Hello Winnipeg, we are Mr. and Mrs. Restaurant. We’re passionate about food, but not about cooking. After growing tired of everyday chain restaurants, we began our search for the best hidden eateries the city has to offer. Ever wonder if that trendy new place is worth the money; or if that greasy burger joint lives up to all the hype? Just ask Mr. and Mrs. Restaurant!
Saigon Jon’s Vietnamese Kitchen
[flickr style=”border:none; padding:4px; border:1px solid #BDBDBD; float:right; margin-left:5px;”]photo:8044077798[/flickr]Saigon Jon’s is a newly opened restaurant that serves Vietnamese favorites in a casual setting. Part take-out and part sit-down restaurant, Saigon Jon’s invites customers to browse and order off their menu boards, cafeteria-style. You’re then directed to the cashiers and given a table number. Once you seat yourself, the rest of the dining experience mirrors that of a sit-down restaurant, with wait staff.
Saigon Jon’s menu is short and simple. With their two-step system, you choose your main first, and then add your protein. Mains include the famous Banh Mi (Vietnamese sub sandwich), Vermicelli (noodle bowl), Rice Bowl or Salads. For step two, you have a choice of protein including; Lemon Grass Steak, Hoisin Garlic Steak, Hot Honey Hoisin Chicken, Charbroiled Pork or Chicken, vegan tofu options and more. You end up with a complete meal for around $10 and although there are only a handful of dishes on the menu, it is the combinations of mains and proteins that keep the feeling of a variety.
[flickr style=”border:none; padding:4px; border:1px solid #BDBDBD; float:right; margin-left:5px;”]photo:8044066859[/flickr]The last meal option, that does not fall into the two-step menu, is the Sirloin Beef Pho which comes in two sizes, big and bigger! This meal soup is a staple on any Vietnamese restaurant’s menu, with its rich broth, beef pieces, rice noodles and usual garnishes; it’s no wonder this soup seems to be loved by anyone and everyone. If you’ve always heard about, but never tried the famous pho, Saigon Jon’s is a good place to start!
We ordered a Charbroiled Pork Rice Bowl, a Hot Honey Hoisin Chicken Vermicelli Bowl and a regular sized Beef Pho. Saigon Jon’s claims to marinate their meats in house-made sauces for at least 12 hours, and this does provides the intense flavor you’d hope for. The Rice and Vermicelli Bowls included a spring roll and each came garnished with iceberg lettuce, and the traditional pickled slaw (carrots, white radish). The soup was obviously delicious, Saigon Jon’s didn’t stray from the classic flavor you’d expect when ordering pho. If we could change anything, it would just be the availability of an appetizer sized pho. It is hard not to order this famous soup when you see it and smell it at the tables around you, but with their large meal options, it’s also hard to find the stomach room for it!
[flickr style=”border:none; padding:4px; border:1px solid #BDBDBD; float:right; margin-left:5px;”]photo:8044067103[/flickr]At the end of the day, Saigon Jon’s isn’t serving anything that you won’t find at another Vietnamese restaurant. What they are doing, however, is creating an easy, inviting atmosphere for customers to enjoy these classic dishes. Another thing that helps to set them apart is the fact that their meats are all fresh, never frozen and their commitment to fresh ingredients continues with their vegetables and herbs. Many of their herbs are grown in-house using their commercial grade cultivator.
In Winnipeg, there are countless Vietnamese restaurants and everyone has their own favorite. While Saigon Jon’s may not make you ditch your usual spot, they are definitely worth a try. They might become your new favorite, and if not, they’ll serve you tasty food and provide you an updated, modern dining experience while they’re at it!
Saigon Jon’s Vietnamese Kitchen
2696 Pembina Hwy