If you thought street food can’t get any better, then you have got to check out this recently opened restaurant, which the owners have dubbed “Little Saigon Big Bangkok.”
The restaurant is a family owned and operated business. An ancestral home located in Guadalupe, Cebu, has been transformed into an attractive dining establishment. Diners can have a delightful feast at their street-side garden, while enjoying authentic Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
Little Saigon Big Bangkok (LSBB) is the brainchild of Chef Carmel Therese Almadrones and her husband. Chef Carmel, who has confessed about her passion for food, studied Professional Thai Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School in Bangkok. At LSBB, Chef Carmel is always at the forefront of the kitchen to make sure all the dishes come out perfectly.
Everything about the restaurant is influenced by street food dining in Southeast Asian countries, specifically Thailand and Vietnam. From the ambiance to the menu, the owners ensure their customers a truly Asian experience. Visibly appealing are the dining area’s distinct murals of Vietnamese theme. The menu served during the day is guaranteed fresh, where the ingredients are prepped in the interior kitchen earlier during the day and cooked in the outdoor kitchen when a diner orders them. In addition to fresh local ingredients bought on the same day, a number of the herbs and vegetables included in the dishes are cultivated on the restaurant’s very premises.
LSBB operates a little differently from other restaurants in that their daily menu changes frequently. This is because they want their customers to get the freshest and highest quality of Thai and Vietnamese dishes, which taketime to prepare.
Their “menu for the day” mainly consists of three (3) to seven (7) dishes that are selected from their full menu; however, if there’s something that you want to try that’s not included in the daily menu, you can always contact them (http://littlesaigonbigbangkok.com/contact-us/) beforehand or pre-order the dish that you want so they can prepare it for you.
Among the dishes that Chef Carmel’s husband enjoys eating are the Bun cha, which is a lunchtime favorite soup/meal composed of grilled pork meatballs, noodles, greens, and nuoc mam cham dipping broth; the Som tum, a Thai salad, which is a blend of green papaya, fresh herbs, tomatoes, green beans, garlic, and chilies; the Red Curry with Chicken,which is similar to Malaysian Rendang; and the Banh mi.
LSBB is the first restaurant in Cebu to offer Banh mi, which is a Vietnamese sandwich that has attracted a significant fanbase worldwide.
If you are wondering what your taste buds are in for at Little Saigon Big Bangkok, here’s a list of their full menu:
Som Tum (Php150), Yum Nua Yang (Php200), Yum Tom Krai (Php250), Nam Tok Mu (Php200), Larb (Php200)
Tom Kha Gai (Php200), Tom Yum Goong (Php250), Pho Bo (Php200), Pho Ga (Php200), Bun Cha (Php200)
Satay (Php200), Banh Xeo (Php200), Mieng Kam (Php150), Goong Cha Naam Pla (Php250), Tod Mun (Php200)
Massaman Curry (Php250), Green Curry with Soft Chicken Meatballs (Php250), Dried Red Curry with Shrimp or Chicken (Php250)
Pla Tod Kamin (Php200), Thai Hot Pot (Php300), Bai Ga-Prow (Php200), Gai Yang (Php200), Bun Thit Nuong (Php200), Thit Bo Luc Lac (Php200), Sweet Chili Fish (Php250), Pad Thai (Php200), Hanoi Style Grilled Pork (Php250).
Their dessert selections include Luk Chup, which is a sweetened mung bean treat; the Sang Kaya Fugtong, which is a steamed pumpkin delight; and the Special Chocolate Cake, which is an original recipe of Chef Carmel.
The best way to enjoy good food is to pair it with good wine, and the Almadroneses have taken extra care in selecting wines that pair well with their menu. Among the wine choices you can enjoy are red wine (Le Petit Perriere Pinot Noir at Php175, Pebble Lane, Hawkes Bay Merlot at Php225, and Senorio de Iniesta Tempranillo at Php125), rose wine (Fat Bastard Rosé at Php175) and white wine (Guy Saget Vouvray at Php175 and Senorio de Iniesta Sauvignon Blanc at Php125).
The owners also ensure that service at the restaurant are both casual and competent. The only form of payment accepted in the restaurant is cash, and they recommend that reservations be made because of the limited dining space. For walk-ins who may find the place packed, you can avail of the takeout options.
According to the owners, all guests are considered family members, well, “at least until they try to change the music.”
A healthy discount is offered at Little Saigon Big Bangkok. A hundred pesos (Php100) is automatically knocked off the personal bill of anyone who has finished a half marathon (21K) or an Olympic distance triathlon during the past six (6) months. For anyone who has completed a half Ironman triathlon or a full marathon (42k) during the last six (6) months, you can avail of a Php200 discount on your personal bill. If during the last 6 months you have finished a full Ironman triathlon or an ultra marathon (80K up), you get a discount of Php300 on your personal bill. Just check out the Healthy Discount rules at the restaurant’s Web site http://littlesaigonbigbangkok.com in order to avail of them.
Little Saigon Big Bangkok recently announced its new hours of operation, which is from 12 noon to 10 p.m., 7 days a week. It has also added more dining space. The inside dining area can seat 25 guests, while the al fresco (tent) area can accommodate approximately 30 diners. The restaurant is located at 2175 Villalon Subdivision on Andres Abellana Extension, between V. Rama and Abellana Extension, in Guadalupe, Cebu City. It is located next to Racdaes Japanese Language school.
The owners recommend that guests call ahead to make a reservations at (032)415-0228 or (0917)311-9859. You may also check out their Web site (http://littlesaigonbigbangkok.com) for the daily menu and other important announcements.
LSBB has a new food cart at the Banilad Town Centre. You may contact LSBB BTC at this mobile number (0917)710-3900. You may also check out their Facebook page (littlesaigonbigbangkok), follow their Twitter account (https://twitter.com/lsbbcebu) or send them an e-mail at [email protected] for updates. (updated 02/26/2013)