squeezed lemonade and soy bean milk.
Non-alcoholic drinks like "Fuzzy Navel," "Sex on the Beach" (wouldn't that
lead to "Sandy Navel"?) and Guava, Mango and Guyana Daquiris probably
would be enjoyable dinner fare.
The chef s talents were evident from our first bite of steamed imperial
rolls and spring rolls.
The former filled with shrimp, vermicelli and mint, are served with a
creamy, peanut dipping sauce (3 for $2.50). Spring rolls are crispy fried
egg roll wrappers filled with chicken, vermicelli and vegetables,
accompanied by a light vinegar-based fish sauce (3 for $2.50).
Both were excellent and I appreciated the contrast between the way the
steamed rolls were balanced with their richer dipping sauce and the fried
rolls were lightened by their dipping sauce.
Three skewers of lime chicken breast in a lime marinade ($3.75) were
augmented by additional skewers in celebration of the Chinese/Vietnamese
The citrus undertones and tender chicken chunks make this one of the most
popular dishes, which can be enjoyed as a main course over a bed of
vermicelli for $5.95.
I like to experiment (some say I play with my food), so I couldn't resist
trying all of the sauces on the table - the thick plum sauce, the dark
cod-fish sauce, soy sauce and Sriracha hot chili sauce. You'll be amazed
at the different aspects of a dish each sauce brings out.
A tasty creation
For the entrees, we chose two
Saigon Cafe favorites: Happy
Pancake ($5.95) and
Shrimp Saute with Scallions ($9.95).
There is a tasty combination of rice, flour and curry used to create
the crispy pancake that surrounds a combination of scallops surimi,
shrimp, chicken and lightly sauteed vegetables, and the large pancake is
big enough for two.
The soy sauce glaze on a dozen Medium-sized shrimp atop rice was
delicate and delicious.
I heartily recommend trying the Cafe Sua Da - extra-strong dripped
coffee with sweetened condensed milk over ice.
If you're one of those people who turns lethargic after lunch, a glass
of this has enough caffeine to turn you into a whirling dervish.
It's worth sampling the home-made desserts, especially the creamy
caramel flan ($2.50) and the Amaretto Chocolate Roll ($2.75). The chocolate-based jelly roll
almond flavor in the filling and the fresh whipped cream icing.
The kitchen had run out of Gateau Mocha, layers of apricot, rum and
mocha cream, which is the restaurant's most popular dessert.
I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised at the way Saigon
Cafe treats this colorful cuisine. Lunch for two was $37.45.
The Poughkeepsie Journal pays for the meals that are the subjects of
restaurant reviews, and reviewers do not identify themselves prior to the
end of the meal. Brenda Buchbinder Sachs is a graduate of the French
Culinary Institute and a member of the Sommelier Society, a wine
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