My first review for Time Out Sydney. The following piece in Tuong Lai has been published in the May 2010 issue as part of my new monthly column. My focus? To uncover hidden gems in the 'burbs.
Writing to a word limit was challenging, and even then, about 15% of my submission hit the editing room floor. I've duplicated the review as it appears in Time Out Sydney but added all the photos I took during the course of my meal.
And in other news, I'm currently in Adelaide for the Tasting Australia food and wine festival, kindly hosted by South Australia Tourism. Trip highlights include the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards on Monday night and meeting and having lunch with Maggie Beer (even my mum's excited about that one!). Posts will still continue, but for a sneak peek at info and photos on what Billy and I are up to, make sure you follow @grabyourfork on twitter.
Tuong Lai Vietnamese Restaurant
as published in Time Out Sydney, May 2010 issue, page 52
What is it?
A poky little restaurant hidden down an alley off the main drag of Cabramatta.
What's it like?
Tuong Lai is packed with Vietnamese nannas, couples, hungry workers and kids. The vibe is bustling and no-nonsense with the usual DIY cutlery, condiments and tissue boxes on every table. The menu on the wall (all written in Vietnamese) can be daunting at first but staff know enough English to provide guidance.
What should I order?
Sugar cane prawns ($11), or chao tom, are a Central Vietnamese specialty consisting of two skewers of light and fluffy prawn paste wrapped around sticks of fresh sugar cane.
How do you eat them?
Cut the prawn paste off the sugar cane and slice into bite-sized chunks. Dig in with your hands and wrap the paste into lettuce parcels with bean sprouts, perilla leaves and mint. Don't forget the vermicelli, stir-fried shallots and crushed peanuts. Dip into the sweet chilli, garlic and fish sauce dressing of nuoc cham. Then suck and chew the leftover sugar cane to get at the juice within.
Chao tom sugar cane prawns $11
Com tam suon bi cha ($7.50) is a sweet grilled pork chop served on broken rice with pork mince, steamed egg, shreds of pork skin dusted with roasted rice powder and a handful of cucumber and pickled carrots. Bun thit nem ($7) is a refreshing cold rice noodle dish topped with grilled pork, pickled vegetables and peanuts served with nuoc cham dressing.
Nuoc cham dipping sauce
Com dac biet rice special $8.00
Grilled pork chop on broken rice with fried egg
Pork mince steamed egg and
pork skin strands dusted with roast rice powder
Bun thit nem grilled pork noodle salad $7
Cha gio spring rolls $7.50
Pho dac biet special beef noodle soup $8
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Tuong Lai Vietnamese Restaurant
3 Belvedere Arcade, Cabramatta, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9727 2650
Open 7 days 8.30am-6pm
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Cabramatta - Duc Thanh
Cabramatta - Hung Vuong
Cabramatta - Iron Chef Seafood
Cabramatta - Phu Quoc
Cabramatta - Thanh Binh
Time Out Sydney reviews:
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African bunny chow)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
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4/29/2010 05:30:00 am