It was a great experience for some of us here who had never tasted Vietnamese Street Food during the food tasting gathering organized by Miss Saigon, Vietnamese Cuisine at E-Gate, Penang yesterday. We were given the privilege to try out all the items in the pork-free menu prior to the launching of the promotion which would start this coming Friday to cater for those who would like lighter treats. There are all together 31 items in the newly promoted menu, ranging from summer rolls, exotic spreads, salads, rice noodles and sandwiches.
To start off the event, we were presented with 10 different types of fresh and fried rolls with different kinds of sauces. Those dishes included the Traditional Northern Rolls (RM6.80) with prawns, Traditional Southern Rolls (RM7.80) with chicken slices, Farmer’s Egg Rolls (RM6.80), Mini Prawn Paste on Sugar Cane (RM10.80) to be wrapped in rice paper, Crispy Gourmet Seafood Rolls (RM9.80), Crisp Fried Hanoi Rolls (RM8.80), Fresh Vegetable Rolls (RM5.80), Southern Fish Rolls (RM7.80) and Classic Hor Fun Rolls (Beef – RM10.80, Chicken – RM9.80). Overall, the rice paper wrapped rolls tasted almost the same with lots of fresh vegetables except for the different types of meat in it. The ones that stood out and tasted great for my personal liking included the Mini Prawn Paste on Sugar Cane, Crispy Gourmet Seafood Rolls, Crisp Fried Hanoi Rolls and Hor Fun Beef Rolls.
The next set of meals was the exotic side of the Vietnamese cuisine. We were presented with 8 dishes, namely the Cinnamon Beef Chunks La Lot (RM11.80), Grilled Chicken T-shaped Wings (RM9.80), Wok Fried Flower Chicken (RM14.80), Wok Fried Flower Beef (RM14.80), Spiced Grilled Eel Cake (RM12.80), Villagers Grilled Snail Cake (RM12.80), Street Style Salty Soft Shell Crabs (RM13.80) and Royal Seafood Skewer (RM10.80). The Cinnamon Beef Chunks La Lot was tender and juicy with that special taste from the Vietnamese spice leave. The Grilled Chicken T-shaped Wings was also nice as they were marinated and grilled to perfection with the chef’s secret BBQ sauce. Other than that, my preference would be the two Wok Fried Flower Chicken/Beef dishes. The taste of the Pergularia wild flowers sure did enhance the dishes which came with a bit of tangy and salty after taste. The Eel and Snail cakes were average. Both tasted like chicken burger expect that the snail version had a bit of springiness in them. The Street Style Soft Shell Crabs was quite nice too except that I found it to be a bit over salty to my taste bud. The Royal Seafood Skewer is nothing special compared to other BBQ skewer dishes but the salmon served was indeed fresh.
The restaurant’s salad dishes were next on the list. We were served with 5 different kinds of salad namely their most recommended Sour Green Mango Salad (RM7.80), Miss Saigon Salad (RM9.80), Cold Glass Noodle Salad (RM6.80), Crunchy Papaya Salad (RM7.80) and Jelly Fish Salad (RM8.80). The dressing for all the salad tasted almost the same except for the Cold Glass Noodle Salad which has a touch of shredded ginger flower bud added. I love this salad most as it tasted like Yee Sang which would be served during Chinese New Year minus the crunchiness of the fried flour biscuits. The Sour Green Mango Salad and Miss Saigon Salad were also not bad in taste but I would prefer the chef to add in more fresh bean spouts as the dishes lacked of some crunchiness of fresh vegetables.
The rice noodles dishes were served next. There are all in 6 dishes from the menu such as the Crunchy Eel Glass Noodle Soup (RM13.80), Villagers Snail Noodle Soup (RM13.80), Traditional Southern Beef/Chicken BUN (RM14.80/RM12.80) and the Traditional Vietnamese Chicken/Beef PHO (RM12.80/RM14.80). I found that the eel strips were a bit too small in size after being fried as I could not get the fish taste in it. I normally prefer fresh fish fillet in my noodle soup, although I do take some fried ones which were in a bigger chunks. The Villagers Snail Noodle Soup was not bad. Although the snail meat was not as thinly sliced as I would expect, it blended well with the sour taste of the soup. The soup tasted like our local Laksa minus the pungent taste of the soup. Even the chewy noodles were exactly the same as those in Laksa. Both the Traditional Southern Beef/Chicken BUN tasted great. They looked like our local “Kerabu” and tasted the same too. I quite like the chicken version as sauce blended in real well. The Traditional Vietnamese Chicken/Beef Noodles were normal but the beef version would be quite suitable for those who do not like the overpowering taste of beef.
The last on the menu were the Frog Curry with Garlic Spiced Baguette (RM10.80) and Vietnamese Street Beef/Chicken Baguette (RM9.80). The latter was nothing but a part of a baguette filled with some beef and chicken cold cuts. The Frog Curry was worth mentioning as the curry was delicious and had a quite unique taste from all the herbs within. Even the garlic topped baguettes combined well with the curry.
Overall, the taste for the Vietnamese street food could be quite an experience for many but I find the pricing to be a bit too steep for some of the items in the menu. If you are a frequent wet market customer, you would realize that the ingredients used in the preparation of some of the dishes would be around 30% of the price charged, excluding the rental, ambience and worker’s salaries. I would like to advice the management to lower to a reasonable price in order to let more people try out the Vietnamese food. 10% service charge is applicable to all orders and major credit cards would only be accepted for bill above RM50.
The restaurant is situated within the E-Gate building next to Penang’s Tesco along Jalan Tunku Kudin, Gelugor, Penang. It is facing the Jelutong Expressway and is just next to the Old Town Kopitiam.
Name: MISS SAIGON VIETNAM CUISINE
Address: 1-01-15, E-Gate, Lebuh Tunku Kudin 2, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00pm – 12.00am
Contact: 604-377 6083, 012-402 2909 (Mr. Leslie Loh)
GPS: 5.376253, 100.315558
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
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