Take that ‘little’ in ‘Little Saigon’ seriously. With about 15 covers crammed inside a space hardly bigger than a minibus, this eatery hedges all its business on your plate. And boy does the food deliver! Chef Hana Ho’s years at the erstwhile Blue Ginger in Taj Palace is evinced by her priority for things that really matter. The service is lightning quick, and if something’s not fresh, she won’t serve it. This mantra is best highlighted in 'Little Saigon’s Goi Cuon' (rice-paper rolls). Tightly packed like a corset and sprinkled with roughly-chopped peanuts, they sit on a small puddle of dipping sauce. The non-vegetarian rolls had bouncy bits of prawns and chicken, while the lighter vegetarian rolls hit me with smacks of holy basil snuck between thin vermicelli noodles. A clay pot of 'Thit Heo Kho' (braised pork) baited me to fish for fatty slices of pork shoulder in a deeply savour gravy, spiked with red chillies to break the umami-fatigue. 'Tom Xao Xa Ot' (stir-fried prawns in lemongrass) arrived on cooking pan with juicy prawns curled in oil flavoured toasty lemongrass and chilli flakes. Chef Hana Ho’s Pho is marked by the restrained flavours of herbs and welcomes a deployment of her table-condiments.
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