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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Harry's Bar de Ville at Bay Tinh, Marrickville

Bo luc lac
Tender beef cubes sauteed in special sauce
served with pepper and lemon juice

"Toto, I don't think we're in Marrickville anymore..."

Except we are in Marrickville, and we're in a bar. A bar. With cherry red textured floral wallpaper, and wall-to-wall timber and fancy light fittings. Are you sure I'm not in Newtown?

I say this because the change in Marrickville's landscape over the past decade--the past five years in particular--has been phenomenal. Once a rough and tumble working class suburb, today there are new apartment blocks, modern cafes and a noticeable upward shift in the income demographics of its latest residents.

This changing of the guard is no more apparent than the addition of Harry's Bar de Ville on the first floor of long-time restaurant Bay Tinh, a fixture on Victoria Road for over 20 years. Originally famous for being run by Tinh Tran, personal chef for Vietnamese ex-Prime Minister Kim Thien Tran, the restaurant has now been taken over by friend and chef Harry Hoang.

Tropical Night cocktails with soursop

It's a mix of friends, loyal customers, food journalists and food bloggers (including chocolatesuze, Christie and Lorraine) at the media launch. An effusive Harry happily works the floor. It's taken him two years to get the recipes written down for so many of the dishes that are a trademark at Bay Tinh.

"There was no measurements before! Nothing written down!" he explains with mock horror. The recipes, he says, have been a result of collaboration between himself and one of Tinh's older "adopted" daughters. Today Harry is the sole person responsible for making all the sauces and marinades for the restaurant's dishes.

Cha gio
Vietnamese spring rolls served with fish sauce

With the fooding throng nursing potent soursop Tropical Night cocktails and Vietnamese 333 beers, the eventual arrival of the sample dishes is hugely popular - so popular in fact that chocolatesuze and I have to relocate nearer the kitchen just so we can get photos of food and not empty plates.

Cha gio spring rolls are super crunchy in the traditional Vietnamese style, chock-full with plenty of tender pork mince and mixed through with wood ear fungus, grated carrot and vermicelli noodles.

Roast duck salad

Harry is insistent we try his latest dish, a roast duck salad that is the newest addition to the menu. Crisp lettuce cups hold a jumble of roast duck, grated carrot, Spanish onion, bean sprouts and Thai basil dusted lightly with the slight grittiness of roasted rice powder.

Goi cuon
Prawn, pork, herbs, lettuce and pickles rolled in rice paper

There's plenty more finger food in the form of goi cuon fresh prawn rolls, tom cuon thit spring rolls with pork mince and king prawns, and heo nuong grilled pork slices on lettuce with soft mats made of vermicelli noodles.

Heo nuong
Grilled pork slices with rice noodles, salad and hoi sin sauce

Bo luc lac are another crowd favourite. Tender cubes of beef are marinated in soy, pepper and fish sauce then fried quickly and served with a lime and pepper dressing. Bo means beef and luc lac means shake, referring to the rapid motion by which the wok or skillet must be moved to cook the small pieces of meat. It's a dish that involves a bit of moving and shaking, a bit like Bay Tinh and Marrickville itself.

Vietnamese 333 beer

Harry Hoang

Bay Tinh Restaurant
318 Victoria Road, Marrickville, Sydney
(corner of Marrickville Road)
Tel: +61 (02) 9560 8673

Open for dinner every night from 5.30pm
Lunch on Fridays from 12.00pm

Harry's Bar de Ville is upstairs from Bay Tinh Restaurant
Open on Fridays from 4.30pm and Satrudays from 5.30pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Marrickville - Hung Cheung dinner and yum cha (Chinese)
Marrickville - Huong Huong (Oct08) and (Dec06) (Vietnamese)
Marrickville - Mui Huong Goat Meat Restaurant (Vietnamese)
Marrickville - Nhat Tan (Vietnamese)
Marrickville - Old Thanh Huong (Vietnamese)
Marrickville - Post Cafe (Mod Aust)
Marrickville - Sydney Portugal Club (Portuguese)
Bay Tinh on Urbanspoon
14 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/24/2009 12:36:00 am


  • At 2/24/2009 2:46 am, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    Great photos Helen! Those spring rolls look irresistable! Not a good thing to read your posts when I have the munchies!

  • At 2/24/2009 7:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks great!
    I live in Marrickville, and coming home at night on the bus I often see Bay Tinh packed to the rafters, while the neighbouring goat meat restaurant sits empty, its staff watching Vietnamese music DVDs (which reminds me, I really should get back to eat some goat, and listen to some Viet pop!). Imagine how many people will be bypassing the wonders of Goat Meat, and heading next door to the new bar at Bay Tinh now. I know I'll be visiting!

  • At 2/24/2009 7:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen!

    What did you think of the food? There's plenty of what it was but not so much on how it was.

  • At 2/24/2009 8:36 am, Blogger shez said…

    oh! how typically traditional to have a bunch of recipes that are brilliant and not-written-down-at-all!

    the food does look very good, and marrickville you say? hmmmm!

  • At 2/24/2009 11:07 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My high school geography teacher used to talk about urban renewal. Her examples at the time were Pyrmont and Ultimo. I guess that's what's going on in Marrickville now. As long as the food doesn't get more expensive it's probably a good thing :)

  • At 2/24/2009 11:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oohh woowww great looking finger food mmm! Must pop there for a visit then hee hee

  • At 2/24/2009 12:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Go Marrickville :) I haven't driven down that street in a while - please tell me that he has changed those God-awful lace curtains in the window!

  • At 2/24/2009 4:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Last couple of times I have gone to the Bay Tihn, I have been really disappointed. Poor service. Food not up to standard. I now prefer to go to some of the other restaurants on Illawarra road; less classy, but better food.

  • At 2/24/2009 11:52 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Karen - The spring rolls were great actually. Super crunchy :)

    Hi Lili - I've been to the goat meat restaurant - it's great, altho' I expect there isn't a huge niche market for goat dining.

    Hi Simon - The food was great. Given that the food was served canape style to a crowded room that all wanted food at once, I don't think it's fair to pass on tasting notes as a means of comparison to what you'd expect to get if you ordered a la carte. I really liked the bo luc lac and the spring rolls were surprisingly good!

    Hi Shez - Yep, not too far away. Hope you go check it out :)

    Hi Arwen - I think that when demand outstrips supply and rents start rising, then food prices will automatically follow. Hopefully it won't happen for a while in Marrickville, and yes, that's one way of looking at it - Marrickville is probably the new Pyrmont. Question is, where next?

    Hi FFichiban - They have a full copy of their menu online which is great for browsing. Happy feasting!

    Hi Belinda - They were still putting finishing touches to the outdoor signage but yes, the lace curtains are gone gone gone! Hurrah!

    Hi Melanie - I usually eat at the restaurants on Illawarra Road, particularly the ones near Marrickville station. I hadn't eaten at Bay Tinh for years so it'll be interesting to see where new owner Harry takes Bay Tinh in the future :)

  • At 2/25/2009 9:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I seem to sub-consciously try and avoid places that claim to offer authentic food. I think this is why I have never eaten here.

    Your pics look good, maybe it's time I gave it a try. If it's no good, I can always cross the road for a lamb yeeros.

  • At 2/25/2009 8:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    a bar in Mazzaville? this is very exciting!

  • At 2/25/2009 9:36 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Veruca Salt - Let me know if you need company! It's been years since I've had a yeeros from Victoria Yeeros - I always went for chicken with extra chilli :)

    Hi Lindsey Clare - It's quite a milestone isn't it!

  • At 4/12/2010 6:53 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Just an update. I tried going here on Saturday night. I made a booking for 6pm but when my group arrived we were told that the bar might not open until 7.30pm and maybe not at all if it was quiet. (Also, there must have been a communication breakdown because no-one called me despite the fact that when I made the booking I was asked for my phone number.) I guess it was too much to ask for, a bar in Marrickville...

  • At 4/19/2010 12:18 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi catfishqueen18 - Thanks for the update. What a disappointing start to your evening. I had wondered about the viability of a bar in downtown Marrickville and it's a shame you weren't updated given you had made a booking.


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