mi sandwich is a French-Vietnamese hybrid consisting of an airy baguette and inside you will discover sour pickled daikon and shredded carrot, crisp fresh cilantro, spicy chilis, and a cool slivers of cucumber surrounding any number of protein options such as sweet minced pork, chicken to fatty pate to sardines. This was my first Banh Mi sandwich, and I am sure to try it again! It was tastefully satisfying and fulfilling.
One of the best things about eating Vietnamese food is that it is easily and quickly digested if not made with MSG or other processed ingredients. Saigon Recipe uses all fresh products with NO MSG.
I literally could want to try the Beef Pho as I have tried in so many different restaurants, cities and countries around the globe. This one definitely didn’t disappoint! Rare Beef Pho, heaps of rice noodles in a light broth with the proper pho fixings!! I was getting full, so luckily the portion was the perfect size for sharing!
The manager was super helpful in explaining the different types of Vietnamese cuisine and this next entree was a highly recommended dish for us to try. The Stir-Fried Beef Southern Style served with vegetables, peanuts and fresh herbs all on top of rice noodles with the fish sauce on the side, kind of like the Bun style. The dish can be ordered in different flavours, I had the desire to try the Jimica which was very good. I have tried Jimica in other dishes such as tortillas, I wanted to see how it went with Vietnamese cuisine. For those who are curious of what Jimica is, it looks like a potato, the flesh of this starchy vegetable has a lightly sweet and nutty flavour. The texture of jicama is crunchy and slightly moist, much like a crisp apple but not soggy when cooked. The jicama peel is edible, however, it’s tough, fibrous texture, it is usually junked.
Pomelo salad with Shrimp served with shrimp rice crackers was a very brand-new mix of flavours. The mild citrus note mixed with loads of fresh Thai herbs and peanuts had the taste buds racing! Chunky mouthful refreshing morsels in every chopstick bite!
One of the most ordered dishes at Saigon recipe is the Vietnamese broken rice & charcoal-grilled pork, steamed egg cake called CƠM TẮM ấ SÀI GÒN. It comes as a combo with everything, you have the rice, the bbq pork and a steam egg cake, veggies with a side of egg drop soup in a broth.
Lemongrass and Pandan juices were also available in these cool bottles with banana leaf corks. They came unsweetened with a side of cane sugar Both definitely worth having with your meals.
We had so many dishes, so I am going to pick the best and the least favourite.
Must try: The best was the Stir-Fried Beef Southern Style served with vegetables, peanuts and fresh herbs all on top of rice noodles with the fish sauce. I love the simplicity of flavours in this dish.
My least favourite was the Vietnamese broken rice & charcoal-grilled pork, steamed egg cake called CƠM TẮM ấ SÀI GÒN. Although my colleague really liked it! This is a good quick lunch grab dish!
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for the next review!
Other restaurants in Thonglor