Cà Phê Saigon

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Tired of eating meat? Want something fresh and healthy?  Then Cà Phê Saigon is the place to be.  They opened their restaurant on March 15, 2014 and now, they are on their second year. Their menu is loaded with healthy colorful yet delicious food that you will surely like to try. We were so fortunate to have finally met the young and beautiful store manager, Apple Bonifacio.  Their restaurant was originally named Sweet Apple Creations when our Vice Mayor Cadiz suggested to the owners that they change their name to Ca Phe Saigon that we know today so people can easily remember them.  After all, Saigon (old name for Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam) is known for its fine tasty cuisine. They describe their food to be Filipino-Vietnamese fusion to fit the taste buds of their Filipino customers.  Fresh Vietnamese ingredients were mostly used in their dishes to satisfy the elderly and healthy buffs. Phở broth, which is like the Vietnamese version of bulalo, is used to almost all their food to give that special Asian flavor.

Vietnamese cuisine mostly have vegetables in them.  Vietnamese eat meat sparingly and use less salt thus their food is healthy.  Their common ingredients include soy sauce, fish sauce, shrimp paste, herbs, rice then fruits and vegetables which results to a clean balance taste.

Apple's mother, Rose, a native Vietnamese first met her husband in the 60's when he was still working in Vietnam as a TV technician.  They soon became friends and eventually got married. They first lived in Quezon City then bought a house in Marikina and moved soon after. But enough of that.  Now let us talk about their food.

Bánh Cuốn (topmost image) or Steamed Rolls is the best way to start the meal: pork, shrimp, mushroom and carrots wrapped in soft moist steamed rice wrapper then sided with shredded lettuce and sweet fish sauce. Surely won our hearts.

Bắp cải Đà Lạt (image above, leftmost) or Lettuce Salad is a light salad with fresh shredded lettuce, carrots, cucumber and basil.  Soft fried meat were put on top sided with crackers and Vietnamese fish sauce.  Ironically to the fish sauce, the taste is fresh and not too salty and not too sweet. Fresh crunchy vegetables and peanuts were used so the experience was truly delightful.  How to eat: You sprinkle the peanuts on the salad and pour some fish sauce then mix.  Using a spoon, you add the salad on top of the crackers and eat it.

Phở Khô Hải Sản (image above, second from the left) or Dried Seafood Noodle is literally a festive meal.  Loaded with tastes from the seas: Shrimps, squid, lobster and crab meat. Mixed with flat rice noodles and special sweet sauce.  If you love noodles and seafood, you must never miss this. Also try their Seafood Noodle Soup.

Gà Rán Me (image above, second from the right) is Crispy Fried Chicken Wings with sweet tamarind sauce, shredded lettuce and sided with a cup of rice.  It was not really a favorite because I thought that the chicken was too crispy and a little oily.  Maybe I did not eat it right because I never spilled the tamarind sauce on it and I skipped eating the rice. My mom liked it though.

Bánh Mì (image above, rightmost) is a Vietnamese Baguette stuffed with light veggies: lettuce, cucumber and pickles.  You can choose from any add-ons:  roasted pork, chicken or beef, Vietnamese meatloaf or chicken liver pate. Their chicken liver pate is so definitely a good choice; very tasty.

Gỏi Cuốn (Fresh Rolls) is the Vietnamese equivalent of lumpiang ubod.  Truly perfect for the summer: delicious, fresh and has a clean aftertaste.  It has lettuce, mint leaves, pork and shrimp.  Served with their special peanut sauce.  This is surely my most favorite item in their menu. Highly recommended. 

Vietnamese coffee and tea are also becoming a trend right now.  Vietnamese coffee are so delicious I want to take some home with me. You can choose from these flavors: peppermint, hazelnut and caramel.  They are made out of coarsely ground Vietnamese ground dark roasted coffee.  Their teas are also good and they have many variants: tamarind, strawberry, lemon wintermelon, orange.  I find their Elder Flower Detox Juice a little weird. It has a strong flowery scent. Not my type of taste. I will try their other detox juices next time as see if I will like them.

We would like to thank the entire management and staffs of Cà Phê Saigon.  We had an awesome meal and we made new nice friends.  What a wonderful way to spend our weekend.  We will surely come back and try their other dishes as well.  Cà Phê Saigon is located along Red Cedar Street, New Marikina, San Roque. Click here to see their map.