Coming from a Vietnamese background, I don’t often review Vietnamese places.. mostly because I don’t think anything beats my mom’s homemade dishes and because I also acknowledge that our dishes can differ a lot – depending on whereabouts in Vietnam one comes from (north, south, central etc.) However, Miss Saigon offers something different and new, so I’m taking the leap to write my first bit on the latest spot to hit YEG’s Vietnamese food scene!
What makes Miss Saigon unique you ask? For one thing, they’re the first to open late, like really late.. closing at 12AM on weekdays and at 4AM on weekends! Could be the new spot to hit up for your late night pho cravings or after a long night of partying…or whatever you do. They also offer a pho challenge and Edmonton’s first ever Phởritto – a pho + burrito. More on that shortly.
My short review – innovative food, friendly staff and open space. In terms of taste, it is definitely more Westernized flavours and not as authentic as other places in YEG. But, I commend them for offering unique dishes to Edmontonians. I especially love that they incorporated many aspects of the Vietnamese culture into a customer’s experience – starting with the menu.
The menus reminded me of a magazine and gave me an impressionable start during my visit. Not only does it feature the food items, but it also gives customers a look into Vietnamese culture with interesting facts and beautiful pictures.
We started with some drinks and ordered avocado smoothies and taro milk tea/bubble tea slush. The drinks come in very instagram-worthy ‘cups’ which are lightbulb shaped and actually light up on the bottom. (side note – lightbulbs seem to be thematic for interior here actually – there’s lightbulb shaped sauce bottles even). Our party really enjoyed the drinks! My avocado smoothie gave me some nostalgic feels and was super creamy and delicious. If you are an avocado fan like me, I’d definitely recommend it. The milk tea was more of a slush but still good.
For food, we ordered a few dishes to try, including the Phởritto, Bún bò Huế , Combination Vermicelli bowl and the Phú Quốc Island Pineapple Fried Rice.
The Phởritto ($12) is something new to Edmonton. If you’re a frequent user of social media, I’m sure you have probably seen this creation on Buzzfeed in other cities (example here)! It is literally a pho and burrito together, as one.
To be honest, I was a little skeptical about the Phởritto, i mean – pho is known for the broth and the broth is what makes pho good so how would this go? Notably, broth is given on the side, so if you’re afraid of missing out on that soup, it’ll still be available. The broth itself is pretty good but it’s a small portion. My honest opinion towards this dish though? I was actually surprised – it was not as bad as I thought it would be but I probably wouldn’t order it again. Being so accustomed to traditional pho, it’s hard to enjoy pho in burrito form. I felt like I was just eating a big chunk of beef with a bunch of hoisin and siracha. Although, if you’re looking to try something different, give it a go – maybe it’ll be your new favourite.
The Bún bò Huế ($13) was the winning dish for our party. The broth was rich and it had just the right amount of spice. It had a real strong lemongrass flavour which I personally love in my BBH’s! The proportion of meat to noodles was a good combination too. I’d definitely order this dish again.
The Combination Vermicelli Bowl ($14) seemed to be a version of Bún 3 Màu (3 colored vermicelli) as it featured vermicelli with chicken, pork and beef. The bowl also came with a ton of peanuts and spring rolls. This dish was a toss-up. The meat was seasoned and cooked well but everything else in the bowl was not up to par. The vermicelli noodles were dry and seemed undercooked, and the spring roll had way more roll than filling. If you are ordering this dish, be weary of the noodles or use more fish sauce! I’d go for the skewers alone (offered as an appetizer) or on rice the next time around.
And lastly, the Phú Quốc Island Pineapple Fried Rice ($12). It was basically a vegetarian fried rice inside a pineapple. This dish was visually appealing but lacked a lot of flavour. The rice tasted very plain and seemed to just be missing some sort of kick to it. I’d probably opt out of this dish my next visit.
Overall, I’d say that of all the dishes we ordered, I enjoyed the soups most. I’d likely order their noodle soups again, trying the actual Phở bowl next time. The service at Miss Saigon is great; the staff are very friendly and accommodating. Prices are reasonable for the size and comparable to most Vietnamese places in the city.
All in all, I think Miss Saigon is pretty unique. They offer some things that I haven’t seen elsewhere – creative fried rice dishes, the Phởritto and light up drinks! It may not be the first place that I would recommend for authentic Vietnamese cuisine but it’s worth checking out if you want to try something new and different from your usual go-to pho stop. I wish the owners well as they embark on their new business journey! Let me know how you like it!
10355 78 Ave, Edmonton