At the Green Man end of Leytonstone High Road, amongst the delights of Matalan, Wetherspoons and McDonalds, there are some great new foodie places including the Wild Goose Bakery for a delicious brunch, All You Read is Love – Danish bookshop cafe, and the Red Lion pub for a pint and a Sunday roast. But our most recent find has been Little Saigon and now we can’t stay away. In mid 2015 a dubious looking ‘eat as much as you like’ Chinese buffet was transformed into this modern Vietnamese canteen. It’s colourful and bright with loads of space for groups and families.
So what do we love about Little Saigon?…
They serve a vast, imaginative range of soft drinks for the non-drinkers, wines and Vietnamese beers for the alcohol-inclined, plus quality teas and addictively strong slow drip Vietnamese coffee. Friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable staff who help with suggestions if you ask but never seem pushy or keen to make you over-order not that we need much encouragement! We are always compelled to order their amazing Vietnamese crispy pancake (Banh Xeo) – wafer thin pancake stuffed with pork, prawn and shredded veg, that you wrap into lettuce leaves, add fresh herbs, and dunk into the chilli dipping sauce. We fight over this as a shared starter.
For hungry days after a walk around Hollow Ponds, their large plates of rice, roast and grilled meats (duck, chicken, char sui pork, Vietnamese sausages) with salads for about £8-9 are just the ticket. Satisfying Pho noodle soups – for when only Pho will do are the perfect choice to chase away a sniffly cold. The beef Pho Bo is deep, rich and delicious and only £8.50. The crispy fried whole Sea Bream with shredded mango, spring onions and fresh red chilli is another dish worth fighting over.And finally the speciality ice-cream in enticing flavours including nutella, tiamisu and mojito are not to be missed.
Leytonstone is changing quickly, we now have a list of places and foods to try including Amurg Romanian/Moldovan – a new one for us both, a return to one of our favourites the Sardinian restaurant Mora, the pides at Oven East, and homemade noodles at Panda dim sum, and its been too long since we had the crab at Singburi and Keraspice is getting good reviews too. Leytonstone – we salute you!
Little Saigon, 686 High Road Leytonstone, London, E11 3AA