A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
Considering the fact that lemongrass is used a lot in vietnamese cuisine, I should be a big fan. But, in reality, I must admit that I am not very exposed to vietnamese food, having sampled it only 3 times in my life. My ignorance stems from the fact that I have yet to collide into a vietnamese restaurant that makes my senses tingle, but it could very well be a case of the chicken and the egg. Unfortunately, if I don’t consciously look out for one, then it’s quite unlikely that the mountain will come to Mu….on second thoughts, scrap that. All we need is another Rosnah/TV3 incident.
So as far as food blogs go, once upon a time, Barbie and I found ourselves in a situation where we were sick of eating chinese food for lunch, and coupled with the fact that we found a parking space 10 metres away from Saigon Village, we knew it was our destiny to have our Friday lunch at this restaurant. I suppose, in all honesty, it was the parking space that predominantly dictated our decision; it would be a lie to say we were sick of eating chinese food. Laziness does cause one to make new discoveries.
The restaurant looks like it has been around for ages, as I’ve noticed it everytime I take the turn around Jalan Imbi towards Soo Kee (Sang Har Meen). About 5 tables were occupied when we entered the place. Most of the diners were huddled in quiet conversations. The restaurant was running a lunch special (RM8.90) consisting of a main rice or noodle dish from a long selection of dishes, a bowl of soup and a chinese/vietnamese tea. With only less than an hour to go, we agreed to order the lunch hour special.
Barbie’s order of rice vermicelli with spring rolls and lemongrass chicken came with a bowl of sweet sauce which is supposed to be poured over the noodles. A sprinkling of peanuts stirred together with the rest of the ingredients (including bean sprouts and sliced cucumbers) reminds me of a refreshing salad made of crunchy ingredients. According to Barbie, the sweetness of the vegetables enhanced the flavour of the dish, which would otherwise have been rather bland.
I like duck, and was immediately drawn to the picture of the duck curry noodles on the menu. The waiter recommended this dish too, so I ordered it. This dish was generously topped with sliced roast duck which had just been added to the bowl of noodles; the meat had yet to fully absorb the flavours of the curry resulting in a delicate balance of flavours, both from the duck and from the lemongrass flavoured curry. The curry was, in my opinion, rather thin, but to its credit, it was more drinkable than a thick, coconut milk-laced curry. A substantial amount of ladies fingers and cucumbers were added to this bowl of noodles. I didn’t care much for the vermicelli which was bland, and I thought the vegetables were too raw, but I certainly enjoyed the tender flesh of the roast duck and wolfed down every piece.
The accompanying bowl of soup (which tasted very much like hot and spicy szechuan soup) was nondescript.
Probably not a place I’d be in a hurry to introduce my friends to.
Saigon Village Restaurant
No. 45, Jalan Barat
Off Jalan Imbi
Tel: 03-2142 6296
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.