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Ethnic Faves

A Taste for All Seasons

Story By Chris Fleck Photos By Chris Fleck
March 18 - 24, 2012

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The winds and weather of each season of the year are unique. From summer to winter, each season has its own mood, traditions and flavors. Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Cuisine emphasizes these seasons with its variety of seasonal appetizer rolls. Not to fret, each roll is on the menu regardless of the time of year.

  • Imperial Roll ($8.25)
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A customer favorite is Saigon Cuisine’s Summer Rolls ($4.99), which consists of boiled shrimp, fresh mint, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, chives and rice noodles tightly wrapped in rice paper and served with a homemade peanut sauce. Autumn and Winter Rolls are similar as they are both wrapped in steamed rice paper. Autumn Roll features shredded pork, fresh mint, sliced cucumber, lettuce and bean sprouts, while the Winter Roll is filled with grilled pork hash, rice noodles, sliced cucumber, pickled daikon, lettuce and bean sprouts. Both are priced at $4.99 and come with Saigon Cuisine’s special fish sauce for dipping.

Traditionally spring rolls are very popular because of their fresh ingredients and scrumptious crunch, as they are usually lightly fried. Saigon Cuisine’s Spring Rolls have a plethora of fillings, including shrimp, ground pork, egg yolk, long rice, taro, fungus, carrots and onions wrapped in a wheat flour wrap and deep-fried to a golden touch. Spring Rolls ($4.50 for two and $7.25 for four) are served with lettuce, fresh mint, cucumber, rice noodles and special dipping sauce.

A new addition to Saigon Cuisine’s roll options is its Imperial Roll ($8.25). “Some customers don’t like pork, so the Imperial Roll comes with only shrimp. We can also do chicken or just veggie, too,” says owner Jenny Tran, who worked in a variety of restaurants in Waikiki before she and her husband decided to open their own restaurant.

Imperial Roll with shrimp comes cut into small fried pieces featuring morsels of taro, lettuce, onion, and served with vermicelli and pickled and fresh cucumbers aside a family-made sauce.

“To tell you the truth, the sauce for the Imperial Roll is our own family recipe from our ancestors. Normally we only make it at home for parties and holidays,” adds Tran.

Starting this week, guests who buy one appetizer roll may purchase a second at 50 percent off.

Saigon Cuisine Vietnamese Restaurant

  • Where
    • 1408 Liliha Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96817
  • Call
    • (808) 521-6888
  • Hours
    • Tuesday – Saturday
    • 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.
    • Sunday – Monday
    • 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.
  • Notes
    • Takeout orders available. Parking available in rear of restaurant.