Little Saigon Restaurant

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Shop 7/34 Dunn Bay Road, DunsboroughPorkH
Phone: (08) 9756 7772
Cooked with love
I have always said that food cooked by someone who loves cooking always tastes better, and tasting Dianne Nguyen’s food reinforced that theory for me.
Some readers may remember Dianne and the old Little Saigon Restaurant in Highgate up until three years ago when Dianne and her partner Scott Sewell decided on a sea change and moved to Dunsborough. While Little Saigon will be missed in Perth, Dunsborough folk are delighted. Open since September last year, Little Saigon is wooing diners with its fresh exotic Vietnamese flavours.
DSC_0034Taste and freshness of flavours is synonymous with Vietnamese cuisine and that is what Dianne is so passionate about sharing. Dianne said her love of food and cooking comes from her grandmother, who ran a small floating restaurant in North Vietnam and taught her to cook from the tender age of six, passing on many traditional recipes. Since then Dianne has enjoyed cooking for everyone and attributes her success to a promise to her grandmother to pursue her passion for food.
We start with the Papaya (Pawpaw) Salad served with succulent sliced pork and prawns with a special dressing. Scott is very happy to match wines with the dishes and with this flavoursome dish he suggested a 2015 MarQ Vermentino (Margaret River, WA).
One of my favourites is the Pork Belly entrée which was a good choice as it was tender and delicious with crispy skin served with pickled apple.
The Crispy Pancake was a treat, made with rice flour and turmeric, pork and prawns served with fresh herbs and lettuce. The dish was accompanied by a 2016 Flametree Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (Margaret River, WA) which was a great match with its fresh hint of citrus and a zingy clean finish.
When asked about her signature dish, Dianne said it would have to be the Pho Beef Noodle Soup – this is a very popular lunch dish and an easy one to fall in love with, full of flavour with slices of tender beef and noodles in broth, and crunchy vegetable garnishes and spices. Another popular choice and one of Dianne’s specialties is the Goat Curry with eggplant and traditional spices.
For seafood lovers you will love the flounder – pan-fried crispy skin whole flounder with salt and pepper coating, served onDSC_0018 a bed of crunchy rice noodles – it was succulent and delicious.
While Dianne and Scott love the relaxing lifestyle Dunsborough has to offer, Dianne’s passion for cooking continues, so she is still delighted to share her love of fine food with people.
Their commitment to ensure that all diners enjoy themselves at Little Saigon is obvious as they are often seen chatting with patrons to get feedback. They provide a good selection of gluten free options and try to source fresh ingredients locally.
Dianne also enjoys sketching and painting, and the walls are adorned with pictures reminiscent of her home country, adding to the authentic Vietnamese atmosphere. Wanting to keep the memories of her home country alive, Dianne has captured valuable images of Vietnam in her artwork.
As I taste the food and look around at the inspiring artwork on the walls, I know Dianne’s grandmother would indeed be so proud of her.
Opening hours will vary according to the season. In summer Little Saigon is open for lunch and dinner daily from Wednesday to Monday.
By Ingrid Rickersey
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