E: To have a dinner and a movie altogether on the same day is not easy in the area of Tillicum. I somehow managed to convince James to see a horror film (a genre he doesn’t care for) and we both wanted a healthy option beyond popcorn and soda. Saigon Char-broil was very close and we didn’t have to cross the highway to get to Cineplex’s Silvercity Tillicum Location.
J: Ed, like me doesn’t like going to the movies on his own. It’s much more fun with a friend but you’d be surprised at how many people want to sit in front of a computer rather than get out of the house, even if you offer them a free pass. Stopping for a meal at a restaurant (including Saigon) makes more sense then spending roughly the same money or more on junk food at the theatre. I’ll have a snack if I’m at Vic Theatre, Sidney’s Star Cinema, or even UVic’s Cinecenta but if it’s a big corporation owned movie house like Silvercity, I put my money where I think it’ll do the most good, with the mom and pop food operations.
E: Mind you, that doesn’t stop James from getting sweetened yogurt from within the theatre operation. One large bowl of pho’ later, he was on dessert faster than I could swipe my SCENE card to see a film for free. That’s including trying to hear him say yes to my offer to treat him to the movies for the night. Mind you, when it comes to the drinks from this restaurant, I can go through a glass of pineapple juice in no time!
J: The frozen yogurt was because we didn’t have the time for desert at Saigon. After a little mishap with BC Transit, time was short and Szechuan City suddenly became Saigon in a pinch. And I’m glad because it did the job. It’s a nice little restaurant with a great view in my mind. I’ve always enjoyed watching the cars and the people go by especially at night. Tillicum Centre benefits with this operation on its property. Saigon’s menu was easy to browse and easy to orderfrom. If you couldn’t prononce the name, everything was numbered for you. I had a number 36. It was rice noodles with prawns, beef, and chicken for $13.95.
E: In true typical fashion I always “one up” my buddy. I opted for the 37, with more slices of beef from different parts of the cow. I’m sure he didn’t mind as the slices were udderly fabulous. The grind and textures were certainly very tasty, and surprisingly I didn’t make too much of a mess before the film. There’s a reason why I always like to wear dark clothes, so the stains won’t show.
J: My dish was absolutely delicious. The broth that came with the meal was very light and tasty. For the main I appreciated the beef being grilled to a light crispness that just brought out more flavour. I could have this meal over and over. It didn’t taste greasy or fatty in the slightest.
E: Unfortunately, in subsequent visits, the dishes are not all that consistent. I opted for a Banh Mi sandwich instead and I learned a valuable lesson. Eat these while they are freshly toasted instead of take out! Not every operation actually does this. I was here before to get this packaged meal on the go and they neglected to toast it for me. The crispness required from the bread is needed to contrast the soft pickled vegetables and the char-braised and warm beef within. I’m sure in India, I’d be lynched, but I love my cow!
J: Yes, consistency was a problem on a visit shortly after the one for this review but I can not hold that against them. I will recommend Saigon if they can give as much to quality control as they do to their service. They might be around for a long time to come. If anyone plans to go to the LANtasy gaming convention taking place mid-March at the Pearkes Arena, I recommend stopping by for a meal. At the time of the writing of this review there were no meals over $15. And what they serve you is tasty food that is good for your body and good for your wallet.
3½ Blokes out of 5