Southeast Asian food in Northeast Asia

Sitting nearly side by side in Noksapyeong are two small cafe style Southeast Asian joints.  Le Saigon offers a selection of Vietnamese food and just a stone’s throw away is Buddha’s Belly Thai Takeaway.

I’m something of a neophyte when it comes to Asian cuisine.  I’ve dived head long into Korean food, but before I came here my only Asian food experiences were sushi and Americanized Chinese.
I went to Le Saigon first.  I ordered a Vietnamese pork chop from their bilingual menu and a Saigon beer.   This was pretty good.  It consisted of a highly marinated piece of pork that was just soaked with flavors.
On another evening I took a trip to Buddha’s Belly and sat outside.  Here I ordered Pha Thai with shrimp.  This is a kind of noodles covered with pha sauce.   I was surprised how tangy the sauce was here.  The few times I’ve ordered a Thai noodle dish it’s usually been a bit spicy so to get something that could be described as sour was a twist on my expectations.  It was pretty good but it seemed a bit on the spartan side, without much stirred into the noodles.
Buddha’s belly was one of the most vegetarian friendly restaurants  that I’ve encountered in Seoul.  Every dish on the menu starts out as a vegetarian dish.  Meat, poultry and shrimp are added for a few thousand won if you want them but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t have meat this place would be a great choice.

At both places the beers were undistinguished bottled beer.  They offered Vietnamese and Thai exports.  Niether was very good but niether was very bad.

Both restaurants were very small.  They only had seating for maybe a dozen people between the two of them.   Le Saigon offers free wifi which my ipod picked up in both establishments.

The prices at both these restaurants were very reasonable.  They both ran around seven to ten thousand for the meal and a few thousand for imported beer.

About Andrew Martin
Hello, I'm a 31 year old educator. I've spent a few years abroad before coming back to the states this year. I'm a man of many interests, and I use seoulbound as my place for talking about them.

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