Review of Saigon Delights in Kingston, Ontario
Went On A Bad Day?
Saigon Delights has the distinction of being the first Vietnamese restaurant in Kingston. It opened its doors in 1992. It has become quite popular over the years and in response to this popularity, the owners opened two more Saigon Delights in Kingston. They offer a variety of traditional Vietnamese cuisine, including Phở, Bún chả giò thịt nướng, and Bánh xèo. I went with several friends in late winter 2018. I ordered the Bún chả giò thịt nướng, which is one of my favourite dishes. It has all of my beloved items including spring rolls, grilled pork and rice vermicelli. The price was probably the highest of all the Vietnamese restaurants in Kingston. Although the dish looked fantastic, the taste was a disappointment. The grilled pork was slightly dry. The spring rolls were just all right. My other friends seemed to enjoy their meal so maybe I'm just overly critical. Service-wise, our male server was very good, quite efficient and quick. Their washroom was fairly clean and well stocked. As for their health record, they made one critical violation, which was corrected. Overall, I think you should try Saigon Delights, but maybe have their Phở or Bánh xèo instead of the Bún chả giò thịt nướng.
A Bit of History
The original Saigon Delights in downtown Kingston was first opened in 1992. It has the distinguish of being the first Vietnamese restaurant in Kingston. There are all together three Saigon Delights in the city. The uptown one opened in 2001 and the newest one in the west-end opened in 2013. Saigon Delights has become quite popular with Kingston diners looking for traditional Vietnamese food.
As you walk into Saigon Delights, you are greeted by the lime green colours of the walls and mauve trims and wooden frame drop ceiling. Art work adds interest to the bare green walls. Light brown caramel-coloured wooden chairs and tables populate the restaurant. Living green plants add a touch of nature to the space. Overhead white pendant lights nicely illuminate the oblong interior of Saigon Delights.
Overall, the space is relaxed, and comfortable.
Inside Saigon Delights
Saigon Delights offers traditional Vietnamese fare including Phở, Bún chả giò thịt nướng, and Bánh xèo. They also have some less sophisticated dishes such as rice and stir fries.
Bún chả giò thịt nướng
One of my favourite Vietnamese dishes is Bún chả giò thịt nướng. This dish has all the things I love, the vermicelli, the spring rolls and grilled pork. So when I was at Saigon Delights, this was the dish I ordered.
When it arrived it looked so yummy. There were lots of grilled pork and two spring rolls served with fish sauce, which had carrots in it. Other places just have the fish sauce without much in it so Saigon Delights gets points for dressing up their fish sauce.
Although it looked quite tasty, I was kind of disappointed. The pork was a bit dry and tasted like excess oil. The spring rolls were not bad, but not the best I've ever had. Overall, I wasn't impressed with the food.
My friends said they enjoyed their food and that it was good. Maybe I'm just too critical.
Bún chả giò thịt nướng
The price at Saigon Delights is a bit higher than most of the other Vietnamese restaurants in Kingston. The Bún chả giò thịt nướng was $12.83. I also got a Jasmine tea, which costs $2.
We were served by a young Asian man. He seemed polite and was very efficient. Our food came out very fast. We didn't have to wait too long for it. That was one of the special things about Saigon Delights--they are fast!
The state of a restaurant's washroom is often an indication of their overall cleanliness and upkeep. When I was at Saigon Delights I didn't have to use their washroom. One of my friends did use their facilities. She said their washroom was fair but not exceptionally clean. It was, however, well stocked. Overall, it appears that their washroom was relatively clean and well stocked.
Know Before You Go
The Kingston Public Health Unit has a website where they show the results of health inspections of local food facilities called Know Before You Go. I went on there to check how Saigon Delights did on their most recent inspection. The website recently underwent a major change. Now, they show any violations made by the restaurant. Saigon Delights made one critical violation: "Inadequate thawing of hazardous foods." This was subsequently corrected. I'm pleased their infraction was corrected.