The name Cafe Saba doesn't sound Vietnamese at all. This cafe is located on The Parade in Norwood, but not easily seen from the front. In fact it is hidden away at the back on the corner. I have been here a few times now, and every time there seems to be more and more diners. Hmm... I wonder what that says about this Cafe. They have a few tables and chairs indoors, or if you prefer you can always sit outside under shelter of course. They also offer take away as well.
We came here on a pretty warm day for lunch, and I wanted something to cool me down. I opted for this coconut water. I had seen this the last time I was in Singapore, just a smaller version. It wasn't a real coconut inside, a rather smart design. You pull the string outside and that pulls the can to open from inside where you insert a straw to drink. A rather refreshing drink for a nice warm day.
We walked into the cafe and no one decided to serve us, so we sat down and grabbed the menu ourselves. We had to go to the counter to order and pay first. Ever since I went over to my friends house and his mum made bún bò Huế, I fell in love. This is a traditional vietnamese noodle soup consisting of beef, pig knuckles, vietnamese ham with white noodles in a beautiful soup base. Sometimes there's also pig's blood. Well this one didn't consist of that, nor the pig knuckles. It was pretty much beef and ham with noodles in a hot and spicy soup. The flavours were there, I would have liked to see more ingredients.
The pho was very simple, with only a few slices of beef. The flat noodles were fresh in a tasty broth. On the other hand, the laksa was an epic fail. I didn't like the look of it, it was very watery and there were hardly any ingredients. All you could taste was just the coconut milk. Laksa is not a vietnamese dish anyway.
The table next door had ordered Vietnamese rolls and they looked pretty fresh, but I didn't try them this time.
The bowls are big and they offer three sizes. However comparing to other Vietnamese restaurants, the large is probably a small for a lot of people. The price for the meals offered are pretty fair based on the location. This is probably the only decent Vietnamese restaurant in the eastern suburbs.
Visit Cafe Saba - 7/47 The Parade, Norwood, SA 5067 - (08) 8363 2006