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“Good, fresh Vietnamese food, home-grown herbs, great place for lunch!”
Review of Saigon Bistro

Saigon Bistro
Ranked #306 of 883 Restaurants in Savannah
Cuisines: Asian, Vietnamese, Grill
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Description: A wide selections of Vietnamese dishes; from Pho, rice platters, stir fries, spring rolls, salads,noodle bowl salads, banh mi, (sub) curry, pad Thai. Vegeterian friendly! Light, fresh & healthy eating.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

My daughter and I were craving some good Vietnamese so we decided to head on over and see what's up (we'd heard lots of good reviews). I know it looks a little seedy on the outside, but the interior is bright and cool and clean, so walk on in! The server was very helpful and kind, and even gave me a cutting of the excellent Thai Basil to grow at home! I started with the Goi Du Du (Shrimp and Papaya salad): the taste was fresh, but lacked a little something, perhaps more herbs--also, keep in mind that Vietnamese cooking uses green papaya, not the rich orange ripe papaya, so your salad will be a little pale. My daughter ordered the Com Bi Cha Thit Nuong( Grilled Pork with Pork Skin and Egg Loaf with steamed rice): the pork was really tasty and delicious, the Egg Loaf (which is also made with pork) was very good, moist and flavorful (though a bigger piece would have been nice)--for us Southern girls, though, the 'pork skin' was disappointing: thin, pale strips, not the fried pork skin we expected. I was in a seafood kinda mood so I ordered the Bun Thom Nuong (Grilled Shrimp with Noodles)--which is just what you get, nothing more, unless you ask. The shrimp were good BUT, the whole bowl was exceeding bland, even with added hot chili sauce, so I asked the server for fresh herbs, which vastly improved the flavor. A note here: I eat Asian foods a lot so I like the strong, crispy Thai Basil and Cilantro--the server said many Westerners don't care for them, so they stopped serving them with the dish, but if you don't ask, all you'll get is a bland bowl of rice noodles and shrimp--I was given a plate of herbs right from their restaurant garden, washed and fresh and the taste was amazing! Don't short yourself here, try something new! You tear up the herbs over the noodles--use a little at a time-mix them in, and taste--I used all I was given but you can try a little at a time until you see what you like. I hope that start serving Bun Bao (steamed bread dumplings filled with pork, herbs and egg), because that is a dish I really miss from my travels. I like the freshness of the food, the friendliness of the staff and the atmosphere. Prices are reasonable and service quick--we'll definitely be back soon!

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Thank Heart_of_Imladris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (48)
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42 - 46 of 48 reviews

Reviewed April 21, 2013

It is my personal opinion that the seedier an Asian restaurant looks, the better the food. I moved to savannah from Houston where you can't throw a stone without hitting a Vietnamese restaurant, and have sampled many fine bowls of pho. The menu here was much more extensive than I'm used to. Most restaurants have a good selection of soups and a few rice/meat/vegetable choices, but Saigon Bistro had a much larger menu. My husband was not with me but his complaint may have been that there were not many pictures of the food, which is the only way he ever orders food from *any* restaurant... But we won't get into that.
I got the "all in one" bowl which is basically a little bit of everything. It thought it tasted exactly like what I was expecting so I was pleased. My one complaint of the restaurant is that the atmosphere leaves much to be desired. This is where my first sentence comes back into relevance. The floors, well to be honest, looked as though the had never been mopped before. The walls are painted with flat maroon paint with several "bad art" paintings of Paris and Europe, mixed with the token Asian stuff, hung inexpertly with no regard for interior design. It was all a little sad. That being said, I didn't stop by to enjoy the atmosphere, I went for a steaming bowl of tasty pho and I got what I wanted, and will be going back in the future.

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Thank Kathleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Some background so you know where I'm coming from: I am a half-Vietnamese woman with a culinary degree. I grew up eating Vietnamese food and recently moved South from the DC area where there is a plethora of EXCELLENT Vietnamese food.

My husband and i were visiting Savannah with our little ones and looking for a good place for take-out. We happened for ind Saigon Bistro while driving around and since we've been craving some good Vietnamese food we decided to try it.

I'm sure this is probably one of the better places in the area since when we walked in there were 4 or 5 filled tables. Overall however, the food was only average.

We ordered Pho Tai Sach (Pho with bible tripe and raw filet -- to be cooked in the soup), Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio (Rice noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls), Che Ba Mau (3 colored Vietnamese bean and gelatin dessert), soybean milk and Chanh Muoi (salted lemon drink).

The pho came with fresh greens and bean sprouts (not the nasty old brown kind that some places try to get away with) and the filet was in its own bag as not to leak on everything else. You always have to expect take out pho noodles to end up being a little soggy so that wasn't a big deal. The tripe was well prepared however the broth itself was the problem. It was heavy on cardamom and clove so there was a heavy bitter aftertaste. I suspect it also had some MSG in it because I was VERY thirsty - a tell tale sign for me.

The bun thit nuong was fine although the meat was lacking a bit on flavor and could benefit from more marinade time. The egg rolls were a bit greasy and some might assume that's because I took it to go but it was primarily because the wrapped used was too heavy and soaked up much of the oil they fried it in.

The nuoc mam (fish sauce) wasn't mixed very well -- my personal preference is to use fresh lime instead of vinegar and this one was still very concentrated but it wasn't horrible.

The dessert was a bit bland and the coconut milk didn't seem very fresh. The peanuts also came pre-ground from a container which causes it to be very greasy and lose its freshness. Decent otherwise.

They used ground salted lemon for the salted lemon drink which made it gritty to drink. I much prefer when a half a lemon is placed at the bottom of the glass. The sugar was well mixed however and overall the taste was fine. The waitress working there is Chinese so she asked me to taste it to make sure I liked it. She also offered to help carry out my drinks to the car.

Decent considering its in the middle of a Southern city. If I were in the area I'd go back, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

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Thank Jade M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I just got back from living in Vietnam for a little over a year and I'd been craving Viet food ever since I left. In my opinion, Savannah has never been a place for great authentic S.E asian food, mostly because its hard to get ingredients, they have to change to accomodate a western palate or the dishes are not made by people from the country of origin.

Anyways that being said, I tried Saigon flavors for the first time today and I definitely was not disappointed. I had the Bun Bo Hue, and Cuon Tom (Shrimp Spring Rolls,) my boyfriend got the Pho Dac Biet and the eggrolls. Both soups (Bun Bo Hue and Pho Dac Biet) were excellent. Great authentic flavors, in both of them. They also gave you more rau (vegetables/fixings/vietnamese mint/sprouts) than US restaurants tend to, which was really really a treat for me.

Note: Most Pho and most Vietnamese food in general tends to be salty. That's something that anyone eating Pho, soup or... really almost anything Viet should take into account. This place is no exception, as many of the negative reviews mention.

The fried rolls were tasty too, nothing too out of the ordinary. The shrimp rolls didn't have a ton of mint in them, but were tasty and fresh nonetheless.

The only think that I felt wasn't authentic was the lack of pigs foot in the Bun Bo Hue, but I really really doubt that most US folks would enjoy finding that in their soup :P

I am DEFINITELY going back.

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Thank ALeejelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2015
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Thank 406aa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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