Vietnamese is one of my favourite Asian cuisines. It brings together spices and flavours in such a beautiful manner that even at the end of a hearty meal, you are left wanting for more. The first time I tried Vietnamese was at a food cart in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and the first Vietnamese dish I had ever tried was the all famous Pho (flat rice noodles) with chicken soup. And with that one tasting, all my preconceived notions about Vietnamese cuisine, that they use fish oils, loads of fish paste, have a really strong aroma etc. just dissolved. It takes just one try to fall in love with the cuisine.
Last weekend, I tried out a quaint little Vietnamese restaurant called Madam Saigon at Millenia Walk, Singapore.
I usually start my review with how the restaurant ambience looked like, but in this case, what I want to foremost mention is what appealed to me about the restaurant. It’s people. Even on a Sunday night at around 9, the staff and the servers were helpful, ever-smiling and patient as we browsed through their rather elaborate menu. What’s more, they understood vegetarian-related constrains and were kind enough to point out which sauces had fish-sauce and which did not, making the vegetarian diners at the table really comfortable and happy.
In terms of food, the restaurant is paradise for fish and meat lovers. At the same time, though not as elaborate, they cater quite a bit to vegetarian tastes… This is what we tried:
 Chicken Summer Roll: Wrapped in thin rice flower roll, is salad and lightly spiced boiled and almost-shredded chicken. This is an alternative to those who want to avoid eating the fried spring rolls.
 Pho – Beef Ball Noodle Soup: No Vietnamese meal is complete without boiling bowl of Pho… the Beef Ball Noodle soup made it for a surprise change to the typical sliced meat you usually get. I preferred the beef balls to sliced beef. The beef balls were perfectly cooked… Just a caveat here… the soup makes it for a one-person meal. You want share it, if you wish to enjoy some other delicacies.
 Vietnamese Mango Fish: This fried boneless fish fillet can give a great fish and chips a run for it’s money. Served with an amazingly tangy mango salad, this dish a must-must try for all fish lovers!
 Lemongrass Tofu: Chunks of Tofu nicely stir-fried in lemon grass make for a perfect starter for a vegetarian lover. The tofu was soft and the overall dish quite unique.
 Stir-fried Lemon Grass Chicken: Small pieces of chicken stir-fried in garlic and lemon grass and served with rice… Again, the portion of this dish makes it for a complete meal, to opt for sharing, else you will be left with one dish to finish for the rest of the meal… it’s yummy, well-flavoured and light.
 Vietnamese Fried Rice: We went for a vegetarian fried rice complete with fried egg. The rice was so well balanced that it was easy to finish it off by itself without any curry or condiments.
 Vegetarian curry: Madam Saigon makes a coconut based vegetarian yellow curry which is perfect for a vegetarian. It goes really well with the vegetarian fried rice and has none of the strong aromas. It’s well-spiced and not spicy… again meant for sharing… as the portions were quite large.
How much will it cost me: The restaurant is really reasonable in terms of cost and portions of servings. A dinner for 2 with a decent spread should not cost more than S$ 30-35 depending upon what you choose.
Verdict: If you are looking for a tasty meal, complete with warm settings and really helpful servers, go no further than Madam Saigon. For the Pho lover, they have a huge variety and choices available. Have a vegetarian amongst you, no worries either… finally the place is really reasonably priced, especially for the portions it serves, thus, ensuring you do not burn a hole in your pockets. Next time, you have a craving for Asian food, skip the Thai and the Chinese and head for this lovely little Vietnamese place. I bet you won’t be disappointed.
Address: Madam Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant  #01-26 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039596 OR  30 Liang Seah Street Singapore
Timings: 11:30 am to 10 pm