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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thanh Binh, Cabramatta

thanh binh interior

The shopkeepers are rolling down their shutters as dusk settles in Cabramatta, but the Thanh Binh still has plenty of patrons.

Thanh Binh has a popular sister restaurant in inner west Newtown, but I'd always prefer to patronage the sibling that is further out in the suburbs. Here there are Vietnamese menus under glass-topped tables, hand-written specials on the wall, a peek into the kitchen at the end of the room, and the ubiquitous condiments tray on every table for any inspired dressing you may desire.

There are 251 menu items. Who says you're not spoiled for choice?

table condiments
Table condiments

spring rolls
Vietnamese spring rolls fried $8.00
Cha gio


The cha gio Vietnamese spring rolls are our first delight, made in the southern style with the clear rice paper skins used for summer rolls. These starchy papers have an extra delicious chewiness to them. The rounds are usually dipped in sweet hot water, the sugar turns a caramel brown when the rolls are deep-fried in oil.

spring roll innards

Filled with sweetened pork and shreds of carrot, these were delicious wrapped in a bit of lettuce, some mint leaves and dipped in the accompanying nuoc cham.

beef
Beef fillets with lemongrass sauce $13.00
Bo xa ot


Beef fillets in lemongrass sauce were delicious. Soft tender beef was dressed in a sweet spicy lemongrass sauce that had the perfect balance of spices and flavours.

bean curd in spicy salt
Fried bean curd in spicy salt $10.00
Dau hu rang muoi


Fried bean curd in spicy salt was reasonably good, the tofu inside was delicately soft.

caramel pork
Pork in caramel hot pot $15.00
Thit heo kho to


Pork in caramel hot pot was not as sweet as I anticipated, more a vinegary sweet dish that reminded me of canh chua sour fish head soup.

vegetables
Pickled vegetables accompanying the hotpot
that have been cooked in soup

The vegetables that accompanied this dish were exactly like the ones from canh chua, a flotsam of pickled carrots and radish, slivers of cucumber, barely cooked bean sprouts and crunchy bulbs of baby leek.

calamari in spicy salt
Calamari in spicy salt $13.00
Muc rang muoi


Calamari in spicy salt was disappointing, the seafood a tad chewy and overcooked.

beef
Beef fillets with lemongrass sauce $13.00
Bo xa ot


We are still salivating at the recent memory of the beef fillets that we order one. Our second order is significantly more generous with beef but alas it's over oily and not quite as delicated spiced as our first one.

We're satiated but happy though. And across the road there's a dessert house with an avocado shake just waiting for us.

thanh binh

Thanh Binh Restaurant
52a John Street, Cabramatta Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9727 9729

Open 7 days 9am-9pm


Related GrabYourFork posts:
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Cabramatta Chinese New Year Festival 2007

Cabramatta - Duc Thanh
Cabramatta - Hung Vuong
Cabramatta - Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant

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Recipe - Avocado shake

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12 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 1/28/2007 12:24:00 pm


12 Comments:

  • At 1/29/2007 12:33 am, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    oh wow, i was here on saturday for lunch ! i just missed the AG ?!! the jasmine tea in the pot with icecubes was a welcome surprise during the hot day... when i was leaving i noticed all tables had some huge sugar cane prawns... next term perhaps.. :P

     
  • At 1/29/2007 4:34 am, Blogger Vintage Wine said…

    It looks really yummy! I always get really hungry when I read your blog ;-)

     
  • At 1/29/2007 5:17 pm, Anonymous Belinda said…

    Ahhh memories - my best friend in high school was Vietnamese and this is where she introduced Vietnamese food to me.

    When I later worked in Fairfield we would go here at least once a week for lunch.

    Those spring rolls are the best in Sydney! I remember when they changed over to these skins - much better than the standard Cha gio.

    I agree it's much better than the Newtown one.

    cheers :)

     
  • At 1/29/2007 11:52 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Papa Lazarou - We actually ate here a few weeks ago, but I'm sure our paths have almost crossed on many an occasion :)

    And mmm... sugar cane prawns. There was a very tasty looking pork and prawn salad going down the next table too.

    Hi Vintage Wine - Vietnamese food is always yummy. And so suited to hot Aussie summers as well!

    Hi Belinda - Sounds like plenty of great memories here!

    The sticky cha gio are the best. We've tried making our own a few times but they're never quite as sticky as the ones from restaurants :(

     
  • At 1/30/2007 7:33 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Sticky springies are my favourite!

     
  • At 1/30/2007 11:42 am, Anonymous Tim said…

    You are so lucky having good Vietnames food locally! We don't have a lot here in New Zealand which is a shame because I really like it - especially spicy pork wrapped in lettuce... ummm.

     
  • At 1/30/2007 10:17 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Veruca Salt - Yup the springies were the highlight. Oh, and the first version of the beef :)

    Hi Tim - Yup I definitely miss Vietnamese food whenever I'm away from Sydney. Think of all those great mussels you have in NZ tho' :)

     
  • At 1/31/2007 1:22 pm, Anonymous Amelita (Squishy) said…

    See now, you just eat at so many really great looking places. Lucky very lucky :)

     
  • At 2/02/2007 7:58 am, Blogger AnastasiaC said…

    Ive been there a couple of times and also to their Newtown restaurant - the food was fantastic!!

     
  • At 2/02/2007 4:28 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Amelita - Every meal is an adventure! But the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence too! :)

    Hi AnastasiaC - You can never have too many Vietnamese meal options!

     
  • At 10/25/2007 12:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Thanh Binh In cabramatta i dont think it under the same owner anymore...on their website, cabramatta no longer listed as a location..only newtown one is listed...

     
  • At 10/27/2007 3:11 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - I don't think the Cabramatta restaurant has ever been included on that website, which is actually described as "Thanh Binh on King". Presumably Cabramattans don't need the internet to influence their dining decisions?

     

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