Vietnamese Cuisine is gaining its popularity in Penang, especially with the influx of new Vietnamese joints. Tucked away in the colonial architecture in the heart of Georgetown, Saigon Bowl is a new contender for Vietnamese food. It offers a series of modernized Vietnamese food with Pho being the star of the menu. The signage is not too obvious, with a small neon-light signage hanging in front of the restaurant. The facade does not give a very strong Vietnamese image but the interior suggests otherwise.... with Vietnamese knick-knack hanging around adorning the environment. In order to bring in more authentic flavors from Saigon, most ingredients are imported from its Mekong Delta counterparts. Budget-watchers would be glad to know that a bowl of Pho starts from Rm 9.90 onwards; it is also note-worthy that Saigon Bowl is possibly the only Pork-Free Vietnamese restaurant in Penang.
Many Thanks to Saigon Bowl for hosting us.
Pho Beef Combo (Rm 18.90)
Dry Pho with Chicken and Poached Egg (Rm 11.90)
Milky Chicken Rice with Sunny Side Up (Rm 14.90)
Purists may not be happy with the absence of the Herb-basket but Saigon Bowl's justification is that the locals do not appreciate raw Herbs and Vegetables so they would lightly blanch the greens or soak them directly in the steaming hot meat broth. Simmered for at least 7 hours, the broth becomes a flavorful base for noodles and add-ons like Beef or Chicken. The signature Pho- Beef Combo combines sizable chunks of imported Australian Beef slices, Beef Bristkets and Beef Balls; as well as brimming with condiments like Coriander, Spring Onions, Onions and Bean Sprouts. The cuts were lovely, the texture was beyond amazing- tender yet packed with delicious Beef flavors. The Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles on the other hand, were slightly too dense to my liking. The herbaceous meat broth is addictively good on its own but if you wish to deepen the flavors, squeeze a dash of Lime juice over it or enjoy the Noodles with the Vietnamese- Sriracha hot sauce. For the red meat-averse, Chicken alternatives are available too.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Rm 11.90 for 2)
Crispy Spring Rolls (Rm 5.90 for 3)
Tapioca Rolls (Rm 5.90 for 2), Banana Spring Rolls (Rm 5.90 for 3) and Sweet Cassava Rolls with Coconut Sauce (Rm 6.90)
Essential Vietnamese delicacies like Vietnamese Spring Rolls are also available but if you have sweet tooth, be sure not to miss their Sweet Cassava Rolls with Coconut Sauce. The exterior was expertly cooked to the right crisp while the inner maintained its moist and tenderness; served with creamy, luscious sweet Coconut sauce... best to wash down with a serving of Vietnamese Coffee or Tea.
Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk (Rm 7.90)
Lime Juice with Sour Plum Fizzy (Rm 6.90)
White Fungus, Lotus Seeds & Red Dates (Rm 7.90)
Lotus Tea (Rm 5.90)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 20 A & B, The Whiteaways Arcade, Lebuh Pantai, 10300, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 6017- 4171 3720