NJ Dining: Little Saigon (CLOSED)

February 2010: Little Saigon has re-opened as “Huong Viet” in Nutley.

Little Saigon
19 Elm St, Montclair, NJ
(973) 783-3914

Vietnamese is one of my favorite cuisines and its one that’s good for all seasons. In the winter, a steaming hot bowl of Pho when you have the sniffles is an ideal remedy for both the cold and anything else that ails you. In 90 degree summer heat, the cuisine’s reliance on raw vegetables and herbs and room-temperature dishes makes it an excellent hot weather choice as well.

Little Saigon, a favorite little Vietnamese restaurant in Nutley was destroyed by a sudden fire in 2003, and was re-opened in a much larger Montclair location in early 2005.

The restaurant makes really authentic Vietnamese dishes and pretty much everyone who goes there loves the food. However, NYT restaurant reviewer David Corcoran felt the service was really spotty, and until my last visit, I agreed with him. However, It now appears that they seem to have all the staffing issues ironed out, so I’m now giving the place my complete recommendation.

Storefont on Elm Street

Main Dining Room

Cha Gio, Spring Rolls

Goi Cuon, Summer Rolls

Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

This was an appetizer special, glutinous rice flour dumplings filled with pork topped with sliced chicken roll.

Rice Noodle Salad with Pork

Another special, Beef Wrapped with Special Leaf. We weren’t able to figure out what the special leaf was, but it imparted a very interesting flavor to the beef rolls.

Coconut Sticky Rice with BBQ Chicken, another special.

Shrimp in Sweet Potato Nests

Beef in Sate Sauce

Rare Beef Salad

Rare Beef Salad (Portion Closeup)

Sauteed Egg Noodles with Beef

Crab and Asparagus Soup

Won Ton Soup (Vietnamese Style)

Vietnamese Crepe with Shrimp and Pork

Boneless Stuffed Chicken with Chestnuts, Pork and Apricots

9 Responses to NJ Dining: Little Saigon (CLOSED)

  1. Luther says:

    The “special leaf” is called la lot, a/k/a pepper leaf, a/k/a betel leaf.

  2. […] Northern New Jersey has a couple of notable Vietnamese restaurants, but there is a special place in my heart for Saigon R (originally opened as Saigon Republic) and Mo Pho, the two sister restaurants owned and managed by Khan “K.T.” Tranh, a talented female chef who is carrying out the culinary traditions of her mother, who once catered embassy functions for Southeast Asian dignitaries and heads of state for the Republic of Vietnam. […]

  3. […] Photo updates to Little Saigon and Holsten’s […]

  4. MorganLF says:

    Just had my first ever bowl of pho here..inspired by Bourdain I HAD to try it. Dear God , I must have more nothing else will do!

  5. Larry Farrell says:

    Little Saigon is a great restaurant; never had a bad experience there, and the food is exactly like that served to me when in Viet Nam. Ensure that you ask for the REAL Nuoc Mam when you visit the wonderful restaurant.

  6. Dale Litvany says:

    This location is CLOSED and “For Rent”! The owner was looking for a new location, but we do not know anything about where….any information??

  7. g says:

    Friend of mine said it moved back to Nutley — and the new location is nicer (and cleaner).

  8. […] such restaurant was Little Saigon in Montclair, a Vietnamese favorite with a loyal clientele. Little Saigon had closed before, due to a fire in […]

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