Welcome to Rene’s Saigon! This is one of the oldest Vietnamese restaurants on Palawan. It started out as a small affair right inside the Palawan Vietnamese Refugee camp. Later Rene’s moved to its current location down Rizal Extension, otherwise known as Airport Road. It’s the same street that runs through town and past the airport, but to get to Rene’s, you drive past the airport. It’s way down the street, almost to the bay. But worth the trip!
Palawan was home to a first-asylum refugee camp for those fleeing the conflicts and hardships in Vietnam for several years. Today most of the Vietnamese have repatriated to the United States, but a few remain behind. And Palawan’s food scene is so much the richer.
My husband’s very favorite dish is Spicy Pork in Caramel Sauce. Strips of pork, blended with spices are cooked in a small clay pot right over the fire. The pot comes out sizzling hot. Don’t dare touch it. The sauce continues to simmer, and caramelizes to the inside of the pot.
Rene’s serves Beef Stew Noodles, with the red coloring from annatto spice, as is common here on Palawan.
Other lovely dishes are their pork spring rolls, barbeque pork, and hot pots. Rene’s is famous for French Bread. Rene freshly bakes the bread daily and supplies French bread to many Palawan eateries, making his deliveries on his motorcycle, as soon as the bread comes out of the oven, usually around 2 in the afternoon.
Rene’s has a choice of inside dining, or outside patio dining.
Several choices of chicken dishes are on the menu, including delicious Spicy Chicken with Lemon Grass, and fried chicken. The menu is varied, and quite inexpensive, giving the opportunity to try a variety of dishes each meal.
Rene’s has a Facebook page with more lovely pictures of their food.
Just remember, Rene’s is open Tuesday through Sunday, and closed on Mondays.