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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fat Noodle, Star City Casino, Pyrmont

When did Sydney turn into a construction zone?

After three weeks out of town, I return to suddenly notice the new escalators at the north end of QVB and the masses of hoarding in Darling Harbour and all along the front entrance of Star City casino.

Last night we were shepherded toward the main gaming floor for the launch of Sydney's latest dining venture, Fat Noodle, by consultant chef Luke Nguyen.

Luke's involvement does not automatically make Fat Noodle a Vietnamese restaurant. Rather, Fat Noodle offers a mixed menu that traverses the spectrum of South East Asian cuisine: Hainan chicken sitting alongside congee, laksa next to Vietnamese pho, and Shanghai noodles sharing the limelight with Thai pad see ew.

The cordoned-off space sits within clear view of the gaming tables and slot machines, its intent to provide a quick bite to eat for gaming patrons. Distraction is best found in the adjoining open kitchen, which offers a birds eye look at the entire process.

There are no tables and chairs set up for the launch, but the website indicates that seating will be at communal tables.

Tamarind and palm sugar cocktails

The drinks flow freely, and I'm quite a fan of both the tamarind and palm sugar cocktails and the lychee martinis. It's the food that gets the majority of our attention though and I'm pleased to see that everything we eat tonight is available on the Fat Noodle menu.

Lychee martini cocktails

Roast duck, perilla and enoki mushroom Vietnamese rice paper rolls
and King prawn and pork Vietnamese rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls are always a favourite and I find both the roast duck and King prawn versions have a generous amount of perilla leaves, adding complex undercurrents of cinnamon and star anise.

Crisp parcels with pork, glass noodles and wood ear mushrooms

Initially spruiked as spring rolls, these are renamed as crisp parcels on their next circuit of the floor. The menu does list these as crisp parcels, although I'm guessing most people who order this dish won't realise that these are actually incognito spring rolls.

Orchids and bamboo table decorations

Salt and pepper silken tofu

Salt and pepper silken tofu is a little tricky to eat with a tooth pick on a paper napkin, but the tofu is delicate beneath the pale golden pillowy batter.

Grilled Byron Bay organic pork neck skewers

The grilled Byron Bay organic pork neck skewers are the hit of the evening. Sweet strips of pork are lusciously fatty and tender, marinated in fish sauce and garlic and grilled to a smoky caramelised finish.

Fat pho noodles
Chef Luke's signature beef broth with thinly sliced Angus sirloin,
fresh chilli, Thai basil, mint, bean sprouts and rice noodles

"You must try the pho," says Luke, when he spots it heading our way. "It's my personal recipe."

The broth is dark and rich in flavour, fragrant with cloves, cassia bark, star anise and pepper. Paper thin slices of Angus sirloin cook easily in the hot soup and a garnish of Thai basil, mint and bean sprouts add a freshness to the slippery lengths of fresh rice noodle.

Fat Noodle consultant chef Luke Nguyen

Slow-braised wagyu beef brisket and tendons
with rice noodles in a rich beef broth

Slow-braised wagyu beef brisket and tendons is another dish that is heavily aromatic. I delight in the discovery of tendons in my sampler, soft and gelatinous against the cubes of tender wagyu beef brisket.

Matt Preston

Matt Preston and Luke Nguyen

No, I was definitely not stalking Matt Preston

Large Eastern Australian prawns in XO sauce with glass noodles

Glass noodles and prawns are the perfect vehicle for XO sauce, the Cantonese cooking paste made from scallop, dried fish, prawns, chilli, onion, garlic and oil.

Roast duck is juicy with a glossy burnished skin, served with a tangle of chilli, shallots and deep-fried vermicelli noodles.

Whilst the site seems designed for the punters, I'm thinking it's great to see another pre-theatre fooding option on offer.

Roast duck on vermicelli noodles

View Larger Map

Fat Noodle
Casino gaming floor
Star City Casino
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, Sydney
Tel: 1800 700 700

Open 7 days 11.30am-2.30am (until 6am on Friday and Saturday nights)

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Star City - Sean's Kitchen

Ten questions with Luke Nguyen
Luke Nguyen's Cabramatta food tour
Matt Preston shows us his salami

Freebie Friday winner
Congratulations to SomethingByKate who has won a spice hamper from Le' Spice worth $50. Please check your email for details on how to claim your prize.

Missed out this time? Don't forget you only have three days left to enter the competition to win a case of Jed Sauvignon Blanc worth $264. Entries close this Friday 05 March 2010 at 5.30pm. Enter now

Interested in how Jed Wines can match your meal? Always wanted to eat at Deus Cafe? Jed Wines will be served at a special four-course dinner at Deus Cafe at 7pm on March 18, 2010. Cost is $80pp and spots are limited. More details here or call Deus Cafe on Tel: +61 (02) 9519 3669.
22 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 3/03/2010 03:00:00 am


  • At 3/03/2010 3:34 am, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    Wow, that was super fast posting! The food looks awesome and no, I didn't think for one moment you were stalking Mr Preston ;P

  • At 3/03/2010 5:07 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Well, it's not like anyone could blame you for stalking the Prest-meister.
    And because this food looks so good, I shall forgove you for the halt in Japan posts. :D

  • At 3/03/2010 8:28 am, Blogger Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    I'm kicking myself for forgetting about this - missed out on seeing Matt Preston! Haha. Damn. The food looks great too :)

  • At 3/03/2010 10:54 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Thanks for the post - it's right across the road from my work, so I will be checking it out soon!

  • At 3/03/2010 10:58 am, Blogger phonakins said…

    love a lychee martini!

  • At 3/03/2010 11:05 am, Anonymous Miss Dissent said…

    Nice seeing you there last night. Great shots and descriptions. I really liked the food, and the idea you can have it until 6am on Friday and Saturday nights!

  • At 3/03/2010 11:24 am, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    Cool! Thanks for the heads up - looks like a good place for a bite after the Good Living markets (are they still on??)

  • At 3/03/2010 12:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hee hee great recap of the night and mmm the pork neck and beef brisket were soo goodds

  • At 3/03/2010 12:27 pm, Anonymous ericl33t said…

    The first rice paper roll looks like a snail! I wonder if that was intentional..

  • At 3/03/2010 1:06 pm, Blogger Eyes Bigger Than Belly said…

    There are no words for how jealous I am about the feast you have just eaten!! !:)

  • At 3/03/2010 2:59 pm, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    Looks magnifico! The duck on vermicelli is making me mighty hungry! Yum!

  • At 3/03/2010 6:16 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    geez let me guess, you slept at 3am again? man how good was the beef brisket! soooo good

  • At 3/03/2010 7:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh my goodness, i went there after mardi gras, not knowing Luke Nguyen's involvement in it - i have to say some of the dishes were great!

  • At 3/03/2010 10:24 pm, Blogger A cupcake or two said…

    Beef tendons. One of my many favourites. Love Matt Preston. If I was there I would have been classified as the stalker ehehe

  • At 3/03/2010 10:47 pm, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Ooh everything looks fab, could totally go one of those lychee martinis right now! I don't know why but the name Fat Noodle always makes me giggle :)

  • At 3/04/2010 1:59 am, Anonymous Ling said…

    OMG that looks yummy...so hungry now

  • At 3/04/2010 2:36 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Karen - It's all about the backlog! The food was great and lol, it was just um, coincedence.

    Hi Hannah - Prest-meister? lol. Love it. And you'll be pleased to see the next Japan post is up now.

    Hi Betty - You forgot? Oh no! The food was great and Luke was a brilliant host as always. Better make sure you put a reminder in your diary next time :)

    Hi Christine - Ahhh that is handy! Let me know how you find it.

    Hi phonakins - Lychee martinis are great aren't they? So refreshing!

    Hi Miss Dissent - Was lovely to catch up with you last night too. The late trading hours are a huge bonus!

    Hi Belle - Ahh that's a very good idea. I hadn't thought about that, and yes, the Good Living Growers' Markets are still on!

    Hi FFichiban - Always easier to post when the memories are still fresh and yes, I could have eaten that pork neck all night long!

    Hi ericl33t - I don't think they were going for a snail look but I can see where you're going :)

    Hi Eyes Bigger Than Belly - Sometimes even I can hardly believe my luck. The food was sensational and the company was stellar too :)

    Hi Joey - The duck was delicious but oh, the pork neck was my personal highlight!j

    Hi chocolatesuze - Dang! Busted! lol. The beef brisket was lush.

    Hi Anon - Interesting that there wasn't more signage about Luke's involvement but great to hear you enjoyed your meal there!

    Hi A Cupcake or Two - I love beef tendon and haha, I think he had quite a few fans on the night!

    Hi Stephcookie - Are you being cheeky, lol, but yes, I know what you mean!

    Hi Ling - Food blog surfing is always a dangerous late-night pasttime. lol.

  • At 3/04/2010 8:13 pm, Anonymous Mark @ Cafe Campana said…

    There is some good looking food there. I would love to try the Fat Pho.

  • At 3/04/2010 9:46 pm, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Love the name. Must check it out. Food looks great.

    I see Matt is still doing the floppy hair thing.

  • At 3/06/2010 11:42 am, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    It's so interesting to see pho or other soup noodles in general being served in canape form. It looks so good that it makes me want to go out and get some, perhaps from the Fat Noodle :)

    Lol at the non-stalking stalking :P

  • At 3/08/2010 12:08 am, Blogger yan_ange said…

    I love everything with XO sauce, (though it is so unhealthy :P)

    Pho as an appetiser is different, but I have never tried Fat Noodle before though I work in Ultimo, perhaps I can try that next time round after a day of work.

    So I guess Helen, you are a Mark Preston stalker (wink, wink :P)

    Also will you be heading to Taste of Sydney? You must be, I am very much looking forward to this!!

  • At 3/09/2010 2:41 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mark - lol at Fat Pho. It was tasty. Pho sure!

    Hi Veruca Salt - It's a cool name indeed. Would be curious to try it as a pre-theatre option.

    Hi Simon - Pho canapes are a good idea although I presume it gets a little tricky with all that washing up!

    Hi Yan Ange - Oh XO makes everything so tasty though!

    I'm sure that Matt has a forcefield of some kind - it seemed like everyone was drawn to him. lol. Not sure about Taste - diary clashes look like I may have to miss out this year!


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