Saigon Sally

2 Duke Street
Windsor, VIC 3181
What do you do when you have a boyfriend who doesn’t like coriander? You get a new boyfriend. Well not quite, but K has always been BackupBF for all those meals where Chris would’ve moaned incessantly about the amount of herbs in the food. And seeing as Chris is getting back from Hong Kong the next day, I took the opportunity to hit up Saigon Sally with K. 
Remember Hanoi Hannah? The similar names ain’t coinkydink. Being just around the corner, Saigon Sally is the older, more sophisticated sibling, serving up modernised variants of Vietnamese cuisine. 
And though the interior of Saigon Sally looks suspiciously like an under-cover car park with a bar plonked into the middle, no one can say the vibe isn’t funky and downright cool. I was less of a fan of the loud music though; I mean, K talks quietly as it is, and I have a hunch that I may be a little bit deaf. 
Fried Chicken Ribs ($10, 4pcs)
I’m a completely sucker for Fried Chicken Ribs ($10, 4pcs) and their stellar meat to bone ratio. These little fried morsels were moist and tender, and not as flavoursome as I had anticipated. But wait! That wasn’t criticism! Unlike most restaurants, the accompanying dipping sauce here is more than just an afterthought. Once the chicken has been dipped into the sriracha mayo, it takes on a whole new personality. A fiery, tangy, and addictive personality. 
Banh Mi ($8)
I doubt I’m the first to say this, but the Banh Mi ($8) was exorbitantly priced for a sandwich that could fit on the palm of my tiny hands. Once I had bitten into it however, I became a lot less annoyed. After all, who could stay angry at a crisp roll stuffed with hot pulled pork and sriracha mayo, the Asian influence peeking out from behind a sprig of coriander and thinly sliced chilli. 
Eggplant XO ($16)
When I ordered Eggplant XO ($16), I was expecting the saucy dish of fried eggplant slathered in sauce. Instead we were served giant eggplant chips, coated in tempura batter that we could barely see, but was astonishingly crunchy. It wasn’t even a little bit oily, despite eggplant’s reputation for soaking that stuff up. The XO sauce was at the bottom in big dollops, the umaminess cranked up with chopped shiitake mushrooms, and not so salty that we couldn’t slather it onto the eggplant. This dish was refreshingly different, and a far cry from what I had anticipated. 
Braised Pork Belly ($25)
The Braised Pork Belly ($25) on the other hand was very familiar indeed. The succulent cubes of pork belly, slow-braised with soy and black pepper, is a taste that I had grown up with. K agreed that this dish may as well be re-named ‘Asian Mums’ Pork Belly’.
Braised Pork Belly ($25)
Out of a combination of loyalty, and the fact that she really is a very good cook, I have to say that I liked mum’s version of this dish better. However I do plan on suggesting the addition of mint to her next time, as the cool, fresh leaves provide a fantastic counterpoint to the rich meat.
I know that Saigon Sally is meant to be a more sophisticated, semi-fusion affair, and though it achieves its goal admirably, I’m still a much bigger fan of the brighter, more wallet-friendly street snacks at Hanoi Hannah. Saigon Sally is the better choice if you want to have a nice sit-down meal (they also take bookings!), but between the two siblings, Hanoi Hannah is definitely my favourite sister.
Rating: 13/20 – sibling rivalry.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. 

Saigon Sally on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply Missy Ness 03/12/2014 at 9:16 pm

    Would you go back again?

    • Reply ming 05/12/2014 at 10:36 am

      Hmmm that depends… I wouldn’t mind going back, the food was pretty decent, but I’d much rather not pay for it! It’s good option if you want something a little different that’s nevertheless not too challenging on the tastebuds

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