Saigon Mama

  • Restaurants
  • Asian
  • Vietnamese
1376 Nanjing Xi Lu

The colourful fit-out and quick service in this almost-subterranean Vietnamese eatery makes it the perfect spot for a hearty bowl of noodle soup.

If you’re after a straight-up, solid rendition of the ubiquitous Vietnamese soup, try the ‘classic’ pho (58RMB) with beef brisket, raw strips of beef and beef balls swimming in a rich and perfectly-salted stock. One-upping the classic is the ‘pho combo’ (68RMB), which adds shank and tendon to the meaty mix for a heartier and more multi-dimensional finish.

Not feeling the beef? Another hit from the noodle soup menu is the Vietnamese seafood noodles (68RMB); a soothing mix of not only seafood, but also fried egg, pork balls, ham and vegetables. It sounds complicated, but actually comes together seamlessly, and makes for a winning bowl of comfort food.

Worth ordering on the side are the crisp and scoldingly-hot egg rolls (45RMB/four pieces). These juicy rolls are stuffed with pork, vermicelli noodles and vegetables, and come served alongside a heaving pile of fresh herbs, lettuce and a light dipping sauce. The contrast between the cold freshness of the greens and the deep-fried rolls makes us weak at the knees.

To drink, try the Vietnamese drip ice coffee (35RMB); it’s a thick and rich brew, made creamy and sweet from the addition of condensed milk. We could drink it all day long.

By Victoria Brownlee

Venue name: Saigon Mama
Opening hours: 11am-10pm daily
Metro: Jingan Temple
English address: Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu, Jingan district
Chinese address: 静安区南京西路1376号, 近西康路