South Plainfield, NJ 07080
- Cost: $$
- Alcohol: BYO
- Parking: Public Lot
- Take Out: Yes
June 9, 2010
Saigon is one of those restaurants you’d never find if you weren’t looking for it. Tucked in the back of a tiny strip mall in a semi-industrial section of South Plainfield, enter the simple storefront and find some of the best Vietnamese food in New Jersey.
We went for the first time on the Saturday afternoon before Mother’s Day. (I’m glad my lovely wife considers an unknown ethnic restaurant to be suitable for Mother’s Day dinner!) The cold Lotus Roots Salad with Pork and Shrimp appetizer is light and fresh. Every soup we tried was a big hit. Bun Bo Hue (Spicy Beef Broth with Pork and Beef) was the spiciest, most flavorful soup I’ve had in a long time. The pork appeared in the form of an entire pig’s foot floating up from the bottom of the bowl – an excellent conversation starter. Our oldest daughter ordered the Pho Bo Vien (Beef Meatball with Noodle Soup): also very good, with its own, distinct broth. The Wonton Soup, which our youngest daughter loved, is among the best I’ve had at any Asian restaurant. They use homemade wontons, which makes a huge difference. My wife’s Co’m Chien Bo Steak (charbroiled marinated steak served with pork sausage fried rice) reminded me of Korean BBQ, and she loved the fried rice. Saigon offers homemade fruit milkshakes – try mango or banana – which can help calm your taste buds after the spicy soup.
Saigon is larger than it looks from the outside, with tables and a lunch counter. Plenty of room for large groups or families. Service was fast and very friendly. You have to venture a little bit off Route 22 or 287 to get there, but Saigon is worth the trip.