Tuesday March 09, 2021

Saigon Noodle Bar brings Vietnamese cuisine to Rovaniemi

Published : 24 Jan 2021, 10:59

  DF Report

Owners of Saigon Noodle Bar, Judy Thai, Cella Pham, and Mira Thai. DF Photo.

In mid 2020, a new Vietnamese restaurant opened in Rovaniemi that offers genuine Vietnamese cuisine of fresh, green, and authentic Saigon taste.

Three Vietnamese, who had recently completed their Masters degree from the Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lapin ammattikorkeakoulu-Lapin AMK), sensed the necessity for presence of a Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Lapland and in February 2020 they took the initiative.

Later, in June, after the coronavirus restrictions on restaurants had eased to an extent, they opened the restaurant named Saigon Noodle Bar.

“I, together with Cella Pham and Mira Thai, jointly took the initiative to set up a Vietnamese restaurant and started its operations from June 2020,” said Judy Thai, one of the owners of the restaurant, to the Daily Finland.

Judy came to Finland four years ago while Cella and Mira came three and two years ago respectively for study purposes and have successfully completed their degree programmes.

Located in the city’s Rovakatu area, the restaurant is now entertaining customers with various dishes like Pho Noodle and Fresh spring rolls.

The restaurant serves different kinds of amazing noodles as well as handmade bubble tea or milk tea. Its friendly services and photogenic corners for checking in have made it quite popular to city dwellers within a very short span of time, said the owners.

They said Vietnamese cuisine is simple and healthy, where every flavour is kept distinct. Saigon delivers art and emotion into food, they added.

Judy Thai said they are planning to introduce alcoholic beverage in the restaurant from this year.

Describing the experience of the first six month, she said coronavirus has affected their business from the very beginning.

They initiated the business in February but had to wait until June to open the restaurant, following the government decision of closing down restaurants in the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak.

“Coronavirus hit hard tourism in Lapland, which left an adverse impact on our business as well,” said Judy, adding that they did not get any international tourist during this winter.

Tourism in Rovaniemi booms in winter every year, but this winter is exceptional due to the travel restrictions that followed the pandemic.

“We had only some local tourists this winter,” said Judy.

She, however, expressed her optimism to overcome the situation after the pandemic is over in the near future.

About opening the company in Finland, she said Business Rovaniemi helped them a lot in completing the formal procedures of opening the company and thanked the organisation for its cooperation in this regard.

“Business Rovaniemi, particularly its Business Developer Eija Jussila-Salmi helped us complete the documentary works that were mostly in the Finnish. We are truly grateful to Business Rovaniemi and Jussila-Salmi,” said Judy Thai, adding that they are now learning the Finnish language, which will help them handle the business and other issues better.

She also thanked some other organisations including Lapin AMK for extending all out cooperation to Saigon in various ways.