On my hunt to find an authentic Vietnamese place in Manchester, I was told about Saigon Lotus. The restaurant is located on Oldham Road, opposite the Wing Yip and thus is an unconventional place to visit for food. Nestled between several other Vietnamese cafes and hairdressers, I assume the restaurant mostly caters towards the Vietnamese community.
Vietnamese iced coffee is a popular Vietnamese drink but unfortunately, I dislike coffee. My sisters ordered one each and I stuck with some home-made lemonade. Both of these were freshly made and refreshing, although maybe contained too much ice. The wait for the drinks was maybe longer than I’d expected, as the restaurant wasn’t even full at the time we visited.
Pho is a classic Vietnamese soup noodle dish and this bowl did not disappoint. There was plenty of noodles and meat and a separate dish of chillies, bean sprouts, coriander, lime etc. meant you can add however much or little as you wanted to your bowl. The broth was well flavoured without being greasy and the meat thinly sliced so it cooked in the heat of the broth.
Goi xoai tom thit
I really like this salad a lot. There’s a perfect blend of sweetness, saltiness and a bit of spice. The fresh ingredients mean that this salad is fairly crunchy. The only excessive thing about this are the prawn crackers, which I felt were really unnecessary as it did not add anything to the dish.
OVERALL RATING AND COMMENTS
6/10 -2 for the service as the food takes a while to come out, even when the restaurant was very quiet. -2 for the staff, the lady who runs the restaurant can be a bit curt at times and she edges on being informal without that warm feeling you can get from smaller cafes. Friends have stated that she took an order wrong and then proceeded to blame them for ordering the wrong thing. Despite all this the food has been really excellent and the portions are decent verging on huge for what I normally eat.
WOULD VISIT AGAIN?
Maybe if I had a strong craving for Vietnamese, but my experiences with the owner compounded with the location of the restaurant has made me hesitant to come back. I think going to Thaikhun would scratch a similar itch in my palette if I was craving pho or the salad again.
Address: 146 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 6BG