Saigon 48 is categorized as a Vietnamese restaurant, but it serves Asian food, from, of course, Vietnamese to Thai or Chinese. Located few block from the heart of Times Square, the interior of the restaurant is not what you would expect. Looking at the menu and their lunch special, I thought it would be the kind of place where you go more for the food than the atmosphere, and was definitely surprised to see the nice decor of the dining rooms (they have a small dining room in the back that would be perfect for a private gathering). But know that it is noisy and not primarily because of their customers, but because of the music that causes patrons to talk louder. Service wise, it is quick, efficient and cordial and, if you are in a hurry, they will definitely accommodate you.
Both times I went there, I decided to go with their specials, where you get a dish for less than $10. But there, similar to Pongsri, the Thai restaurant next door, there is no appetizer, only the main dish. So I tried one of their appetizers: scallion pancakes.
It was served with a peanut sauce. I liked it: it was slightly greasy and crispy, like scallion pancakes should be.
Then, I tried the chicken and eggplant in brown sauce.
This is the kind of dish I would get in a chinese restaurant, as I love eggplant and love this thick brown sauce that I also ate with brown rice.
Last was the crispy fish with sweet and sour sauce.
This was a big portion and definitely a good deal. There was a lot of fish, that was deliciously crispy, and lots of veggies, but it was a bit too sweet for my taste.
I think Saigon 48 is the kind of places where I would go for a quick and cheap lunch. For the price I paid, I was not expecting a gourmet lunch for sure and it was pretty decent. Question is: can I find better deals on 9th avenue, just few blocks away? I bet I can...
Enjoy (I did)!
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