I’ve heard so much about Saigon Jon’s on Twitter over the past month that I just had to try it out! So I told the hubby he was on his own with the kidlets and I ventured off to meet my friend at the restaurant.
I live in the South East end of the city so it was a quick hop onto the perimeter and within 10 minutes I pulled up to the restaurant. Big plus considering I plan on eating here more often!
This is one bright restaurant, inside and out! It is very easy to see from blocks away as the exterior is primarily painted white and very well-lit. As soon as you walk into the restaurant the brightness continues which adds to its cleanliness factor. It just felt clean, tables were clean, floors were clean, people were clean (well, from what I saw anyway)!
MENU & ORDERING
My friend arrived before I did, and I wasn’t even able to sit down because she was raving about the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff when she came into the restaurant. When I finally sat down, a pleasant young lady came right away to inquire if I needed assistance with the menu. The menu is simple, brochure style, and easy to read. There aren’t very many options and that’s what makes it a fast and casual meal. First, you pick your style of meal: 1) Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich), Noodle Bowl, Rice Bowl or Salad. Then you pick your protein which includes a selection of marinated beef, chicken, pork, and yes, even tofu! There is a section just for their Sirloin Beef Pho (Beef Noodle Soup) and then a selection of Sides & Drinks which, include yummy salad rolls and spring rolls. You can see for yourself on their website which consists of just their menu!
I decided to have the noodle bowl with Hoisin Garlic Steak and my friend chose the Hot Honey Hoisin Chicken salad. To order, we walked up to the open counter which happens to be right in front of the grill where you can see all of the fresh ingredients being used to make your meal. They use a paper ticket process to capture the orders, you are given a table tag/number and then they advise you to move along to the cashier to pay and grab drinks. A very seamless process if you ask me! By the time we were settled back in our seats our food was a few minutes away from being brought to our table.
As you can see the portions are quite large! I went there thinking I could have a noodle bowl AND Pho AND sides but alas, I only had the noodle bowl and a few extra spring rolls.
The beef was well marinated and tender. The veggies were fresh (cucumbers, red onions, carrot slaw and iceberg lettuce). The vermicelli was just right. I could honestly say that I could taste each element of my meal without one flavour overpowering another, it all came together quite nicely as I was eating it. I didn’t add any other condiments or sauces to my bowl. I will say that I`m pretty sure I smelled like garlic the entire next day though, but I didn’t really notice it at the time.
I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at this restaurant, and I give them a 4.5 out of 5. It was bright, clean and the staff were very knowledgeable and friendly. I believe they have a great price to portion ratio. The food itself was very tasty and the ambiance had a trendy, yet funky vibe that suited the venue (and me)! If it’s any indication that my family and I will eat here again, it`ll be from the fact that I brought home the Hot Honey Hoisin Chicken noodle bowl to share and I don’t think I fully made it in the door and it was gone! They LOVED it! Saigon Jon`s is one of my new faves, be sure to check them out!