You can never go wrong with a piping hot bowl of Phở, especially on a cool, rainy day in Sydney. In case you haven’t heard, this is an un-pho-gettable traditional dish from Vietnam containing rice noodles in tasty broth, topped with beef strips and fresh herbs.
Sydney is home to many restaurants of this South-East Asian cuisine, with a hub of Vietnamese being in Eastwood. You’re bound to find the key dishes you’re craving from noodle soups, to rice dishes, pancakes, and popular sweets.
Join us as we drool over some Vietnamese favourites close to home, on the streets of Eastwood…
This noodle soup is popular street food. The width of the noodles and sweetness of the broth vary depending on whether the dish is coming out of Saigon or Hanoi.
What all authentic replications have in common, including those fresh out of the Vietnamese kitchen in Eastwood, is that they’re flavoured with beef, and garnished with fresh herbs and sprouts. And that they’re one-hundred percent yum!
- Cơm tấm
Or ‘broken rice’, is made of fractured rice grains, surrounded by different ingredients that take your tastebuds on an adventure – pickled veggies for some sweet and tangy, grilled prawns (and paste) for saltiness, egg, and a warm soup for comfort factor.
There are many variations on this, but you can essentially expect this variety platter from your Vietnamese in Eastwood.
- Bánh mì
Often served in a baguette, this sandwich of savoury goodies is another popular choice. The fillers are meats such as pork and spreadable liver, and stuff from the ground like carrot, coriander, and chilli to spice it up a little – or a lot, you have been warned.
- Bánh xèo
Thinking about this one is making us hungry. Find the crispy, classic Vietnamese pancake in Eastwood.
Contrary to sweet Western-style pancakes, this is a sizzling savoury number with turmeric in the pancake. It’s accompanied by a fresh pile of green herbs including mint leaves, and filled with your choice of prawns, pork, and pickled veggies.
- Papaya salad
A colourful salad with vinegary sauce, fresh papaya, shallots, and crunchy peanuts. Pork or prawns may be added into the mix.
- Bun Bo Xao
Like the above this is a refreshing choice, with hot and cold elements. It also plays with textures. Ingredients include rice noodles, lettuce, cucumber, pickled veggies, herbs, and a zesty stir-fried meat from the wok. Chilli, lime and garlic are added to taste.
These Vietnamese salads in Eastwood make great summer comfort food.
- Chả giò or Nem rán
The spring roll. Pork, chicken or shrimp are ground up, and veggies like mushrooms and carrots diced. These are rolled up together in rice paper or vermicelli, and transformed into deliciously oily deep-fried goodness.
- Xuong Suon Voi Artiso
Braised pork spare ribs, in soy, garlic, and chilli making this a great choice when it’s cold out.
Now, if you find your visit to Vietnamese in Eastwood isn’t complete without a sweet-tooth fix, you may like the sound of these traditional desserts…
Ever tried a dessert ‘soup’? Coconut cream and variations of toppings are thrown together in a cup for you to slurp away and enjoy the different kinds of sweet, as well as fun textures. Toppings may include mung beans, jellies, tapioca, and tropical fruits like lychee, durian, and jackfruit.
- Xoi La Dua
The famous sticky rice dessert, that is a cocktail of sweet, salty and nutty flavours. Glutinous rice, coconut cream and aromatic pandan come together, not forgetting to top it off with sesame and shredded coconut.