It seems as if everyone knew about this Vietnamese cafe on The Parade in the eastern suburbs, but I. Cafe Saba is a frequent lunch favourite for F who pays the cafe a visit at least once a fortnight and I’m finally joining him for lunch to see what the fuss is all about.
Cafe Saba sits on the lower part of The Parade, closest to the city and is tucked inside The Parade Pavilion away from the street at number 7 (look out for their pink signage). It was super busy on our visit with the rear parking lot completely full and a line up at the counter; luckily F’s wife had arrived earlier and managed to snag a table outside in the courtyard.
Their menu is extensive as it usually is at Vietnamese eateries, their food offerings include made to order Vietnamese meat rolls, cold salads, soups, DIY cold rolls, noodle soups (including the all time favourite: pho), vermicelli combos, rice/egg noodles both dry and soup varieties, stir fried noodles, rice combos and vegetarian options.
Vermicelli and stir fried lemongrass beef; $13.50
F’s wife settled for the dry vermicelli noodles with stir fried lemongrass; the monster sized bowl of vermicelli came served with shredded lettuce, cucumber, sweet pickled carrots, fried shallots, a swirl of hoisin sauce and a small dish of nuoc mam cham (dipping fish sauce) on the side. It looked and smelt so good with the fragrant lemongrass wafting through the air. Mmm~
Bun bo hue; size L $12.50
F chose the spicy beef noodle soup with sinewy beef, pork and pork terrine which was served with a plate of fresh herbs and a cheek of fresh lemon. They don’t joke around with the bowl sizes at this joint, it was massive! The perfect warming bowl of noodles to have in this dreary weather.
Chicken and sweet corn soup; $7.00
I ordered the chicken and sweet corn soup, an unconventional dish to order at a Vietnamese eatery in my books, but that’s what happens when ones teeth was sore and in pain! It’s not the most photographic dish but it did its job; it filled me up and kept me warm. A sweet and corny soup, I wished there were a few more extra pieces of chicken throughout for some ‘bite’ and ‘chew’ in the soup–even if my teeth were sore.
Judging by the crowds at the cafe around lunch time, I’d say that Cafe Saba is a hidden gem for some! A short drive away from the city, on site parking, reasonable prices and fresh and tasty offerings available–surely, there’s something for everyone here. As for the service, it’s brisk, slightly brash and not the most friendliest; understandably it gets busy and stressful during peak lunch hour but hey, a smile from staff members won’t hurt and will brighten up the mood for everyone.
7/47 The Parade
Norwood SA 5067
P 08 8363 2006