Not the place to go if you are on a lunch hour. Waited over 45 minutes and that was for the special. Slow at filling water. Food was at least hot when it arrived and was good but not anything special. Probably won't be back--
- 1945 NW 86th St, Clive, IA 50325
- (515) 253-0908
Lunch here is excellent. You can really tell the quality of a restaurant by how fresh the appetizers are when they come to you - and Saigon generally brings them fresh from the kitchen. We had spring rolls, which were outstanding in the peanut sauce (with a little heat from the sriracha that I added), the egg roll was crisp and piping hot, and the crab rangoon were fresh from the fryer and sweet. The pad thai I ordered came spicy, just as I ordered it, and was very plentiful. The waiter was very attentive and refilled drinks on cue - he also remembered my dining companion and was very personable, which is generally what I've seen with the staff here - they remember repeat visitors and dote on them like a child come home from college, bringing food to the table until you can't eat anymore, and sometimes forcing you to anyway :)
I rarely eat at any other oriental establishments but Saigon Cafe. I have tried just about every dish that they have and have not been disappointed yet. One thing that stands out at Saigon Cafe is that unlike majority of Oriental eateries, Saigon Cafe has service. Second time my wife and I came there and the waitress recognized us. Obviously its a family run restaurant and they care. The owners are pleasant but not overwhelming.
I just wish they did some improvements with the interior as well as the exterior, it seems to be falling a part. I think they need to ditch all the silk flowers and plants and repaint the late 80's oak moldings as well as the walls. That is the only reason why they get 4 stars.
Very slow service, we wait 30 minutes before our meals are serve (We have two people only). Food quality is fair. We are very disappointed. There are so many other vitnamese resturant to choose from. We definitely will not go back.
Did someone say, "Where else are you going to find good Vietnamese in the area?" It turns out that there are a few Vietnamese restaurants in Des Moines, and most of them are pretty good.
I have only eaten lunch at Saigon Cafe, but I can say that I have never been disappointed. They have a good selection of both Vietnamese and more traditional Chinese food, so you can bring along your less adventurous friends. Lunches run in the $5-$8 range, so you if you get an appetizer, lunch will still cost less than $10.
Now here is a rant, if you feel like reading a serious digression. I have noticed over the years that Chinese and Mexican restaurants in the area all seem to share an established set of menu items. You can walk into pretty much any Chinese restaurant in Iowa and order Mongolian beef and you know exactly what it will taste like. BORING! At the Vietnamese restaurants, on the other hand, there doesn't yet seem to be a standard menu. This means that except for some well-known items like pho and spring rolls, you can actually find different food at the different Vietnamese restaurants. That is a big plus.
Get the seafood noodle soup but ask for it with thin egg noodles instead of the rice noodle.
Get fried shrimp rolls.
Real money no monopoly money please!