On Saturday night The Boy, Niecy-Poo and I decide to go on an eating adventure to Cabramatta. I’ve been drooling over so many food blogs lately extolling the many virtues of the food in Cabramatta that I had to
see taste for myself.
During the week I’d read blogs by Noodlies and Here Comes the Food both raving about Tan Viet, and its amazingly awesome Crispy Chicken. I was finally going to give in to my craving to try this dish, wedding dress be damned. It goes without saying that The Boy was determined to support me on my Crispy Chicken tasting mission.
We parked the car near the train station and I marched The Boy and Nicey-Poo down John Street reciting all the good things I’d read about Tan Viet.
We arrive at the restaurant at 7.05pm just as one of the staff flip the sign on the door to CLOSED. Huh? It seems that the folk in Cabramatta are early eaters as this place shuts at 7pm. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a nanna, but even 7pm on a Saturday night is a bit too early for me to be tucked up in bed after eating a 5pm dinner.
In fact as I look around I notice that 90% of the shops and restaurants are all shut for the day. Seems like Cabramatta really ‘happens’ in daylight hours only.
Not to worry, there were still a few places open for dinner so we wander back down John Street and see what’s on offer. We decide on Bau Truong because a) it is still open at 7.15pm and b) it seems fairly crowded which is a good sign in my books.
We are shown to our seats, given tea and a menu that is bigger than the Sydney White Pages. The menu is so large that we can really only have one open at a time on the table otherwise they won’t all fit.
It’s a given that we are going to order Fresh Rolls and The Boy decides that we’ll be sampling Prawn and Pork Fresh Rolls ($7.50). The rolls are very tasty (and fresh as the name promises), but I wouldn’t say the best I’ve ever had. I found the pork a little dry and I think I’ve decided I like my Fresh Rolls sans Pork thank you very much.
Next up is the Vietnamese Pancake ($12.00). I have an obsession with these and I’m not sure why as I always find the pancake just a little too oily (which I like to whinge about to my dining companions – sozzy guys). That said, I really love the fresh innards of bean shoots which I think which is why I keep ordering it. The Boy and Nicey-Poo found the pancake a little bland, but once we figure out we’re supposed to pour one of the fish sauces onto it, and add some of the mint and lettuce garnishing the plate, the flavour picks up.
Probably the best meal of the night (which I choose of course…yay me) is the Beef Salad with Mango, Apple and Star Fruit ($15.00). This salad was so fresh, the beef tender and thinly sliced. The green mango and apple give it a slightly acidic zing which is so fresh in my mouth. I’d be happy to eat this dish on a regular basis. It has the fresh and zesty flavour that I really associate with Vietnamese food. More please.
Last up is the dish we drove to Cabramatta for, Crispy Chicken and Tomato Rice ($10.00). I’ve got to tell you, The Boy may look slow, but he is quicker than the speed of light when it comes to nabbing chickeny goodness for himself. Whilst I’m chatting to Neicy-Poo he quickly grabs two of the four pieces of chicken and starts devouring them. He tells me the two pieces were joined together so he had to take them both. Hmmm, a likely story.
The chicken is good, fried to a crisp (just how I like it) so I can munch on the bones as well as the juicy flesh. I’m not a big fan of the tomato rice, I find it a bit dry, but the others really love it. To me it tastes like the tomato flavour comes from some kind of tomato sauce rather than fresh tomatoes – if you know how they do it let me know!
The verdict? We’ll be back to Cabramatta one weekend in the not too distant future to get the proper Cabramatta experience. I can’t wait.
Bau Truong is at 70 John St, Cabramatta.