Saigon Blues: New restaurant for Lewisham Way



Lewisham Way is often the target of jokes and mild bullying on this blog. But there are flashes of hope, at least along the Brockley stretch. The Meze Mangal bakery is on its way, but we can also look forward to a new restaurant and takeaway, rising from the ashes of the left-hand half of LV Food & Wine, more often referred to on the blog as the 'Chinese Supermarket'.

The restuarant will be managed by the same family who run the supermarket, and is, they admit a decision taken due to increased competition that Tesco has brought.

Local residents must have noticed the building work going on, but yesterday, the restaurant was crowned - as Saigon Blues. But behind the giant fluorescent sign, what will the restaurant be like? We managed to get some answers from manager Chiyung Nim (Chi).

What was the motivation to open the restaurant?

The real motivation in opening the restaurant was to give the public a chance to eat the similar food we do, and a chance for us to get some proper food in the area.

Of course, the shocking decision from the council allowing Tesco to open next door to us effected our business; so in order to carry on within the area we decided to follow a new business path.

What sort of food and drinks will you be serving?

Food is based on selected dishes from Chinese and Vietnamese. We didn't want a whole great big menu with hundreds of dishes, but rather just the few dishes to make them up to our standards. Drinks will be ranging from fruit juices, sodas to alcohol. Takeaways will be available but deliveries are still unsure and not decided yet.

What kind of atmosphere do you want to create?

I think we are aiming towards a laid back and classic theme.

The restaurant aims to be open by late May or early June, and Brockley Central hope to be amongst the first customers. Good luck to all at Saigon Blues!

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bon chance to them - and it must be difficult having a Tesco open next door. Faced with a choice I'd always go for what I'm familiar with (Tesco) - bit bad of the council but good luck to the takeaway.

Brockley Kate said...

Sounds good, will definitely check it out when it opens, especially if they're doing Vietnamese!

Danja said...

"It's a Tesco" isn't a valid reason for turning down a planning application, so it's a bit hard to blame the council.

Anonymous said...

Sounds ok but they could have tried harder with the outside! Hasn't dandelion blue taught people anything?

Brockley Nick said...

I can see why the proprietors of the chinese supermarket might be miffed, but as a result of tesco being granted permission to open, we not only have a new (better) local supermarketand cash machine, we also have a new chinese restaurant. So why are those of us who aren't in the chinese supermarket business moaning about the council's decision?

violetnights said...

My end of Brockley is getting both a Chinese and the Meze Mangal bakery?

I'd best crank up the running a notch or else become the giant blob of Brockley :)

tyrwhitt michael said...

Noticed the new sign on my way home from Kebab World, which incidentally I prefer to Meze Mangal for a takeaway.

Not as good for an eat in though....

patrick1971 said...

Sounds good; frankly, anything that makes that stretch of Lewisham Way more appealing can't be bad. If the no drinking zone manages to clear out all the scummers just hanging around as well, it could even develop into a nice streetscape!

Anonymous said...

the sign is awful! why do so many shops around here (and in general) put up such disgusting, pikey signage? Keep it simple - a black with subtle wood / brown lettering in a pleasing font would have given a far better impression! it just looks like a fast food chicken shop. it's a shame because they could have done something classy and appealed to everyone in brockley.

i'm starting to think I should open a cafe / shop round here! the old grocers on tyrwitt road gets my vote as the spot with the most potential. what the hell are the council doing letting it get into such a state?

as for tesco, it's a great asset to lewisham way and is the one shop that actually is clean, neat and up to scratch!

Darren said...

I have to agree. The sign does little to enhance the wider area. It makes it look like the kind of place that i would generally avoid. Sorry. All the best to the owners though.

Anonymous said...

I guess the point with signage is that you don't only have to communicate what you sell, but also how you sell it - a posh wooden script on black background might suggest to some that its not worth a look-in as it might be too expensive for their wallets - that's how peoples' minds work.

As long as they haven't got a neon sign inside with the prices on and a bloke in a red t-shirt shearing chunks off the elephant's leg they should be OK.

Anonymous said...

I'm not talking making it look 'posh' - but at least make it look a little bit upmarket compared to all the other chavvy places to each along lewisham way. and also, many of the brockley clientele aren't exactly living on the breadline I'd imagine. I think if they got good signage the opposite would happen - people might actually go up to the doorway and look inside / check out the menu rather than walk past another ugly restaurant frontage. and also, a black sign with wooden lettering wouldn't probably cost much more than what they've gone for!

Anonymous said...

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the public.

Anonymous said...

So, a small business is threatened by a larger rival and, instead of packing up shop and running away, the owners come up with a clever regeneration of their business. And Brockley Central bloggers (who clearly believe they have all the answers) can focus on nothing but the fact that the owners have not put up a sign exactly to your taste. Yes, I can see why shops don't ask for your opinion very often...... how about some enthusiasm for a small business fighting back, with ideas for support and a commitment to eat there enough times to get them going REGARDLESS OF THE COLOUR OF THE SIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tressillian James said...

Hear hear. This is Lewisham Way - not Coulgate street - and if this guy is to make some money to kepp him and his family, he will depend on passing trade from a busy thoroughfare - and a big bright sign will help that.

I'll give them a try when they are open for business, and make my decision based on the product.

Richard Elliot said...

They owners of the shop are very friendly and helpful. I hope their new restaurant is a success.

The current Chinese take away on Lewisham Way I think is very disappointing, so this will provide a great alternative for Chinese food.

@TM - are you joking? I've never had a good kebab from Kebab World. Eat in or take away!

Anonymous said...

The sign is very in keeping with the standard along Lewisham Way, which is generally cheap.

I says very strongly 'Plastic'.

Whether this is a portent of the contents remains to seen.

Given the number of restaurants that are depressingly mediocre in Brockley, we can only hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

To be fair the sign is in keeping with the rest of Lewisham Way. It looks no different from any of the other cheap shop fronts.

Anonymous said...

For many Chinese/Vietnamese, a large neon sign above their shop is both a sign of success and a bringer of luck. Let's hope Asian culture prevails....

Brockley Nick said...

@Anonymous midnight shouter, the overwhelming response has been positive, but it's a fairly constructive bit of crticism to say that they could have tried a bit harder with the sign. And if you don't think businesses should pay attention to their customers' views, then you shouldn't go in to business. To those who say these things don't matter... they matter a lot both to the area and to the success of the business.

Brockley Kate said...

By the way, if this shop is the one to the left of Tesco, then I can attest to their fine selection of proper ales. When I can't be bothered to walk down to Lawrence's they've been a godsend.

ElijahBailey said...

I don't see a problem with the sign. It fits well with the area. It's Lewisham Way not bloody Mayfair.

Anonymous said...

@ Brockley Nick: I'm all for constructive criticism but in what way is this constructive:

"the sign is awful! why do so many shops around here (and in general) put up such disgusting, pikey signage? Keep it simple - a black with subtle wood / brown lettering in a pleasing font would have given a far better impression! it just looks like a fast food chicken shop. it's a shame because they could have done something classy and appealed to everyone in brockley."

In my view that's offensive, arrogant and narrow-minded. My point was really that far too may people are quick to point out how they could have done better, but they don't do anything. And surely you agree that describing the new business' sign as "pikey" is just rude? I wonder how "welcomed" the owner felt when he read that string of "constructive criticism"? He is almost certainly very proud of what he is doing. All I'm suggesting is that people hold off from their knee-jerk reactions and give the place a chance to open before making negative comments.

Anonymous said...

How sad that this blog again knocks the efforts of a buisness which is run by some of the nicest people in the Brockley ward, in fact most of the shop owners on this stretch of Lewisham way have a lot to offer and can show the rude people on here who think they are 'a cut above the rest'how to treat people with respect.
Ask yourslf when you went into this shop for some information how did the family and owner greet you?
with a warm smile ?
did the welcome you ?
and try to answer or your questions and warmly bid you goodbye? I think the answer is yes!!
Then you rip their hopes and dreams apart on your website and have the cheek to call them cheap,
I hope the owner and his family did not log in to see this and I wish them good luck,
so much for your support to local shops!!

Anonymous said...

Anon, you don't seem to be able to tell the difference between the person who wrote the article, who wished them well and publicised their new restaurant for them, and a couple of people who said that the sign looked cheap (but still wished them well). I don't know if you know how websites like this work, but they are just a window to people's views. No one's trying to be nasty.

brockley mutha said...

I'm not as anti the sign as some of the people here. It's got a china town circa 1970s vibe. Its not an unauspcious beginning.

Headhunter said...

Well the sign has certainly stirred up some strong emotions and in advertising circles isn't that considered a good thing?

Sam said...

High, as you say "no publicity is bad publicity!" - shame this isn't a sign shop!

Sam said...

oops - pre-coffee typos: meant to type "hugh" but of course it was Headhunter. sorry. will crawl away and drink coffee!

Tressillian James said...

Saion Blues is up and running now - had a look at the menu at a very full restaurant - and it seems to have quite a few authentic Vietnamese dishes on - so not just a Chinese restaurant masqurading as something else. Didn't notice the prices - but the interior looked functional - like a Noodle House interior. Looks like it may be well worth a try.

David said...

Had lunch there today - very pleasant. I wish them good luck - after having to diversify when Tesco opened next door. Plain, minimalist decor. Friendly staff. . . . and I see that they are packed out this evening.

Kung Fu Hustle said...

Had dinner there - decor was pleasant. Tried only the Vietnamese dishes - a soup noodle dish (broth was slightly sweet with star anise), a cold roast pork noodle dish (excellent dish -m eat tender and well seasoned - goes well with the fine rice noodles), some summer rolls (fresh, crisp and aromatic), vietnamese sausage (underwhelming - plain but needs a sauce) and a vietnamese curry (slightly coconut based - with a nutty undertaste similar to a northern thai curry).

Had a couple of beers and some vietnamese coffee (beers £2.50 a bottle) and whole thing came to £34.00.

We'll be going back - as it was interesting. Seemed more authentic than Love U Long time...but they are very different and Saion Blues is a welcome addition to the area

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to go for a run after that lot.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

Does sound nice. shame its the wrong side of Brockley for lazy me.

I have to ask, what does Vietnamese coffe taste like? Nothing like 'greek' coffee I hope?

Kung Fu Hustle said...

No - its sweet and made fomr condensed milk - best served chilled - and the food was a lot - but it wasn't just me eating! I'd say it would comfortable feed 3-4

The Brockley Telegraph said...

Mmm. sounds nice. Do they traditionally drink it black as well?

Kung Fu Hustle said...

Not sure,but you could ask them - it's not that far from you at all - opposite the bottom of Manor Avenue

Headhunter said...

Bring on the Brockley Foxes.... Eh Hugh?

Kung Fu Hustle said...

Was my summing up that bad HH? lol

J Williams said...

Ate there tonight, and what a fab restaurant, we ate the vegetarian sweet and sour pork balls, egg fried rice and vegetarian spring rolls, guava juice and an asahi, everything was really fresh, not overly salted or oily, total came to £18.00, service was super friendly, unhurried and laid back and the deco was great.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm fashionably late, but just in case anyone is thinking of eating there...

Stumbled on this blog and post today and thought I should try them as I love Vietnamese cuisine and went there to get the menu and make my first order.

I was disappointed that they don't have the lotus root salad which is my favourite dish, but the rest of the food more than made up for this.

Get this: even their prawn crackers were fried on the spot and were not just pre-made industrial grade.

For food so good I'm more than happy to become colour blind.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks for the comments - it's always good to get new reviews.

David said...

So pleased for a positive comment - they have been open for over a year now . . and seem quite busy. I have eaten there once, and very good it was. Good luck to them, even with the ''Day-glo'' sign age.

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