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Cuisine: French and Vietnamese
Little Saigon is one of those rare restaurants where an eclectic theme produces good food. Founded by a couple who are French and Vietnamese, this restaurant wisely doesn’t attempt fusion but serves both French and Vietnamese classic dishes. It isn’t easy to do either cuisine well, but somehow at Little Saigon both are stunningly delicious.
And best of all, Little Saigon’s interior is a perfect recreation of a Parisian bistro. It’s a little uncanny.
And, yes, they have Mariage Freres tea!
The menu lets you in to the restaurant’s story, with family photos mixed in with the menu items:
The Vietnamese-style coffee has to be the best coffee in all of Gulou.
And the beef salad…well, it’s a funny name, because this salad is maybe 5% beef. The rest is incredibly fresh beansprouts, cucumbers, carrots, crisped-up shallots and garlic, cherry tomatoes. The first taste is watery, crunchy freshness, the second is sweet and vinegary, the third is chili heat.
We knew we were supposed to order pho this time for the sake of the review, but the beef salad won out. It’s irresistible.
And then there’s the foie gras. Specifically the porto and foie gras pate.
It’s everything you hoped the foie gras would be. It comes with black pepper, sweet pickled onion, and a perfect French green salad. It’s also 138 RMB, but I got it all back in happiness.
Le Little Saigon/西贡在巴黎
141 Jiugulou Dajie, Xicheng district
Opening Hours: Daily 11:30 a.m. – midnight
UPDATE: On return visits, Little Saigon’s main dishes – rabbit in mustard sauce, pork in caramel sauce – were very disappointing! The duck confit was OK. I recommend showing up for a light lunch only.