Many people don’t know that Orlando has a Little Vietnam town in the downtown colonial area of the city. I used to go to high school in the area, so I always like to check out some of the Vietnamese restaurants. When I was home from school, my mom and I decided to go to Little Saigon.
I hadn’t had Vietnamese food in a while, but I knew I wanted something with noodles. I ordered the canh chua ca/tom, which is hot & sour fish or spicy prawns soup. I decided to go with the spicy prawns soup, and it consisted of shrimp broth with tamrind (a type of fruit), a few hot peppers in it, shrimp, celery, tomatoes, and bean sprouts. I ordered some rice noodles to go with it because I had been craving some noodles. I didn’t realize how huge of a bowl the soup would be, and then I put the noodles in the soup, making it a humongous yet tasty meal. The broth didn’t taste overly fishy, and the shrimp in it were good. The few hot peppers scattered throughout definitely added some necessary heat. The celery, tomatoes, and bean sprouts added a nice crunch and texture that the soup needed, and the noodles were great in it because they added more substance to the soup. My only complaint was that the tomatoes and celery should have been cut up a little more because they were cumbersome. Overall though, it was a great soup with some nice flavors, textures, and spice.
My mom ordered canh hoi chao tom, nem nuong and cha gio. The dish consisted of shrimp paste, charbroiled meatballs, and spring rolls on tiny rice stick. She tried her food three ways: in some of my soup (we asked for a smaller bowl so she could have some), wrapping the food in the lettuce, and individually. She said the meatball reminded her of sliced sausage, and her favorite ways to eat her dish was with the shrimp paste and meatball in the soup, and in the lettuce wrap. She said these two methods added more flavor to her dish because it was bland tasting when they were eaten plain. Her dish also came with a rice sheet that she didn’t overly care for because it reminded her of foam.
We both enjoyed our meals, although if we go back we will most likely order something else. The dishes were good, but not overly noteworthy. The service was good because the waitress was very friendly and helpful when we had questions about ordering. The restaurant has a nice, clean, and friendly decor to it, and was priced reasonably. We enjoyed our experience and will be back again, but we’ll try some new dishes next time.
1106 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803