Miss Saigon Restaurant

Situated on the landward side of Stadium Waterfront, Miss Saigon does not possess the tranquil, breezy feel that neighboring riverside establishments do. Instead, this restaurant faces the Indoor Stadium carpark with an uninspiring view of a playground. The restaurant was amazingly stagnant for a Friday night, with only two other tables occupied despite the restaurant manager’s eager attempts to call passers-by in. We were nonplussed by the state of the menu, which was littered with shoddy pencil markings on dog-eared pages. The interior of the restaurant was stuffy and reeked of an unpleasant odor we could not place, so we decided to seat ourselves among the wavering fluorescent lights along the stadium’s corridors. What puzzled us was that Miss Saigon did not highlight Vietnamese pho, like many Vietnamese restaurants are known to do. The crystal shrimp roll with pork was disappointingly mediocre. The wrap was too chewy for our liking. The helpful waitress also recommended the chao tom—shrimp with sugar cane, which was seriously unexceptional. Although the appetizers lacked lustre, the entrees fared much better. We slurped up every morsel of the cod fish in hot pot, which was pleasantly spiced with fermented beans and chili. The fish was also delightfully tender and smooth. The Hanoi grilled pork satay is worth trying, comprising well-seasoned lean pork kebabs that were grilled to juicy perfection. The accompanying lime and salt dipping sauce provided a deliciously sharp, tangy zing. We ordered kailan with beancurd cheese, which we suspected was not authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Desserts here are not an elaborate affair. Instead of offering traditional Vietnamese desserts—or Asian-style sweets—the menu had insipid choices such as a paltry Italian gelato, with which we ended our meal. We somehow got the feeling that Miss Saigon lost its identity, or never had one to begin with.