I remember horror stories about fish sauce. This was back in my high school days when carrying water guns loaded with fish sauce to squirt people during muck up day/week was considered cool. It was a period of time when not going to school because I got egged by year 12 kids was not really considered wagging (to me anyway). I was a bad kid. I made my parents worried and my teachers mad but I somehow pulled through. The fish sauce water gun was mine, I was the one squirting others.
In ‘light’ of my recent visits to Springvale and nonstop eating pho, I thought I’d post another Vietnamese food adventure, except this time it’s in Glen Waverley and it wasn’t pho. It also conveniently brought back my love for fish sauce.
Saigon Light on Kingsway opened up not too long ago. I didn’t have high hopes for this place as more than one other Vietnamese restaurants in the vicinity closed before it. Regardless, as a group of 4 friends getting together for a quick meal, we decided to give the place a go.
I was a little sick of pho (I know it’s unbelievable) so decided to order a classic broken rice ($9.80). Will, a good friend we hadn’t met in ages, ordered the same. I was always a fan of broken rice as it was topped with an egg and came with a number of interesting things on the plate, including the delicious pork chop, vermicelli and a Vietnamese meatloaf.
The egg was cooked perfectly with my favourite runny yolk, the pork chop was nicely flavoured and cooked through (although I always find them to be a bit overcooked). Yuye didn’t like the meatloaf but I liked it.
The best thing about the dish (and many other Vietnamese dishes) was the bowl of fish sauce to pour over it. They usually come with pickled shredded carrots and although a bit overpowering, it gives the dish a lovely aroma.
Yuye ordered something different as well – a Vietnamese style pancake ($12.80) which was huge! I had never seen anyone order it before so was surprised at the size but really it wasn’t as filling as I thought. The golden layer of crepe-like pancake is made with rice flour.
The inside is filled with bean sprouts and little bits of meat and spring onions. It was a very refreshing and tasty dish which was eaten wrapped in lettuce leaves. You can’t forget to pour fish sauce over your pancake as it will be slightly bland without it. The waitress came over to remind us about the fish sauce but it was really just Yuye being picky and not wanting to put any on!
Anna ordered this meatball dish on thin vermicelli ($12.80). I didn’t taste it so can’t comment about it much, but I thought it didn’t look very filling. The meatballs were eaten wrapped in lettuce, with the vermicelli and mint and then dipped in fish sauce – again. We literally had 4 bowls of fish sauce on the table.
I also ordered an interesting drink – green melon ice crush ($4). It was so green I was a little afraid to drink it. Taste wise it was quite sweet and artificial, but refreshing nonetheless. I like artificial melon flavour although I know it’s not very good for me. There was colourful jellies and sago pearls at the bottom too.
Yuye ordered a soursop iced smoothie. I didn’t know what sourop tasted like before this and was quite intrigued. It had a slightly tangy and creamy taste which I couldn’t really pin to another type of fruit. The closest might be pineapple mixed with coconut. I wasn’t very used to the taste so Yuye drank most of it.
Will ordered a ‘Thai sweet’ – $4. It came looking a bit different to the photo and tasted apparently like ‘mixed garbage’. Ok, it wasn’t as bad it sounds I think. I didn’t try it myself but according to Will, it was a bit confusing as there were too many different types of fruits and jellies mixed together. He possibly tasted durian, coconut jelly, soursop and a few other things too.
Anna ordered a sugarcane juice. Again, I didn’t taste it but as it was pure sugarcane juice, I know exactly what it should taste like – sweet and refreshing and ah…sweet.
Overall I enjoyed the meal. The dishes and drinks I tasted were fairly average although nothing really wrong about them either. I would go back there again for the convenience of eating nearby instead of driving 15 minutes to Springvale. Next time, I will try their pho as that’s the most important dish that sets restaurants apart. If you’re in the vicinity and are craving for some quick Vietnamese food, Saigon Light is not a bad choice.
Question time: Do you like to drench your dish in fish sauce like I do or do you prefer to drizzle a tiny bit on?
Phone: (03) 9561 6888
109 Kingsway, Glen Waverley VIC 3150