Little Saigon is the project of Robert Pham and his family. “Our focus will be on authentic homemade Vietnamese food,” he says. “We want to bring a rich and deep flavour experience to fellow Leytonstoners. The menu will include all your well known favourites, such as beef pho, crispy pancakes and summer rolls; and I’m also looking into bakeries so we can get banh mi [the classic Vietnamese baguette] on too.”
Yum. And how will it look? “The interior will be a surprise,” he says, with a smile, “but hopefully it’ll be well received. All I can say is I’m exposing some of the more raw features of the premises.” And, as he’s working with renowned Kentish Town design studio Avocado Sweets, the folk behind Poppies, Barrio and other stylish London bars and restaurants, it should all look pretty impressive.
Robert’s dad came over to the UK in the early 1980s after the Vietnam war. “My mum and older sister joined him shortly after, and I was born in Hackney, but raised in Walthamstow for much of my life. Our family have worked in Leytonstone, in the nails industry, for 15 years.”
So why a restaurant now? “It’s always been a dream for my mum,” he says simply. “And I’m very happy now to be able to help her realise it.”
The Phams hope to open in late April, so we’ll keep you posted on their progress. “We simply want locals and everyone in neighbouring boroughs to enjoy Mum’s cooking, as much as our family and friends have,” says Robert. “In short, we can’t wait.”
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