A Sydney food blog by Thang Ngo https://noodlies.com a Sydney food blog in Australia: food photo, food video, Cabramatta - By Thang Ngo 悉尼美食 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:28:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://noodlies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cropped-favicon-150x150.png A Sydney food blog by Thang Ngo https://noodlies.com 32 32 121105087 Cheers on Bridge, Korean, Lidcombe https://noodlies.com/2017/04/cheers-bridge-korean-lidcombe/ https://noodlies.com/2017/04/cheers-bridge-korean-lidcombe/#respond Mon, 17 Apr 2017 06:58:57 +0000 https://noodlies.com/?p=14844 The post Cheers on Bridge, Korean, Lidcombe appeared first on A Sydney food blog by Thang Ngo.

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Spicy, sweet, oily and cheesy – what’s not to like?!

A heady, sensuous korean dish that’s sure to please, and be remembered for a while.

Don’t know if it’s the pizza colour palette, the glistening twinkle of shinny oil, or the gooey cheese stretch, just be warned – heads will turn when this dish hits the table. 

This is our one of our favourite dishes, Korean chicken marinated in gochujang (chilli paste) but dialed up to the max. They’ve added extra chilli because it’s much spicier than usual. But it’s the layer of melted cheese you’re likely to notice first in this tricked up version. Try try to extract a piece of chicken or well cooked onion and you’ll encounter resistance from the melted cheese.

Get some in your mouth and it’s an explosion of extremes, spicy hotness and sweetness that’s weirdly delightful – though you’ll need to wash it down with a mouthful of steamed rice.

 

 

 

Pa jeon is decent here too. More on the floury side, rather than eggy. Though fluffy on top, it’s pretty flat on the underside.

More on the floury side, rather than eggy.

The dish is Anglicised as Korean pancake, the main ingredients are shallots and seafood, predominantly calamari. At some restaurants there’s a strong fishy flavour, not here at Cheers on Bridge.

Kim chi chi ke is the only disappointing dish. It looks the part, attractive crimson red soup bubbling like a volcano in the black cast iron bowl. Alas in the mouth, the main note is excessive vinegar sour. Sure Korean soups aren’t subtle, but this bowl is all sour and no depth.

Fans of KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) might want to check out Cheers on Bridge’s KFC combo. It’s riotously cheap and you can choose from the usual fav flavours, original, soy or chilli with beer and other sides like chips and ddeokbokki (spicy rice tube cake).

Cheers on Bridge
4 Bridge St, Lidcombe NSW
(02) 9643 0092

Korean chilli chicken cheese

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Khuong Viet Temple, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam https://noodlies.com/2017/03/khuong-viet-temple-ho-chi-minh-city-vietnam/ https://noodlies.com/2017/03/khuong-viet-temple-ho-chi-minh-city-vietnam/#comments Sun, 19 Mar 2017 08:02:37 +0000 https://noodlies.com/?p=14818 Buddhism is an important thing in the lives of most Vietnamese (it is the dominant spiritual tradition) and even people who aren’t particularly religious find themselves in temple at least a couple of times a year. Others, like me, are much more interested and engaged and can find ourselves at temple a lot more often. […]

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Buddhism is an important thing in the lives of most Vietnamese (it is the dominant spiritual tradition) and even people who aren’t particularly religious find themselves in temple at least a couple of times a year. Others, like me, are much more interested and engaged and can find ourselves at temple a lot more often. In my case, sometimes three or four times a day, writes Walter Mason, noodlies, Sydney food blog contributor.

The tradition of the preparation of vegetarian food is a long and proud one in Vietnam, and I have observed that Vietnamese Buddhist vegetarian cuisine is tastier and more joyfully prepared than its cousins in China, Taiwan and Korea. The Vietnamese love eating, and even a tradition of renunciation can’t stop them from making a special effort to prepare food that delights and surprises. I have never had a dud meal in a Vietnamese temple.

Recently I was at Khuong Viet Temple in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City. This temple is worth visiting for a number of reasons. It is situated in a  vibrant and fascinating neighbourhood (OK, I admit it’s my own neighbourhood) and it is also one of the only places in Vietnam dedicated to the study of Vajrayana Buddhism, a tradition that is very rare indeed in Vietnam.

The Master of the temple died recently, and as part of the period of memorialisation there has been a series of banquets served for free to worshippers and visitors. This period of observance was sponsored each day by a different family or benefactor, but for the entire period a vegetarian chef was engaged (a very handsome one in this case) and a semi-permanent catering operation was established at the temple for a designated period.

Sunday lunch was always the biggest event during this period. Many temples in Vietnam observe a Sunday-worship structure borrowed from Catholicism and it’s increasingly convenient as people work more standardised hours and have the weekends off. It was a huge event when I was there, with a couple of hundred worshippers staying after prayers (the recitation of the Medicine Buddha sutra, for anyone who is interested).

My favourite monk made sure I was seated at the funnest table, surrounded by a university professor, a rather hunky labourer and a 90yo woman who chatted with me in French the whole time (I don’t speak French). It was a hoot. The master’s sister, who was overseeing the more worldly side of the proceedings for the period, made sure I was kept well-supplied with food and told me proudly of the delicacies she had planned.

The tables were first furnished with huge bundles of wrapped cabbage leaves. These were opened to reveal white rice cooked with lotus seeds – the base of our banquet. Big basins of soup prepared with in-season herbs and leafy greens came next, followed by a number of delicious dishes, some everyday, others more exotic.

Khuong Viet temple fried mustard greens

The everyday ones were still abundantly tasty. Beans fried with sliced carrots dipped in seasoned soya sauce (nuoc tuong), and pickled mustard greens (above) chopped up finely and gently fried were fantastic for cutting through the richer and more fatty dishes.

The more interesting dishes included stewed jackfruit (above)– this is served as a savoury dish, a Buddhist re-creation of the very typical stewed meat or fish that is served several times a week in Vietnamese homes (thit kho). The jackfruit makes for a rich and substantial meat substitute, providing an unusual and quite subtle flavour twist to a dish I normally view with boredom.

Khuong Viet temple banana stalk salad

Also on offer was banana stalk salad (above). This is only the second time I have ever seen this dish served – the first was years ago in Bentre in the Mekong Delta when it was served up by one of Mr. Noodlies’ aunts at a family feast. This is a wonderful dish, and its rarity makes it even more exciting to eat. The stalk is sliced very finely and prepared in the manner of the more typical green papaya salad of Vietnamese cuisine. At temple the fish sauce is replaced with lots of lemon and sugar and salt, with a delicious scattering of fresh chilli. A fresh and palate-stimulating dish that I wish I could send you off to eat somewhere but I have no idea where.

These banquets are wonderful occasions, an opportunity for communal sharing and mixing, and for getting recipe ideas. A group of nuns at the next table were actually taking notes, and the deceased Master’s sister sent them home with a  doggy bag.

There may well be tour companies in Vietnam that provide a temple eating experience – it is worth looking into (contact Noodlies if you are one). But if you wanted to do it yourself you only have to hang around a nearby temple for a few days and you will certainly be invited to eat – Buddhist monks and nuns in Vietnam are remarkably friendly and curious about visitors. If you are lucky enough to receive an invitation to try to remember to slip a contribution into the temple donations box before you go. Whatever you leave will be gratefully received and put to very good use.

Khuong Viet Temple
1355 Hoàng Sa, P. 5, Q. Tân Bình,TP. Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.
It is about 3 minutes from Pham Van Hai market, a local landmark that taxi drivers will know. It is about a 20 minute taxi ride from central Saigon – longer in peak hours. Temple is open from early morning till 11am, and then again from 2pm till around 9pm. Communal prayers are in the evening and all are welcome. Please wear polite clothing (sleeved shirts, no shorts,) when visiting religious places in Vietnam – this goes for men and women. Also, you will be grateful for wearing shoes that are easily slipped on and off (flip-flops are fine).

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Quan Huong, Canley Vale, Vietnamese https://noodlies.com/2017/03/quan-huong-canley-vale-vietnamese/ https://noodlies.com/2017/03/quan-huong-canley-vale-vietnamese/#comments Sun, 05 Mar 2017 06:29:08 +0000 http://noodlies.com/?p=14777 The post Quan Huong, Canley Vale, Vietnamese appeared first on A Sydney food blog by Thang Ngo.

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Finding outliers can be so rewarding

Noodlies, Sydney food blog reckons this eatery succeeds despite being in the middle of nowhere. Or is it because it’s in the middle of nowhere?

If you’ve driven to Cabramatta from the east and take the well worn short cut that locals use, chances are you’ve driven past Quan Huong (fragrant) Vietnamese Restaurant. 

The eatery is just off the Hume Highway on Landsdown road, you know, the Maureen Motors turn off (hasn’t that dealership been around for decades!). Quan Huong is immediately to your right, next to the liquor shop, the only other shop in that strip.

Blink and you’d miss it. Not a lot of thought has been put into branding and the eatery is partially blocked by a street sign and a post box. That is until you noticed lots of cars parked on either side and a rambling queue at the front. 

It’s equally humble on the inside; tiled floors, chunky wooden furniture, the walls are burgundy making the place even darker. It’s an old fish and chips shop, these days the bain marie double as storage space, spring rolls wrapped and ready to be fried, vegetables washed and sliced ready to be thrown into the pan. The overhead menu wall is now adorned with Vietnamese fast food such as pho, vermicelli, spicy noodles and rice dishes instead of burgers, chips and milk shakes. Jars of pickled garlic adorn the counter looking like a half-hearted Easter Show exhibit.

Jars of pickled garlic adorn the counter like a half-hearted Easter Show exhibit.

The food is from the north of Vietnam. How can you tell? My pho ga (chicken) comes with a salt and pepper dipping plate instead of hoisin and chilli paste. The broth is clear and clean and the chicken pieces are plain, in contrast to the punch of southern pho. It’s an acquired taste but like hainam chicken, simplicity can be very moreish.

Bun nem ran (above) is another giveaway, spring rolls is called “nem ran” for northerners and cha gio down south. Northern rolls are wrapped in a different rice paper which blisters when fried giving an alluring look. It also helps to soak in the chilli fish sauce which is less salty than southern sauce.

Chao long I (right) is where it’s at for a hearty breakfast that’s not too filing. The Vietnamese congee soup benefits from a fair shake of the fish sauce bottle that makes it’s amazingly delicious. The sauce also colours the congee. Lurking underneath is a treasure of offal cuts to give it texture. The bowl is HOT when it arrives, you can cool it down by adding bean sprouts. Me, I like to keep it hot, in fact, I add additional chilli.

 

Quan Huong successfully evokes the Vietnamese fragrance; it’s in the humble decor, the no-nonsense but friendly service and food that just satisfies. The formula seems to be working, it’s attracting loyal customers who come for the whiff of home aroma. Though that might also be because parking is easier than down town Cabramatta.

Quan Huong
7 Lansdown road
Canley Vale NSW
(02) 9754 1887
8am – 4pm (Mon-Sat)

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Five lessons learnt from 17 years of blogging https://noodlies.com/2017/02/five-lessons-ive-learnt-from-17-years-of-blogging/ https://noodlies.com/2017/02/five-lessons-ive-learnt-from-17-years-of-blogging/#respond Sat, 04 Feb 2017 05:44:10 +0000 http://noodlies.com/?p=14757 Thought about starting a blog? The longer you wait, the further you’ll fall behind, personally and professionally. I started writing online content in 2000 out of necessity. As a newly elected local government councillor, I felt having a blog/website was the most effective way to connect with constituents in the Fairfield Council area. It was […]

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Thought about starting a blog? The longer you wait, the further you’ll fall behind, personally and professionally.

I started writing online content in 2000 out of necessity. As a newly elected local government councillor, I felt having a blog/website was the most effective way to connect with constituents in the Fairfield Council area. It was a pragmatic decision, and one that has had a profound effect on my personal and professional development.

Back in those days, I used MS Frontpage, a clumsy program to create and maintain a website. Through trial and error, I learnt the basics of building a blog – home page, html, hyperlink were foreign terms that eventually became familiar concepts.

After I retired from council in 2009, I took up food blogging – 1,128 posts later, I started to learn more about the world of publishing online content. Along the way I picked up photography and video skills including digital photo and video editing. I slowly developed a better understanding of writing for online and why it’s important to learn.

food blogging

I launched into the world of blogging for functional reasons, not realising the endless benefits I’d reap. I’ve been asked to contribute opinion pieces, gained paid writing and speaking gigs, been invited on overseas trips, been engaged as a brand ambassador and become a generally more sought after employee.

The regular blogging routine stimulates and educates. Each week the benefits accumulate like time moving on, even though you don’t notice the hands moving on an analogue clock. My partner is a published author, and he says publishers always encourage authors and aspiring authors to blog.

More and more people are blogging for professional and personal development. If you’re not, you’re falling behind.

blogging

Looking back almost two decades of blogging, it’s easy to identify at least five really important lessons I’ve learnt from blogging:

  • The art of writing online content: online readers are promiscuous. If your copy doesn’t grab them from the first paragraph, if the lead visual isn’t engaging (or if you have no visuals), they’ll click to another blog. I’ve learnt so much about key elements of online publishing; writing an intriguing headline, concise copy, creating evocative visuals and developing an editorial calendar – that’s just the beginning, I’m still learning. And then there’s the technology side, learning blogging software such as blogger, WordPress, Medium etc, setting up domain names like noodlies.com or thangngo.com. These days I know exactly what hardware and software works best for my needs – my blogging laptop of choice is the Lenovo X1 Carbon – you won’t find a better keyboard, and my blogging software is WordPress.
  • Social media: how do you use social to connect with existing readers and attract new ones? What are the key social media channels, twitter, facebook, instagram, tumblr etc. What are their strengths? Which one is right for you? Should I be on one or all? How to use social media to research content? What are the emerging social media channels?
  • Blogging can help you build influence: say “social media influencer” and most people screw up their face, they think of shallow, camera hogging, attention seeking guys and gals. The influence I’m talking about is slightly different. Over the years, my blog has played a role in bringing the issues I’m passionate about to the forefront. When I started, ethnic ma-and-pa restaurants in the west were ignored by other bloggers and food critics. As my blog grew in popularity, it helped to showcase delicious and affordable diverse food and culture. It’s allowed me to go on national TV and write for food magazines about pork rolls and write about pho for leading print publications. Building your blog will also build your influence on your expert topic.
  • Blogging builds your brand: smart business people often “google” you before meeting you for the first time, HR people google prospective employees. Your blog and social media posts help you to control your image and project a positive impression of you before they even meet you. Or putting it another way, a blog is your business card. People’s first impression of you could very well be via your blog content. When an employer is choosing between two highly qualified candidates, the one with a blog, and is smart and active on social media is usually the one hired.
  • Blogging makes you a better employee: “Do not abdicate your social media to “experts” who have a hundred followers, tweet once a month, and charge you more than the GNP of a small nation for their services. A good rule of thumb is never to take the advice of someone who has fewer followers than you” says Guy Kawasaki. The lessons I’ve learnt about online content and social media over the years have been amazingly useful in my ‘day time’ work at a marketing agency. And yes, it’s helped me to spot bullsh*t when it comes to social media or digital strategy.

Almost two decades of blogging have been invaluable in my personal and professional development. I think of it as doing a Masters degree by course work in my spare time. I reckon it’s given me an unfair professional advantage.

If you’re not blogging, you’re falling behind.

Want to learn blogging?

Save yourself months of trial and error and learn the basics of blogging. My Blogging your Interest: Share your Passion with the World course at WEA Sydney will cover everything you need to know to start your own blog on any topic:

  • Find your niche: A framework to help you to: select your blogging topic if you are agonising over a few potential areas, or hone in on an untapped specialty in your area of interest. Learn how to build your point of difference
  • Understand your style: Establish your writing style and tone. Understand the basics of developing and projecting your writing ‘voice’
  • Words and pictures: Visual tools to complement your words, the pros and cons of using photos and videos
  • Blog platforms: Select the right blogging platform for your style and blog topic
  • Setting up a blog: Basic structure of a blog, selecting blog sections and categories, pros and cons of hosted vs self-hosting, selecting your blog name
  • Content: Learn the basics of developing a content strategy, tips to stay motivated and where to find inspiration
  • Promotion: How to use free tools including social media to promote your blog
  • Analytics: How to track the growth in your readers. Understand basic analytics terms such as UBs, page views and bounce rate
  • Tools: An inventory of equipment and tools you’ll need for your blogging style. You’ll need a PC or laptop for a blog, but do you need a smartphone, camera, photo or video editing software?

If you have any questions at all, get in touch, I’d love to help if I can.

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Tet – Lunar New Year in Cabramatta https://noodlies.com/2017/01/tet-lunar-new-year-in-cabramatta/ https://noodlies.com/2017/01/tet-lunar-new-year-in-cabramatta/#respond Sat, 21 Jan 2017 05:54:31 +0000 http://noodlies.com/?p=14722 The year of the Rooster isn’t just for the Chinese, this Festival is celebrated by Vietnamese and Korean communities too. I’m hoping this noodlies, Sydney food blog post gives you a better understanding of how the Vietnamese celebrate the Lunar New Year. Most Sydneysiders might think Lunar New Year is for Chinese only. That’s because […]

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The year of the Rooster isn’t just for the Chinese, this Festival is celebrated by Vietnamese and Korean communities too. I’m hoping this noodlies, Sydney food blog post gives you a better understanding of how the Vietnamese celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Most Sydneysiders might think Lunar New Year is for Chinese only. That’s because the City of Sydney insists on calling it “Chinese New Year”. In fact of the 14 Lunar New Year celebrations around town that noodlies could track down, 11 of them call it “Lunar New Year”. City of Sydney, Willoughby Council and the Darling Harbour Authority are in the minority in using the narrower naming convention. Unfortunately as the biggest festival by far, the City of Sydney’s event perpetuates this misunderstanding.

This post is about giving you a glimpse into the celebrations by the Vietnamese community in Cabramatta, the fifth largest migrant group in Australia. We call it Tet, which simply means “new year”.

Vietnamese Banh tet

Banh tet (above) is a traditional savoury food during new year. Consisting of glutinous rice, mung bean and pork, it’s wrapped in banana leaves and boiled for up to 10 hours. It’s an oblong shape and is served in round slices approximately 1-1.5 inches thick. The texture is dense and starchy. The square version is called banh chung. It’s probably more traditional for Tet as banh tet is popular all year round. A sweet version of banh tet is made with glutinous rice and banana, which turns deep purple during boiling.

Instagram Photo

 

They can be bought in every Asian grocery store at this time. The banh tet above are from an elderly lady who ran a local restaurant for three decades. She’s since retired but resurfaces in Cabramatta during Tet due to the popular demand for her cakes. This year, her banh tet and banh chung pop up is outside the sugar cane shop on John Street, opposite St.George Bank. 

Vietnamese mut new year candy

Mut (above) is the other iconic food for Tet, sugar coated lotus seeds, coconut, sweet potato, ginger, tamarind, custard apples and more. They come in round, or octagonal red trays with clear plastic lids. These trays are placed on the lounge table to be offered to guests with tea.

Vietnamese mut new year candy

Mut is also given, usually together with tea, cakes. They’re usually in baskets wrapped in bright red or pink cellophane. The effect is visually arresting, especially when you see them stacked in the shops.

tet watermelon woolworths cabramatta

Watermelon is popular for new year. Luck comes to your house if the watermelon is red when sliced. The redder the more prosperity comes to  your household. Lots of tapping of the melon and sniffing by punters trying to guess the colour inside. Woolies in Cabramatta knows this too well, the watermelon display took up most of the vegetable section of the store today.

Cabramatta money transfer

Giving money to loved ones in red packets is a custom that crosses all cultures that celebrate Lunar New Year. In the case of the Vietnamese refugee community, this extends to transferring money to loved ones back in Vietnam. The queue this afternoon snaked outside Vina’s Money Transfer office on John Street.

Marigold flowers are popular during the festival period give the name sounds like long life. From the chrysanthemum family the plant has an earthy, herby fragrance which quickly grows on you. People also tie li si (red packets) to these plants and place them at the entry of their homes.

Instagram Photo

 

The bright yellow mai flower, which blooms in spring, is another new year icon. Apart from being the first flower to bloom in spring and the name ‘mai’ sounding like “tomorrow” and “luck”, there are other stories about this flower. The most beautiful being that Mai was a female warrior who died protecting her father. Each new year she comes back to visit her parents wearing a bright yellow dress given to her by her mother, these days, represented by the vibrant yellow mai flower.

The first day of they year is important. Whatever you do that day, you’ll be doing for the rest of the year. So we wear new clothes, refrain from fighting, make sure our debts are paid off, don’t borrow money – you get the idea. The first person that enters your house on the first day will bring their good or bad luck to your home – successful business people are very popular. If your business hasn’t been so good, don’t expect invitations to visit.

There you go, a crash course on Lunar New Year in a Vietnamese context. Spare a thought for us when someone wishes you “Happy Chinese New Year”.

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Vinh Nghiem Temple Vegetarian Restaurant, Vietnam https://noodlies.com/2017/01/vinh-nghiem-temple-vegetarian-restaurant-vietnam/ https://noodlies.com/2017/01/vinh-nghiem-temple-vegetarian-restaurant-vietnam/#respond Sat, 07 Jan 2017 06:59:54 +0000 http://noodlies.com/?p=14708 One of the loveliest things to do in Vietnam is to indulge in its fine vegetarian food. Vietnam is a predominantly Buddhist country, and vegetarian food is enjoyed by all kinds of people at different occasions. Most commonly it is eaten on the first and 15th of the lunar month, the Buddhist Sabbath days known, […]

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One of the loveliest things to do in Vietnam is to indulge in its fine vegetarian food. Vietnam is a predominantly Buddhist country, and vegetarian food is enjoyed by all kinds of people at different occasions.

Most commonly it is eaten on the first and 15th of the lunar month, the Buddhist Sabbath days known, in Vietnam, as Ram. Serious Buddhists will also observe the quarter moons and also the days before the Ram, which are out aside for Sam Hoi, or repentance. Even more serious Buddhists will also observe an additional day a week, perhaps a Monday or a Friday regardless of where it might fall in the Lunar Calendar, or Am lich.

chua vinh quang di lac

People might also choose to observe vegetarianism for a number of other reasons. For serious and committed Buddhists of the Mahayana school (the dominant Buddhist school in Vietnam) it might be a lifestyle choice and observed fulltime. Others might choose to observe a period of vegetarianism for some spiritual reason or for reasons of repentance or memorialisation. So somebody might be vegetarian for a year or half a year after the death of a loved one, for example, or in anticipation of prayer they hope to be answered, or in observation of a pledge made previously and a prayer already answered.

Chua vinh nghiem Vietnam

This is a long-winded way of saying that some of the temples in Vietnam (not many) have Buddhist restaurants on the grounds, and the most famous and glamorous of them all is the restaurant at Chua Vinh Nghiem, an important temple in District 3 of Ho Chi Minh City. This restaurant is big enough to handle a wedding party, which makes it quite unique in Vietnam.

It’s well worth a visit, and is easy to work into any itinerary because Vinh Nghiem Temple is one of the must-see tourist stops for most people visiting Saigon. The temple is also open for three meals a day, so you can swing by anytime.

chua vinh nghiem quan am

Most recently I visited at breakfast time, and I wasn’t disappointed by the food on offer. After a quick prayer in the main hall and at the large statue of Kwan Yin in front, we headed in and asked for the daily breakfast specials (they change quite a lot, so do ask).

chua vinh nghiem mi quang chay

I chose Mi Quang (above), a slightly spicy noodle dish popular in Central Vietnam that features thick, al-dente rice noodles in a slightly curried gravy covered with peanuts and a big piece of fried rice -paper (banh trang). As with most Vietnamese noodle dishes it is served with a side salad of fines herbes and lettuce so you can make it as fresh and substantial as you want. This particular version was (unusually) quite spicy, so I didn’t need to add any of the supplied fresh chilli. But you might want to. It was tasty, freshly-prepared and beautifully presented. Sometimes people enter a vegetarian restaurant with lowered expectations of taste, but there is no need for this in the Vinh Nghiem restaurant – this version of Mi Quang was as tasty as any I had tried at meat restaurants outside, if not tastier.

chua vinh quang Hu tieu bo kho

My nephew went with the hu tieu bo kho (above). In the normal world bo kho is a gently spiced beef stew, normally with a distinct aniseed and five-space base, typically served with bread or, sometimes, rice hu tieu noodles. At the temple restaurant it was a thin base of stewed tofu and meat substitutes, carrots and daikon served with both bread and noodles. It was sweet (it always is in Saigon) and beautifully seasoned. My nephew pounced on it and ate it with relish, dipping in bits of bread he had torn off the small loaf supplied.

chua vinh quang bun hue

Feeling especially hungry, and my meat-eating nephew terrified he wasn’t getting his recommended daily serving of vitamins, we each ordered an additional dish of bun Hue (above). Yep, at a vegetarian restaurant the classic Viet noodle dish Bun Bo Hue is delicately referred to leaving out the “Bo,” which means beef and would make for an unseemly descriptor in Buddhist surrounds. This always translates well as a vegetarian dish, with plenty of scope for rendering the spicy, thin and lemony broth a stimulating morning delight accompanied by udon-style rice noodles and the usual mix of mysterious meat substitutes. I could easily have had another bowl. 

Altogether a satisfying breakfast experience, serving up two really typical Saigon breakfast dishes with style and tastiness, and totally karma-free to boot!

After breakfast (you can have delicious Vietnamese-style coffee there too, incidentally), nip next door to the little gift shop where I have been shopping for years. I bought some beautiful glass wrist malas (prayer beads) engraved with the Om Mani Padme Hum, some lovely little bottles of Buddhist liniment (for my constantly aching muscles), and a couple of boxes of beautiful cards printed with Vietnamese Buddhist calligraphy.

And I still had change from $20.

Five stars for a wonderful morning experience that reflects a different side of an amazing city. Five stars also for taste and value.

How to get there

Vinh Nghiem Temple
339 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, phường 7, quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh.

Don’t worry too much about the address – it’s the most famous temple in the city and all taxis etc. will know where it is. It’s about a 10 minute ride from downtown Saigon. The restaurant is to the left as you enter the temple gates (you can’t miss it), and it opens around 7am and is open into the evening. Please note that it is good etiquette to visit the temple’s main hall before you go and eat.

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Huong Que, Cabramatta, Vietnamese https://noodlies.com/2017/01/huong-que-cabramatta-vietnamese/ https://noodlies.com/2017/01/huong-que-cabramatta-vietnamese/#respond Mon, 02 Jan 2017 06:06:35 +0000 http://noodlies.com/?p=14661 The post Huong Que, Cabramatta, Vietnamese appeared first on A Sydney food blog by Thang Ngo.

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Mouthwatering Vietnamese dish you may not have heard of before.

FIRST LOOK: Noodlies, Sydney food blog loves this street food classic, which hasn’t been on the menu in Sydney… until now…

It’s got a weird name, but everything on the sizzling plate is familiar, glossily familiar. Bo ne is a devastatingly addictive street food. On my last visit, we had it from the front of a house in the neighbourhood (below).

Bo Ne Vietnam

For some reason bo ne has not made it to the menu of Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney. Which is a travesty because it has everything I love in the one sizzling plate.

The most crucial ingredient is oil, there’s plenty of that to glisten everything up. The main ingredients are beef steak, sunny side up egg and a thick dollop of pate. You have it with a side bread roll. I’m guessing it’s something we’ve adapted from the French, our oriental version of steak and eggs.

But calling it Vietnamese steak and eggs just isn’t right. It’s like calling banh mi thit, vietnamese meat baguette. One thing the Vietnamese do well is an overload of extra ingredients to dial up the flavour.

In the case of bo ne, the steak marinade is sweet, with Maggi being very evident. It’s a nastily (or heavenly) unhealthy meal, the pate slides too easily down the willing throat and the oil is so tasty you’ll want to scrape your bread over every bit of the cow-shaped cast iron plate.

In Vietnam, you can do your heart further disservice by adding sieu mai (beef meat balls).

Huong Que Cabramatta menu

And where can you get bo ne in Sydney? Cafe de Palm, introduced it to Cabramatta since late 2015. But we recommend getting stuck into the sizzling addiction at Huong Que, a new food stall in the No 1 Cabramatta Shopping Centre food court on Park Road.

Bo ne is just $10 a pop at Huong Que, it taste amazingly close to what you get on the streets of Saigon. And right now, everything is 20% off so you can eat to your heart’s content; bun bo Hue (spicy noodles), bun mam (fermented fish noodles), bun mang vit (duck bamboo noodles) and banh xeo.

The rice cakes below are also delicious, the punchy fish sauce and freshly shredded mints make all the difference.

Huong Que is well worth trying for all the street food dishes you missed from Vietnam.

Banh cuon Huong Que

Huong Que
No 1 Cabramatta Shopping Centre
47 Park Rd, Cabramatta, NSW

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Lunar New Year and 8 Lucky Food https://noodlies.com/2016/12/lunar-new-year-8-lucky-food/ https://noodlies.com/2016/12/lunar-new-year-8-lucky-food/#respond Sat, 31 Dec 2016 04:47:45 +0000 http://noodlies.com/?p=14640 About 2017 Year of the Rooster and 8 lucky food for New Year. “All about Lunar New Year and 8 Lucky Food” [click to tweet] What’s in store for the year of the Rooster and what to eat for a lucky, healthy and prosperous New Year? Noodlies, Sydney food blog has everything you need to […]

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About 2017 Year of the Rooster and 8 lucky food for New Year.

All about Lunar New Year and 8 Lucky Food” [click to tweet]

What’s in store for the year of the Rooster and what to eat for a lucky, healthy and prosperous New Year? Noodlies, Sydney food blog has everything you need to know…

lucky chinese new year food

  • Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year?
  • What will the New Year bring?
  • How to say Happy New Year greetings in different languages
  • 8 Lucky foods for the New Year

About Lunar/Chinese New Year

While it’s most commonly referred to in the West as Chinese New Year, the festival is celebrated in many Asian countries; China including Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and, thanks to the large Chinese diaspora, just about any Chinatown across the globe. Noodlies, Sydney food blog has seen this festival grow larger and larger in the West.

Based on the lunar calendar, New Year’s Day is different each year and the most inclusive term is Lunar New Year. You’ll hear it referred to by many names:

  • Chinese New Year
  • Lunar New Year
  • Spring Festival
  • Tet (Vietnam)

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac and five elements (water, metal, earth, fire, wood).

What animal is it in 2017?

chinese zodiac noodlies

2017 is they year of the Fire Rooster sometimes also referred to as Fire Chicken.

Naturally, the New Year is about family and looking forward. It can be a time of great superstition – people act, eat and observe traditions to maximise luck for the coming year. Dragon and lion dancing (see video below) is noisy and accompanied by fire crackers for a good reason – the noise and vigorous movement is meant to ward off evil and bad luck.

About the year of the Rooster.

According to Chinese Fortune Calendar the Rooster is direct, acute, organized, meticulous, focused, self-assured, skillful, perfectionist, brave, responsible, hardworking, witty, curious, and thoughtful. Can be egotistical, opinionated, abrasive or critical. Or can be excessively proud of appearance or accomplishments.

Roosters are most compatible with Dragons, Oxen and Snakes.

When is Lunar or Chinese New Year in 2017?

Lunar New Year falls on Saturday, 28th January 2017. Celebrations start from New Year’s Day and ends 15 days into the New Year with the lantern festival; a time for couples it’s also referred to as Chinese Valentines Day (although some start the celebrations from New Year’s Eve).

Lunar or Chinese New Year traditions

For Vietnamese traditions and customs, see my post: Sh*t my dad says about Lunar New Year.

Lunar or Chinese New Year greetings

  • Mandarin: gōng xǐ fā cái is the most common greeting “respectful wishes for your prosperity”
  • Cantonese: gong hey fat choy is the Cantonese equivalent
  • Vietnamese: chúc mừng năm mới, “happy new year”

Where can I celebrate 2017 Tet, Lunar or Chinese New Year in Sydney?

There are at least 14 Festivals across Sydney, from west, south, north to inner-city and CBD. Noodlies has compiled a list of 2017 Lunar New Year festivals in Sydney.

Food to bring good luck in the New Year.

Chinese New Year food

Everyone wants good luck in the new year, in Asian cultures that celebrate Lunar New Year, this relates to three main areas: health, wealth and happiness – a common greeting for the New Year.

For good luck in the new year, maybe you should try these 8 lucky Lunar/Chinese New Year foods:

  1. Spring rolls, Dumplings: is all about wealth, in addition to being delicious, their shapes resemble ancient Chinese gold ingots.
  2. Fish: for prosperity as it sounds like “abundance” in Chinese, eat whole fish for wealth all year ’round.
  3. Noodles: if you want long life, choose dishes with long strands of noodles, don’t cut them before you eat them otherwise you risk cutting short your life!
  4. Tangerines, oranges: is believed to bring wealth, in Chinese tangerine sounds like “luck”, while orange sounds like “gold”.
  5. Mut (candied fruit): their sweetness brings a sweet life and candied seeds such as lotus bring family happiness through more children (“mut” is a Vietnamese word). See noodlies video below for a visual description.
  6. Watermelon: Vietnamese believe good luck comes to the household if a watermelon is cut during New Year and the inside is red, the darker the red, the greater the prosperity.
  7. Lettuce: sounds like “growing wealth” in Chinese.
  8. Whole chicken: including head and feet: is symbolic of family reunion, togetherness and happiness. Make sure the chicken is as “whole” as possible, including head and feet.

Noodlies, Sydney food blog wishes all our readers great wealth, health and happiness in the New Year!

All about Lunar New Year and 8 Lucky Food” [click to tweet]

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