Saigon Saigon

We've been trying out the restaurants near us, mostly on Glebe Point Road. Most recently it was "Saigon Saigon" a Vietnamese (no really) restaurant. It's slightly upscale, we started with the crispy pancake appetizer that was quite deliciously crispy and filled with bean sprouts, chicken, and other sauteed vegetables. On the side was a nice big pile of lettuce leaves, fresh mint, fresh cilantro, julienned carrots and sliced hot chili peppers to stuff it with. The contrasts of hot and cool, crispy and soft, sweet, tart, and spicy reminded me why I love good vietnamese food.

The second dish was a spicy beef salad, with nicely cooked shreds of lean beef on a bed of butter lettuce and piled with mint, cilantro, and more julienned vegetables. The description may sound similar to the pancake, but that's only because the condiments are similar. The dishes themselves are quite distinct, one being a hot crispy eggy crepe, the other a cold spicy shredded beef.

Finally we had a special salt and pepper soft shell crab. The crab was deep fried in a delicately flavored batter fragrant with pepper and nicely salty, sauteed with chilis and garlic, and served with the requisite garnishes. The crab itself was sweet and flavorful, though the oil was maybe just a little too hot - the crab was not overcooked but the batter was slightly overbrowned.

Accompanied by two traditional soda lemonades with mint, though you can BYO.
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