When you first walk into Saigon Suzy you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stepped off a sidewalk on Jan Smuts avenue and been transported to a busy market in the heart of Vietnam.
The cobbled stone floors lining the doors give the impression of eating street food in the Far East. The graffiti on the exposed brick walls, one of which is a massive image of a woman who you’d imagine to be Suzy holding a Pekingese, add to that idea. It’s not a big space but that only seems to add to the bustling ambience as a street scene.
That the kitchen and bar are both exposed to patrons also adds to the ambience at Saigon Suzy. It all seems to work so well in creating the vibe.
And then the tasting of the cocktails starts and one realises that this is definitely a place to hang out in. For those well-travelled looking to sip beers from the Far East, they’re in supply here too. What Saigon Suzy have managed to do is take some of the classics and add their own twist.
The Sour Suzy Says is their take on a typical whisky sour but they’ve added Jasmine tea to go with it. It’s the bomb. But as with any visit to a new spot, it’s well worth trying a number of the other cocktail choices on the menu. If that’s the plan then an Uber or designated driver is key.
Now onto the best bit…… the food!
As someone who absolutely loves the cuisine, the chance to sample the Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai inspired dishes was something to look forward to.
A starter of Bao, warm, soft steamed buns, with Pork Belly and Cucumber was a good start. Enough to get you excited for the main and just more than a mouthful. Then the main event, the Pork Belly Ramen. Just pure goodness.
Any good meal ends with a coffee and in the case of Saigon Suzy, there’s no such thing as a cappuccino or espresso our of a fancy coffee machine. Rather, their coffee is enjoyed the Vietnamese way with a glass filled with condensed milk and the coffee brewing in a pot over that before being allowed to run into the glass and mix.
Overall impression? Saigon Suzy is a great addition to Joburg’s food scene. It has a great location and nice vibe going for it. It can seem a bit on the pricey side especially if you take into account that a main and cocktail puts you into the R200 per person mark. As I’m not one for karaoke, you could never give me enough booze for it, I didn’t check the upstairs booths where you can sing at the top of your lungs. Could be cool for a night out if you and your friends are that way inclined.
Have you tried Saigon Suzy yet? What were your thoughts on the place? Let me know in the comments or comment on my Facebook Page. I’d also appreciate it if you gave the page a like while you’re there or head to Instagram and show some love. I also tweet and retweet here.
* Disclaimer. this was not a paid for review. Most of my thoughts on restaurants are based on actual experiences at places as a paying customer unless otherwise stated.