Last week Thursday, 01 February 2018, my work wife and I decided to reignite our First Thursdays dates by joining the commotion on Keyes Avenue. Ironically, it was truly commotion we drove into — seems like the rest of Joburg had the same idea and Keyes Art Mile was just unbearably overcrowded for us. Given all this overpopulation, we decided to walk further down to Jan Smuts Avenue and dine at Saigon Suzy. I had been seeing the restaurant mostly on Instagram and it seemed like the Universe was just like, ‘hey, why stand in long queues for drink when you can be served delicious food and wine in a great ambiance?’ We couldn’t ignore the signs.
We sat outside facing the inside of the restaurant and my eyes were in amazement — I finally found the epic mural everyone and their mamas had been posting on social media! I low-key felt like an art-whore but it’s OK, I love me some cool art. As my eyes continued to wander like an alien who’s just been dropped on planet Earth for the very first time, I was taken by the overall decor of the restaurant — the lighting, the setting, the everything — very vibrant and something out of a futuristic film.
When we got our menus we were unusually undecided about what to order. Part of me didn’t want to order an alcoholic drink, but my work wife definitely wanted something alcoholic. However, I ended up ordering a glass of The Emily, a Longridge classical blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, 2016 — one sip and I went to heaven where Jesus kissed my cheek, then came back (well me, I came back, not Jesus, just to be clear haha). This wine definitely left an impression because it was the first time I went out of my way to research a blend because I want to be able to buy the bottle for myself at home, every now and then. My work wife ordered a cocktail, I forgot what it was called, but see the images below.
For mains, I was hungry but not starving. I wanted something filling but not put me in a food coma. I ordered the Coconut Chicken Salad — I love coconut, and I love chicken, so it was fitting to have it all in a salad. Let me tell you guys, that was probably the best chicken salad I’ve had to date! All the ingredients and flavours just blended in together so beautifully, nothing overpowering anything else and everything taking the spotlight at cue like a well orchestrated jazz performance. Beautiful. That paired with The Emily, I was right there in heaven chatting to the Big G. Phenomenal.
However, not every experience is sheer joy for everyone involved. My work wife wanted something lighter than a salad, just to line her tummy. She ordered the Chicken Dumplings and sadly, it left a lot to be desired. I thought she was being dramatic until I had a bite and understood her underwhelmed response. Firstly, the presentation didn’t blow anyone’s mind away. The flavour tasted a bit too watered down. And the chicken was slightly chewy, just slightly. Basically, an OK attempt to tease the palate before one tries something else. However, I would just skip the tease and hop right into the something else immediately.
Aside from the meh dumplings and the OK cocktail whose name I forgot, I give my personal Saigon Suzy experience major thumbs up. The combination of the Coconut Chicken Salad and The Emily is right up there in my books. I would do it again, and again. Well, maybe not the same meal next time, keen to try out the other options, but staying clear of those dumplings…
Anyway, check out Saigon Suzy on Facebook and Instagram, or just go to the restaurant directly and cut out the social media middleman. Comment below with your experience, what you loved, and what had you feeling a little bleh, dish out all the juice, we’ll be waiting.