A few months ago, I noticed a Vietnamese place in the Hastings area in Burnaby. Initially, the name Thai’s Saigon Bistro confused me, because I thought they were a Thai and Vietnamese fusion restaurant.
However, there aren’t any Thai dishes on the menu, and it dawned on me that the “Thai” in the name could signify ownership, much like Pajo’s Fish and Chips.
On the menu are traditional Vietnamese items including Salad and Spring Rolls, Lemongrass Chicken, Vermicelli and Rice Bowls, and Pho. Oh, and they do have Chicken Wings and Rare Beef reminiscent of the Butter Beef at Phnom Penh. For an appetizer, we tried a Spring Roll. The plate was a bit messy but if you can overlook that, the Spring Roll itself was delicious. There was a good crunch to the skin and it wasn’t overly greasy. The filling of minced pork, vermicelli and veggies was well-proportioned too.
For the Pho option, we tried the Pho Tai Sach, (rice noodles with rare beef & tripe). The clear broth was mild and the flavours were very subtle, my only wish was that it arrived a bit hotter, temperature wise. Because the beef is rare, the soup needs to be piping hot. I prefer the beef to be less cooked, but given the temperature of the soup, this probably was safer. The noodles were excellent and had a bit of bite left to them. This was a small, and for me, the amount of beef and tripe was good, but hearty eaters might want to upgrade to a large, just 75 cents more.
Some people prefer the noodles try, and they have a few varieties. This is the Mi Dac Biet (Dry Mix Noodle). The toppings are blend of sliced and minced pork, along with prawns, surimi and fried fish balls. Underneath is your choice of rice noodles or egg noodles. There is quite a bit of sauce as well, so you can mix the whole thing together. The fried garlic was a nice addition.
And we couldn’t resist their Chicken Wings, which were available by the half order. It’s not a healthy dish by any means, but the amount of grease is minimal, and doesn’t pool onto the plate as in other restaurants. The lemon dipping sauce is a familiar sight next to chicken wings now, isn’t it?
Thai’s Saigon Bistro
Address: 4015 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC
Telephone: (604) 299-8848
Hours: 11am – 9pm daily, closed Tuesdays
Website: Thais Saigon Bistro