Archive for the ‘Asian’ Category

Tan Viet Noodle House, Cabramatta 

April 9, 2017

100 John street, Cabramatta

“Man cannot live on fine dining.”  Crispy Chicken. Egg Noodles. Happy kids.


Moon Park, Redfern

April 9, 2017

Finally visited this highly rated Korean place the day before it closed last year. It was great. Shoutout to a Korean steak tartare and of course, the pork belly. 

In reverse order:

Red Pepper, Strathfield

April 25, 2015
4A Lyons Street, Strathfield

Continuing the healthy eating theme – taking the family to Korean Fried Chicken. My idea of course. Kids have no idea what KFC is. Incongruous place with pokies, big TVs and 5-a-side footy pitches. Chicken is excellent.

Worth the 40 minute drive…Plus there’s a kids playground round the side to alleviate the guilt….



Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney

November 16, 2011
The Star
Pyrmont, NSW 2009

One of the most anticipated openings of the year and a restaurant to really get Sydney noticed. A lot has been seen and written of David Chang, the man behind Momofuku. My introduction to him as I took my seat at the open kitchen was him telling his brigade to: “kill, kill, kill”. A few days open and you’ve got to hit the ground running. Every evening is an opportunity to impress and convert.

Objective Achieved. I really enjoyed this meal, not only because the food was excellent, but because the restaurant had a real swagger and many elements that made for a social and stimulating experience. Food appreciation. was in hindsight only half of the appeal.

What appeals to me is brevity. I love the lack of menu and obsequious waiting staff. I can’t even remember seeing an indicator of menu cost. You’ve booked online. You were informed then, so why repeat? My kind of place.

We start the meal with a few snacks, while we get stuck into a decent reisling, from the brief (of course) wine list.

Snacks – shiitake chip, nori, mochi

More about textures than flavour it was perfectly pleasant, but honorable mention to the shiitake chip.

Next up: steamed pork bun- pork belly, cucumber, hoisin

A gorgeous slab of pork on the softest of buns. It’s strange to me that this is a signature dish, being just very well made, comfort food, but it is excellent. NB. It’s easy to get over-enthusiastic with the hot sauce, but I urge restraint in preparation for the delicate next course.

striped trumpeter belly, samphire, warrigal greens, furikake

The raw fish course, proudly using an under-rated Australian fish with strong garden (chlorophyl) and sea flavours. It’s great to be reunited with samphire again. A good find.

The meal moved up a gear with: white asparagus, marron, lemon, shallot

A lovely dish. Again excellent sweet and fresh local ingredients and a nice lemon sauce with a bit of bite from the shallots.

And on to: Wagyu beef, radish, fermented black bean

A bit of  a puzzlement this dish. The radish & black bean dominated the plate, with the beef a complimentary taste. Yet it came together a little bland and desperately needed salt to lift it. The quality of ingredients could not be faulted, but they were more muted than harmonious.

A dual course next:
eel brandade, freeze dried apple

eel dashi, garbanzo, chive blossom

Subtle, delicate and light. A good contrast and change of direction from previous. The playing around of light and big flavours made the tasting menu quite a ride, instead of the normal linear progression.

spanner crab, butter, pepper, yorkshire pudding

One of the meal’s highlights. Crab rocks, butter sauce and yorkshire pudding, no explanation needed. The business.

Egg, toasted rice

Perfectly set, moreish and wobbly. Liked the subtle shards of rosemary. Japanese in execution, but seemed to fit perfectly into the cross-cultural journey.

And on: hand torn pasta, goat cheese, chilli, mint

We weren’t expecting much from this. It seemed random. Chef reminded us this was Asian in origin. We weren’t going to argue. It was sharp, sweet and intense. A bit of a pasta revelation. Haven’t had a pasta dish as good as this for a while.

A return appearance of the trumpeter: striped trumpeter, broccoli, horseradish, potato, trumpeter & fennel soup

Like a good comedian riffing and returning to a good gag, it was a welcome appearance. Also very much liking the accompanying ‘soups’. Adds greater variety and interest to the meal. A really good meaty texture.

The ‘main course’: lamb neck, daikon, pickled turnips

A fatty cut with a sharp vegetable. Pickling always keeps the meal lively. It said a lot that this can be seen as just another dish, since there’s no sense of progression, more a collection of really interesting dish. Good lamb.

And on to the desserts: pecorino, honey licorice, bee pollen

A welcome cheese course. Terrific flavours and like the radish course, hides a pleasing whack of pollen. Really nicely balanced

Wattle seed, malt, crispy milk

A truly great dessert. Great soft and nutty textures. It was an ice cream that you could really get your teeth into. Can’t wait to have this again.

(Almost finally) miso, pickled fruits, toasted rice,

Brought me back to my school days and having to eat rice pudding. Not a good thing. I love a bit of salt in my desserts, but the soy flavours or consistency didn’t work for me. Just as well that wasn’t the final taste of the meal….

Petit Four – bo ssam

As rock’n’roll as it gets. Gorgeous, indulgent; the sweetest of slow roasted pork. It was random and perfect, setting the benchmark for petit fours, that won’t be beaten any time soon. The glaze and crust was a thing of beauty. Something to tear and eat with your hands. This dish would have been worth the trip alone.

And so that was that. An exhilarating meal. A dining experience that was fresh, social and exciting, giving a wake-up call to the traditional notion of fine dining. A meal based on real skill and confidence that journeyed from US to Asia to Australia with a real focus on getting the most out of local ingredients. Sure there were dishes that didn’t totally work (in my opinion), but that’s part of restaurant that’s cooking for itself and you’re along for the ride. Yup, it’s pricey, but worth it. Just go.

Bau Truong

October 18, 2010

42 John Street, Cabramatta

One of the enjoyable things about Sydney are the diverse neighbourhoods and as the same with most cities it’s easy to get stuck in a routine, in the same neighbourhood and never really venturing out. Mosman/Cremorne is a sheltered enclave all of its own and doesn’t really represent the real Sydney. So it’s good to get out and explore, and that means going West.

I’ve checked out Parramatta a few times. It’s  a nice ferry trip with a pleasant park at the end and some interesting historical buildings, but not exactly a place to get excited about. But there are plenty of smaller communities with much recognised food of which I am trying to sample. It provides a perfect excuse to venture out.

And so we found ourselves in Cabramatta well known for it’s Vietnamese food. We had the excellent idea of visiting during the Moon Festival, so the pedestrianized streets were mobbed. It was the normal commercialized madness of free samples and cheap toys that no one really wants to buy.

Purely by chance we stumbled upon this restaurant, which proved to be a bit of a find. It was hectic & friendly. I’d been to Vietnam several years ago, but could remember little about the vagaries of the food, so we got the smiling staff to order for us. It was a slick operation and we were served in minutes.

We started with a beef papaya salad. It was sizeable  for the price – sweet, sour, zingy with some monster chilli heat in parts.

We followed this up with fresh spring rolls:

These were make your own- everything you needed to build a hundred different varieties – noodles, peanuts, rolls, grill chicken and bags of fresh herbs. It took us a while to get the hang of making the pancake rolls – putting the sheets into warm water – but it was great fun and made the meal.

We finished with a Vietnamese Pancake – a fried pancake with beansprouts, prawns & pork. It had a great crunch to it and and the surf ‘n’ turf combination was good, but it was a little on the oily side, as to be expected really. I still made every effort to finish it off.

I think we were in and out in under an hour, happy and full. It was great value and memorable. All you can want really. I’m looking forward to finding more authentic Vietnamese places. I just wish they were a little more convenient to get to. (it’s all about me….)