When Bryan and I first moved to Hong Kong, we were a bit surprised at the lack of Vietnamese restaurants. The few we had tried were mediocre, which surprised us, considering the fact that Vietnam is only an hour flight away from Hong Kong.
It's quite possible that there just isn't a really large Vietnamese community living here in expensive Hong Kong. Thankfully, we've since found some places that we enjoy, even though they come at a much higher price point than a typical Vietnamese joint.
Le Garcon Saigon is a self-billed Vietnamese "brasserie" serving food inspired by Saigon in a space that's reminiscent of a French bistro. Opened by the Black Sheep Group (whose restaurants I generally enjoy), Le Garcon Saigon serves excellent modern Vietnamese food in a friendly and warm environment right in the Star Street Precinct area of Wan Chai.
In general, we really enjoyed the emphasis on fresh ingredients, fragrant herbs, and flavorful sauces.
We loved the charred sweet corn, which came with an addictive smoked queso fresco sauce.
One fun main dish that we have shared every time we have gone is the DIY rice paper rolls.
You choose a protein (usually some variation of fish, pork, or beef served in a unique way) and then they give you all the fixings such as pickled carrots and radish, cucumbers, rice vermicelli, herbs, lettuce, nuoc cham (fish sauce), and pineapple, which I thought was a bit unusual.
We absolutely loved the flavors of the grouper grilled in banana leaf with lemongrass chili paste. The fish was tender and so flavorful. We have tried the other proteins has well, and they have been excellent.
General Thoughts - Le Garcon Saigon Wan Chai
All in all, Le Garcon Saigon has become one of those places we have visited multiple times. We enjoy it because it hits the perfect spot of balancing several factors. The food is vibrant, flavorful, and feels pretty healthy. The environment is relaxed, comfortable, and quaint. The service is pretty good, and the location is pretty convenient (at least for us - it's a 10 minute walk!).
My biggest reservation is probably the cost. If you're used to paying very little and getting amazing Vietnamese food, this might be a bit of sticker shock. The portions are not too big, so you still need to order several things. Expect to spend around at least around HKD400 per person, if not more if you get drinks and dessert.
However, food in Hong Kong can be quite expensive, especially these more Western-style restaurants that seem to appeal to expats (yes, they speak English). The prices of this place are on par with other similar restaurants in this area that are run by the larger restaurants groups.
We haven't found that much Vietnamese food in Hong Kong that we really enjoy, so we are thrilled to have this place so close to our apartment and we do come from time to time.
Of course, if we're in the mood for something a bit more casual, we often swing by their little brother, Le Petit Garcon, for some awesome banh mi sandwiches, we we love.
The Garcon Saigon Wan Chai
G/F, No.12-18 Wing Fung Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China