On July 16, 2014 I embarked on my journey to Hong Kong with American Airlines. I was a media guest to test their new service from Dallas International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport. Opinions and thoughts are my own.
In addition The Hong Kong Tourism Board accommodated my attractions during my visit to experience some of the unique things that Hong Kong offers for the tourist
The Hong Kong Series
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to try new food – During my first visit to Hong Kong during the month of April I didn’t have enough time to try some of the best restaurants of Hong Kong and of course more of their signature dishes. Fast forwards a few months later and I was back in Hong Kong to work with American Airlines and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, it was exciting because I didn’t know what to expect – I just knew there was a lot to do and cover during my 48 hour trip to Hong Kong.
The first day of touring around Hong Kong began and we made our way to the Victoria Peak which is one of my favorite sights and tourist attractions in Hong Kong – shortly after finishing at the Peak, the media facilitator from the Hong Kong Tourism board took us to Stanley Bay which I have visited during April but didn’t get enough time to dine in around Stanley so I was glad to be back and getting to experience more of Stanley Bay offers. After walking around the shops it was time for lunch and I was excited to try some delicious Vietnamese food at Saigon with an incredible view of the sea.
Before I begin to discuss my experience – I wanted to share with you all some key information about Saigon and what they are about.
On Behalf of Saigon:
Since its inception in 2008, Saigon has been a popular dining choice among patrons and tourists alike. It features exquisite Vietnamese meat and seafood delicacies which are arguably the best of its kind on the island. Try the Seasoned Crispy Soft Shell Crab, exotic Green Papaya Salad and Hanoi Style Hot Pot Garoupa. The checkered flooring, cane furniture, French doors and tantalizingly illuminated ceiling make for very contemporary-meets-colonial interiors, retaining old-worldly allure. Dine at the laid-back balcony for wonderful views of the picturesque Stanley Bay.
Now lets proceed to my experience – Upon arrival to the venue, I was greeted by the friendly staff working the restaurant. They directed us to our table inside the restaurant because we were not able to sit outside because of the rain. The staff was fast and efficient with their service and upon sitting down they asked us if we wanted anything to drink right away – I thought that was a kind gesture as normally we get a few minutes to read the menu and then order the drinks. The restaurant inside features plenty of seating avalaible such as tables, booths and bar seating. The restaurant is kept in great condition, everything is organized and clean. Down below, I will share with you all the restaurant floor plan.
Saigon Restaurant inside floor plan
Table Sitting layout.
Moving on to the Booths which are spacious and also very comfortable
Bar Overview & Seating near the bar
The Bar Section
The outdoor sitting of Saigon is very popular if the weather is sunny and hot mainly because of the incredible views of the sea and the boulevard of Stanley on the distance. They offer plenty of seating as well for groups of 2 and four. I can imagine this section could get very cramped and busy when there is a heavy flow of visitors coming in due that there is not much space in between tables. Down below, take a look at the visuals for the outdoor section of Saigon.
Saigon Restaurant outside floor plan
The menu was intense and complete with lots and lots of dishes to select from, to be honest with you all I didn’t know where to begin or what to order. My tour guide mentioned that if I needed help on ordering to let he know when she mentioned that, I simply stated to her “Would you like to order the meal for us” with kindness she replied “Of course, my pleasure”. There is nothing better than having a local order the best dishes on the house and make the necessary changes I need (incase of anything) without any confusion due that the language is always a barrier when I travel to Asia. I told her lets start with something refreshing like a salad and she went ahead and order Saigon’s signature salad known as: exotic Green Papaya Salad and I was thrilled to try it. Within the menu you will find their appetizers, signature dishes, overall dish / specialties, soft drinks, beer and wine list. As I mentioned before upon arrival to the restaurant, the servers asked me what I wanted to drink and I went ahead and ordered my favorite beer known as: TSINGTAO, it could have been colder but it was refreshing as usual shortly after the drink was delivered the exotic Green Papaya came around.
Beverage & Green Papaya Salad
The Salad was outstanding and delicious. I really can’t describe it or put it into words but everything about it was fresh and perfectly made. This is considered one of their signature appetizers and the portion was just right (not too big or small) but a fairly good size to share with others.
Shortly after the salad, we ordered Saigon’s popular Vietnamese rolls and they were also delicious. The two main vietnamese rolls we ordered were: Fruit and Crab rolls. The portions were’t so big and was also another perfect dish to share. I highly recommend using the sauce that it comes with as it gives it an extra rich flavor to the roll.
Vietnamese Fruit Roll
Vietnamese Crab Roll
After the delicious vietnamese rolls we proceeded on ordering more delicious food, at this time I was slowly but surely filling up but couldn’t pass up some of the delicious dish that my tour guide was offering. We decided on ordering grilled shrimp and black cod fish. I can’t even begin to tell you all how amazing these two dishes were. The Black cod dish already comes sliced and diced in small pieces to just pinch with your fork, the sauced they used isn’t spicy at all and it gives more flavor to the cod. As far as the grilled shrimp they bring 4 of them with 3 shrimps in each stick – I recommend using the sauce for this dish as well and it’s mid level spice. Both of these plates were fascinating.
Black Cod dish
Grilled Shrimp Dish
Lastly on the dishes we finished it off with a veggie platter with beef and mushrooms – It was also an incredible dish and the beef was just perfect. The portion of the plate was average – Keep in mind that some of these dishes are better to be shared in a group of people so you can nibble on different dishes rather than being stuck with a single plate of food for yourself, unless you are really wanting something off the menu that calls your attention to try.
Veggie Platter with Beef and mushrooms
Bottom line & Final thoughts:
- Dining at Stanley was an incredible experience. Let me begin my reinforcing what I said earlier – The customer service from the servers was top notch. They were all very friendly, caring and attentive, anything we needed it was on our table right away and there was more than 1 server keep track of our needs and wants.
- The cooking process wasn’t very long, mainly because the restaurant wasn’t very busy but each dish didn’t take long to come around and they were all incredibly tasty. The presentation was simple and didn’t “wow me” but what I came in for was for the food and to experience some Saigon’s signature dishes.
- The restaurant isn’t very pricey at all. According to them for lunch it’s about 150 Hong Kong Dollars and for Dinner it’s 220 Hong Kong Dollars. I am sure this might change depending how many dishes you select or the alcoholic beverages you end up choosing but keep in mind this restaurant is located in Stanley which is a heavy zone for tourists and the prices can be high for certain things.
- My main advice and constructive criticism to Saigon is that they should keep their beers colder, I mentioned earlier that my beer was fairly warm and that has to improve. Hong Kong is known to be hot and humid during certain times of the year and I am sure many like myself would appreciate a cold brew rather than a Hot one.
- Saigon also offers different specialities food such as: Curry, seafood, hotpot, dessert and their wine list selection offers: French, Italian, Californian, Chilean.
For those who have been to Hong Kong and Stanley Bay, have you dine at Saigon? If not, where have you dine in Saigon? How was your experience?