Le Garçon Saigon (the website is total bullshit, I wish I could get the two seconds back that I spent looking at this sorry excuse for a website)
GF/12 – 18 Wing Fung Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

+852 2455 2499

We got out at a very reasonable HKD380 a person for food and drinks.

The deal:
Le Garçon Saigon has only recently opened in November 2015 and despite it being open for about five seconds, every time I’ve walked past it (even on random weeknights), it’s been totally rammed.  It’s a concept which I can totally see the masses getting behind – a French-Saigonese style bistro serving Southern Vietnamese food in the “trendy” Star Street precinct, run by the popular Black Sheep Restaurant Group (Carbone HK, Chom Chom, Burger Circus, Ho Lee Fook, Stazione Novella, Boqueria, etc. etc.) who continue their march towards HK restaurant domination.  I always feel that the Star Street precinct is deceptively trendy, as in, it feels like there should be cool, hip shops and lots of trendy restaurants but when you’re actually there you realise it’s a massive commercial yawnfest of a Pizza Express, a Classified, an Oolaa, a stack of mediocre restaurants hiding behind cool facades and a couple of interior shops which have made solid typography choices and a carefully curated inventory of only five items for sale.

Le Garçon Saigon is perfect interior bait to lure the unsuspecting trendy restaurant punter in, nailing that new-old Saigon French brasserie feeling with shiny mirrors, teal walls, geometric mosaic tiling and purposefully weathered concrete murals painted with cute as fuck French motifs.  Nothing more perfectly captures the time when the French lorded over Vietnam than a mural with French cartoon people doing colonial shit like drinking wine and a dog reading a newspaper. Fuck yeahhhh, colonialism! Another wall faithfully replicates a deliberately shabby stencilled list of Vietnamese dishes with prices listed in Vietnamese Dong, which is ironic given that I’ve got no doubt that I’m about to get stung some serious HKD for the meal we’re about to order.

Despite everything looking slick as fuck, my main fuck no issue with Le Garçon Saigon is that the softest thing in the whole place is one banquette that runs down one side and every other surface in LCG is harder than the abs of an ardent crossfitter who has eschewed carbs and non-crossfit related conversation for years #strongisthenewdouchebaggery.  This results in Le Garçon Saigon’s dining room being rendered into a cacophonous as fuck echo den with every possible noise bouncing off the bare ceilings, the concrete walls, the tiled floor, the drapeless windows, the naked marble tables or the mirrored walls. I know that tablecloths are unequivocally the devil’s work these days in most restaurants but fuck, I’m not convinced the occasional potted palm was doing their bit for acoustic baffling. I’m an old fuck so I could barely hear the waiter nor the person sitting next to me and you can completely throw all hope to the goddamn wind that I’d ever hear anything being said by the people at the other end of the table.

One thing that is more striking than Le Garçon Saigon’s interiors though is the batallion of attractive as fuck and thoroughly charming French waiters that Le Garçon Saigon have recruited.  Our table discusses whether the Black Sheep homies parked themselves at HK International Airport, staking out every Air France flight that touched down to recruit every other SO HANDSOME French homie that wasn’t destined to crush some quantitative shit at a bank to be part of their Le Garçon Saigon SO HANDSOME waiter crew. I don’t think I can emphasise this enough, the Le Garçon Saigon waiters are really SO HANDSOME.

While gazing upon his SO HANDSOME face, our SO HANDSOME waiter talks us knowledgeably through the menu, which predictably have cutesy French sections like “Les Woks” for the stir fries and “Les Grillades” for the skewers and an ambiguously named “Larger” sub-section.  Based on our waiter’s SO HANDSOME recommendations, we order a number of different things – a few starters, some salads, a couple of skewers, “Larger” dishes and some of the stir fries.

We were given the wrong salad to start but didn’t realise this until we’d started eating it.  The green papaya salad (HKD68 + 10% service charge) was mixed with beef jerky, small dried crispy shrimp, cashew nuts and a spicy tamarind vinaigrette. We also had a serve of the Morning Glory salad (HKD68 + 10% service charge) but due to one of my homies serving shit super unequally, all I got was a couple of chrysanthemum leaves and some jellyfish pieces, in a pickled ginger and chilli vinaigrette.  My other homies who got first dibs claim there wasn’t any morning glory in there but I can’t fairly pass judgment here.  Regardless of whatever titillating named vegetables may or may not have been present, both salads had enough texturally going on and some good fresh flavours but both vinaigrettes were really fucking sweet, even as the tart tamarind and vinegars unsuccessfully tried to cut through it all.

The canh ga fried chicken wings (HKD78 + 10% service charge for five wings) are covered in a salty spicy mix combining Chinese five spice and chilli and predictably served with a side of sriracha mayonnaise.  While the actual wings are cooked well with crispy fuck yeah skin, my more enduring memory is how even though I’m into salty, fried food these chicken wings were pushing the sodium chloride friendship to a new level because it was definitely too fucking salty.

From the “Les Woks” section we definitely order up on some Les Disappointing dishes.  The glutinous rice promises clams, lemongrass, peanuts, salted cucumbers, rice paddy herbs and pork floss (HKD108 + 10% service charge) and it’s unremarkable in the sense that I can barely remember anything about it at all except the rice being sticky.  The Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese style crispy rice based pancake which is folded over a filling of chorizo, prawns, fresh bean sprouts and large red chillis.  You’re meant to break up the banh xeo and fold it into lettuce leaves with fresh herbs, dipping it lightly in some num nuoc sauce (lime, sugar, chilli and fish sauce).  It looks fucking incredible but in execution, the filling is entirely underwhelming, a mess of largely beansprouts dotted with the occasional prawn or chunk of chorizo. Whoaaaaaaaaaa check out the chorizo repping for the modern East meets West influences bullshit massive. But in reality, the chorizo just feels like it’s out of place and trying too hard to be proving some sort of culinary culture crossing point.  This fusion chorizo concept continues to bomb out even harder when it’s eaten in combination with the num nuoc sauce, which just leaves me thinking once again “Why is everything here so fucking salty??”


The press on Le Garçon Saigon has been banging on about its grill and we try almost all of the skewers on the menu.  Per order you get three skewers and you can get selections such as the Wagyu beef Tri-tip / Bo Liu (Vietnamese beef teriyaki) (HKD138 + 10% service charge), the Pork Meatballs / Nem Nuong (HKD128 + 10% service charge), the Kurobuta pork / Thit Nuong (HKD128 + 10% service charge) and the proteinless / funless Zucchini & Leeks (HK68 + 10% service charge).  Each skewer is presented with a tray of fresh Vietnamese herbs, lettuce leaves, pickled carrots, cucumber, peanuts, rice paper, rice vermicelli pancakes and dipping sauces, so you can make your own wraps with the meat.  The grilled meats are a fuck yeah, with a good charcoal taste but the problem is that all the sauces that everything is served with are either too sweet, too salty or an awful fuck no combination of being too fucking sweet AND too fucking salty.  There’s a balance in trying to combine the Vietnamese flavours of sour, sweet, salty and spicy but Le Garçon Saigon manage to bludgeon my enthusiasm for their skewers into a bloody lifeless pulp by showing not a shred of nuance and instead hitting me with SWEET SALTY SWEET SWEET SALTY A BIT TANGY OK BACK TO FUCKING SALTY the whole fucking time.

From the “Larger’ grill section we ordered the Whole Red Snapper (HKD208 +10% service charge) which looks beautiful as fuck, grilled in a bamboo leaf package.  Be careful my white homies because this fishy homie is served in one whole piece, bones and all and requires some skillful dissection.  I’m quite into it, enjoying the fuck yeah sweet snapper fish which is very fresh and the fragrant bamboo leaf flavour imparted from the grill until I hit a patch of scales and end up trying to detach the large snapper scales that have attached themselves unceremoniously to the roof of my mouth. Fuck no to that bullshit, I’m already socially awkward enough without being further sabotaged by my choices in seafood.

The grilled half yellow chicken (HKD168 + 10% service charge) looks fucking sensational, all crispy skin and some fuck yeah looking juicy meat.  I rue the fact that I’ve chosen to come with so many homies because I want to eat at least half of it on my own.  Like all of the proteins that have come before it, it’s had a sweet ass time in the grill and the meat is juicy as all hell and fucking great.  The crispy skin is covered in lemon, a chilli-salt spice mix and a thin chiffonade of kaffir lime leaves, which initially gives you a good sour, delicately fragrant and salty mix but just like everything else, crashes down in a crescendo of salt.  At this point, I would cry from all of the salt if I wasn’t trying to preserve whatever precious fluids were still within my body as it teetered precariously on the edge of dehydration thanks to the half a kilo of salt that’s been in my food.

We finish all of our dishes and in a telling sign, my hands are so sticky from making all of those rice rolls with the skewer meats  With no moist towelette or finger bowl on offer I take this sticky moment to reflect upon my feelings towards every single thing at Le Garçon Saigon either being so salty, so sweet or so salty and sweet OR seasoned appropriately but then littered with fish scales.


Piling into the “Les Desserts” section we try every single one on offer (all HKD68 each + 10% service charge) and this is a FUCK YEAH highlight of the meal, as Le Garçon Saigon present their modern take on Vietnamese dessert flavours.  The flan is a riff on the Vietnamese coffee, using condensed milk in the flan and topped with a drip coffee syrup, served with a salty chocolate sable biscuit to cut through the rich, sweet flan.  It’s fucking delicious and goes some way to calming my rattled so sweet, so salty bad juju from dinner.  The pandan waffle is delicate as fuck but still crunchy on the outside and it’s served with strawberries, mascarpone ice-cream and almond crunch.  I was really into Le Garçon Saigon’s version of the traditional Vietnamese “Che” dessert – a combination of smashed meringue, roasted pineapple, taro and sago, served in a palm sugar and coconut milk sauce.  There’s a scoop of “smoked” coconut ice-cream (which isn’t that smoky) and some smoked, caramelised peanuts (which I think were too smoky), but this is a small gripe in an otherwise fucking delicious dessert.

With all of that done, it’s a fun evening in a cool, new spot and I can guarantee that it’s only a matter of time before someone bails me up and goes “OMG, have you tried Le Garcon Saigon yet? It’s just soooo cool!”.  But the fact that it’s totally packed out after a matter of weeks means there’s definitely a place for Le Garcon Saigon in HK and it’s for that person we all have met a million times in HK, the type of person who doesn’t really eat or care that much about food and just wants to feel like they’re on point with what’s trendy.  Bonsoir motherfuckers, I’m afraid that I’m all about the food and even LCG’s SO HANDSOME waiters can’t replace appropriately seasoned food for me.

Fuck no.  But if you’re someone who just wants somewhere cool to hang out, drink fuck yeah booze and you don’t really care all that much about the food, this is totally gonna be your new fuck yeah hang spot.  Go on, wear your Sunday best and take your yappy little dog and sit on one of those outside tables and suck down some drinks while waiting for someone to throw down some air kisses at. MWAH MWAH DARLING, HOW FUCKING CUTE IS THIS PLACE??

Qinghai Tibetan Noodles (青藏牛肉麵)
Behind the North Point MTR station
North Point, Hong Kong

Not very descriptive but this is the description I received directly from the restaurant.  There appears to be zero correct addresses for this place online – see below for the map.

+852 3565 6553 (don’t quote me, but I don’t think this is a booking kind of place).

HKD410 for five people.  FUCK YEAHHHH, SUB HKD100 EATS.

The deal:
GUISE, I’m having some sort of existential food blogging asshole moment because I know that HK homies love to read about new shit but I just can’t find enough energy or money to try any new places.  I get all geared up to line up somewhere new to try and then I’ll get a bullshit report back from my homies who say they went and spent HKD800+ at some new restaurant where it took 4+ hours for them to work through a patchy tasting menu with basic decor and shithouse service (yeah, so FYN homies, you won’t be reading about Quest by Que any time soon here).  Or I’ll read the new opening sections of various HK news sources and my visceral reaction to every new opening these days is pretty much either “HOLY SHIT, HKD150+ FOR ANOTHER FUCKING BURGER PLACE?” or the pure abject horror that ripples through my entire being when I read about another casual restaurant specialising in some sort of Mexican-Korean-Italian bullshit trend which seems to be sweeping HK at the moment.

Like seriously in the last few months we’ve had the following open – MOYO spruiking Kimchi Tomato Bruschetta, Takorea offering a kalbi beef burrito or a taco for HKD80 before you add HKD10 for kimchi, Crafty Cow with its grilled ox tongue, kimchi and roast potato dish and then the thoroughly upsetting Boomshack which offers the Holy Kimchi, a burger containing baconnaise (stahp), corned beef (STAHP) and house kimchi (STAAHHHP) for HKD88.  FUCK ME KIMCHI KARDASHIAN, is this what the HK consuming public really wants (really really wants)??  To eat a collection of trendy foods all mashed haphazardly into some sort of carb with an HKD80+ price tag?  To all the Fusion-Korean asshole HK restaurateurs out there, it’s time to step away from your Momofuku/David Chang shrine that you’ve made out of old copies of Lucky Peach, empty sriracha bottles and dried instant ramen packets, stop watching clips of Roy Choi and his food truck and try to think of something other than putting kimchi on your mediocre food as an excuse to jack the fuck out of your prices.


So after finally getting on a hike with Mr and Mrs Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and some other homies (versus our normal modus operandi where we plan to hike and instead we sit around their apartment drinking champagne and listening to playlists I made for the hike), we found ourselves in North Point.  After taking them for a dumping aperitif (fuck yeahhhh, dem wor tip and xiao long bao) and some ghetto Park n Shop red wine action at Mr Hutchinson, we then embarked on trying to find Qinghai Tibetan Noodles (青藏牛肉麵) in North Point.

FYN Fun Fact:  Every online address for this place is fucked up – NO, it’s not at 27A or 41A Kam Ping Street and it’s not on Kings Road.  I even called the restaurant to ask where the fuck they are and all they could helpfully provide was that it was ‘behind North Point MTR’ and that they weren’t even sure how to explain which street they are on.  To prevent similar North Point misadventures, check this helpful as fuck map I made just for you fuckers and look for the orange awning at the end of this alleyway.


The problem with a lot of the cheap noodle shops are grumpy as fuck staff, dirty restaurants and often, no English support (both verbal and written).  If there is an English menu it can be pretty shitty, either poorly translated or missing half the items.  I fucking get it though, we’re in HK and Cantonese is the native language here – but due to my abysmal Cantonese skillz it doesn’t help me at all in being able to order food.  Fuck yeah to Qinghai Tibetan Noodles (青藏牛肉麵) not being lazy and actually providing a decent English menu and not relying on the ‘We’re a cheap noodle restaurant which is why we’re going to act “You killed my dog” level pissed off every time you ask for something or we don’t understand what you want’ HK noodle shop model.  Yeah yeah, Grumpy HK Restaurants, I know your landlord is raping you on rent every month and you’re a million years old so it’s hard to find the energy to give a fuck about my order, but give me a fucking break, I just want to eat some goddamn food

Getting into the food here, we ordered a shit tonne of stuff and only stopped when our waiter homie indicated that we’d definitely ordered enough for five people.  We ordered the dry beef noodles with home made garlic sauce (HKD39), crispy fried chicken (HKD32), deep fried veggie bean curd roll (HKD25) and the noodle salad with mutton (HKD38).  While the noodle salad was good, the bigger fuck yeah noodle times was the dry beef noodles with garlic sauce (it’s listed at #1 on the menu) – shit’s pretty simple, noodles, a chilli-garlic sauce, strips of beef and some coriander.  Get dat fuck yeah fresh flavour combination into my life.  Serving sizes are also decent – you can easily share this between four people if you’re ordering other dishes.  It’s also hard to get a fuck no out of fried chicken and the crispy fried cumin and salt seasoned dish here delivered exactly what the name promised.   Unfortunately, my deep love for chicken wings was left unfulfilled that night as the deep fried cumin chicken wings were fuck no sold out.

There’s also a list of BBQ skewers at a fuck yeah price, ranging from HKD10 to around HKD35 depending on the ingredient.  We ordered a couple of mutton skewers (HKD13), the cumin grilled eggplant (HKD25) and the beef steak (HKD30). The meat skewers were a FUCK YEAH – decent sized chunks of meat seasoned in chilli, cumin and salt.  A++ would buy again.  The cumin grilled eggplant with garlic was 50% garlic and 50% eggplant.  I fucking love garlic but even this was pushing my boundaries of how much garlic one can eat.  Maybe I was meant to push it to one side and just eat the eggplant, but my natural instinct is to eat everything on the plate.  We finished it but fair warning homies, if you’re not into garlic stay well away from this dish.

I have no deep knowledge of Tibetan food so I can’t give you any pretentious as fuck insights into how authentic shit might have been here compared to that time I spent an amazing four weeks exploring the wilds of Tibet (just amazing guys, you really need to check it out before it gets ruined by too many tourists).  But, fuck yeahhh shit was tasty and I am all about that cheap as fuck, sub HKD100 a person price point.  Yo Sheung Wan / Central, you can keep your bullshit new Frankenkorean concepts cause Lethal Weapon style, I think I’m just getting too old (or too fucking cynical) for that shit. You tell ’em Danny:


Fuck yeah to cheap tasty North Point eats which also allow you to insufferably brag to your west side homies about how it’s really about getting into the ‘real HK’ outside of Sheung Wan and Sai Yin Pun.

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