Le Petit Siagon is Victoria's first Vietnamese restaurant in Victoria. They have been serving up authentic cusine since 1986. Delivery available after 5pm.
Most unauthentic (in-authentic?) viet restaurant I've tried... however you say it, this is NOT authentic Vietnamese food by a long shot.
I understand that Vietnam had a heavy French influence and kudos to the restaurant's idea of tying in traditional viet dishes with a french flair (read: smaller portions, better presentation, some innovative dishes) The biggest problem I had was that all dishes we tried (spring rolls, sugar cane shrimp on vermicelli, curry) were so weak in flavor. They all seemed "watered down" and lacking in culinary "umph".My partner, who is Vietnamese said his pho (double the price of other pho places btw) tasted like instant noodles.
The ambiance is nicer than the run of the mill pho restaurants, and service is a lot better than many authentic vietnamese places as well.
I won't be returning not because I don't like the concept, but because execution of the concept wasn't great in terms of food quality and value. The portions were much too small for a regular restaurant, yet the quality doesn't make me feel that it is good enough to be considered higher end/ fine dining. Prices should be adjusted accordingly but I feel they have missed the mark here.
We were wandering around downtown Victoria looking for a place to eat when an unkempt man wearing a yellow sandwich board invited us to try this place. What the heck, why not?
It was dark inside, and the restaurant is pretty small due to the huge (8-person) table right in the middle of the main room. We were gracefully escorted to a tiny table right next to the washroom. How lovely.
We ordered shrimp salad rolls for appetizers and seafood with crispy noodles and the sweet & sour beef with noodles.
And then we waited. And waited. And watched the table of 8 receive their food and scarf it down. And waited...
15 minutes later we received our salad rolls. They were pretty typical except for the fact that the shrimp inside were halved, pressed flat, and dyed red. A little strange. But it wouldn't have mattered if they were alive and twitching, we polished those off in about 2 minutes because by that time we were starving!
Another 20 minutes after, our entrees came. The seafood dish was ridiculous - 4 tiny shrimp, 2 chunks of fish and 2 rings of squid garnished the top of a meager pile of fried noodles, accompanied by a few steamed broccoli and carrots. The whole thing was drenched in a thin, soupy sauce that puddled at the bottom of the plate and spilled onto the table.
The sweet and sour beef was literally twice as much food, with a huge pile of rice noodles and quite a lot of stir-fried beef in a sweet and sour tomato sauce with pineapple. It was very good, if a little on the sweet side.
Since my husband had the seafood dish, after we left he kept glancing at the menus in neighboring restaurants, with a "how about a second lunch" look in his eye. Sheesh.
Anyway. Aside from the waiting, the service was good, both servers in the restaurant were professional and friendly, although apparently the thought of apologising for the wait never crossed their minds.
I have been going to Le Petit saigon for a few months now ( my neighbours introduced me to this restaurant, it's their favorite too!) and lord, they have the most delicious curries! I have tried many different things on the menu already and I loved it all, specially the lamb curry and their seafood dishes! I have only good things to tell. The restaurant is very clean, the service is excellent and the food has come out fast considering how busy they are! Thumbs up!
I can't pretend to be any kind of expert in Vietnamese cuisine, but I live in Seattle, where Vietnamese restaurants are abundant, so have some sense of what the food should taste like. I was really disappointed with my lunch at Le Petit Saigon. The service was reasonably good, but when I asked if they served the bun noodle salad that I usually order, they seemed unfamiliar with it. I ordered something that sounded similar, but found the flavors to be off, and didn't enjoy it. I might try them again, but I'm not too optimistic.