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Monday, February 14, 2011

Bau Truong, Cabramatta

 Salt and pepper duck tongue $20

So we all know about duck breast, legs and liver, but what about duck tongues? At Bau Truong, these usually discarded organs are dusted with seasoned flour, deep-fried and served up as the traditional Vietnamese dish, Luoi Vit Rang Muo, or salt and pepper duck tongue.

The duck tongues aren't half as intimidating when they arrive - the magic of deep-frying tends to make anything look good. Crunching through the golden batter, the tongues are a little chewy, with a faint crunch of cartilage, but their spicy coating of salt and pepper make these rather addictive. I suspect they'd be brilliant paired with beer.

Bau Truong is one of the more fancier Vietnamese restaurants along John Street, recently renovated to incorporate extended seating and cheerful lime green walls. The double-sided menu can be a bit daunting at first, opening out to provide cover for even the most mischievous coupleWe browse through options that run from soft shell crab, scampi and eel to crocodile, quail drumsticks and crispy pork intestines.

Crispy sticky rice $10

Crispy sticky rice is the kind of deep-fried starch that immediately grabs my attention. We bite our way through the crunchy surface to find a plank of sticky rice and mung bean.

Grilled chicken

On the other side of the plate are strips of marinated chicken, char-grilled until tender and served with soft fried green onions. Crinkly strips of pickled daikon and carrot are crunchy and sweet.

Combination fried noodle $13

Combination fried noodle is a saucy huddle of slippery rice noodle, tangled with snow peas, prawns, straw mushrooms and stalks of baby corn. It's a huge portion and worth sharing.

Half the fun of Cabramatta is the ready availability of street food, easily eaten on the run, on scoffed on the spot as you stand by the kerb.

Banh mi pork and salad roll $4
(only half pictured) 

We follow up our feed with banh mi, a crusty baguette packed tightly with pork, carrot, cucumber, coriander and a generous slather of pate. Eating one of these is guaranteed to make a mess, which is probably why everyone eats them in the street.

Banh Cam

And how can you have closure without dessert? You'll find no shortage of options along the main strip of John Street, presented in a rainbow of takeaway boxes or kept fresh beneath a seal of plastic wrap.

Pandan waffle and banh cam

We share in pandan waffles, made fresh and served warm, the pale green batter filled with chewy strands of shredded coconut.

Banh cam is another Vietnamese favourite, crisp rings of deep-fried dough coated in a generous layer of toffee and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

And every trip to Cabramatta always ends up in Freedom Plaza, where everyone soaks up the last rays of sunshine against the backdrop of the large and impressive Pailau Gate.

Ice kacang, avocado shake and fruit salad juice

We wash down dessert with drinks from Kaysone Sweets, resisting the temptation of banana fritters and toffee-coated sweet potato chips. Fruit shakes are all made from fresh fruit, with options including durian, avocado, lychee and soursop. If shaved ice and condensed milk sounds more like your thing, then choose your own selection of jellies, fruits and sweet beans for a personalised and portable ice kacang. Bliss.

View Larger Map

Bau Truong on Urbanspoon
Bau Truong
42 John Street, Cabramatta, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9727 4492
Open 7 days, 10am-11pm

Viet Hoa Hot Bread
John Street, Cabramatta, Sydney

Kaysone Sweets
Shop 4, 59-61 Park Road, Cabramatta, SydneyTel: +61 (02) 9755 5759
Open 7 days, 9am-10pm 

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Cabramatta - Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant
Cabramatta - Phu Quoc
Cabramatta - Thanh Binh

Cabramatta food tour
Cabramatta food tour with Luke Nguyen
21 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/14/2011 02:42:00 am


  • At 2/14/2011 3:06 am, Anonymous eatmarvin said…

    Hi Helen! True... the Duck's Tongue is not that popular but I love it! Too bad it's kind'a tiny so I probably need a few dozen to be full. Also, I love Pork Roll! I really need to visit Cabramatta again soon.

  • At 2/14/2011 4:41 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    Mmmm, salt and pepper duck tongue and crispy sticky rice sounds wonderful! I never go to Cabra but may have to now! :-)

  • At 2/14/2011 8:19 am, Anonymous Peter said…

    I feel I've got an image of 'quackless' ducks walking about Cabramatta stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

  • At 2/14/2011 9:03 am, Blogger thang @ noodlies said…

    Cabra is just so wonderful... I've lived there for over a decade and it never ceases to amaze.

    I'm so glad now the place is getting a reputation for food instead of drugs. Blogs like yours make a real difference.

    Thanks Helen!

  • At 2/14/2011 9:37 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    sticky rice!!! cant believe i missed out! i am so sad. so very sad.

  • At 2/14/2011 10:11 am, Anonymous TFP said…

    Didn't Padma Lakshmi say in a Top Chef episode "You could deep fry my toe and it would taste good..."? For me, texture is as important as taste, so I don't know if I'd like duck tongues based on your description of them (even deep-fried!). But everything else pictured looks droolworthy, especially the saucy combination fried noodle. And I'd definitely like pandan waffles. I must make a point to check out Cabra next time I visit Sydney.

  • At 2/14/2011 10:27 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    *Drool* It's been way too long since I pigged out in Cabramatta. Really loved that sticky rice dish when I visited Bau Truong last time!

  • At 2/14/2011 10:35 am, Anonymous john@heneedsdood said…

    I'm dying to get back to Cabra. Good to see you stopped by the pandan waffle place but, what, no custard puffs from the place next door?

  • At 2/14/2011 11:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh havent been to cabra for such a long time! i love the banh mi!!! the salt and pepper duck tongue sounds wonderful!

  • At 2/14/2011 12:45 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    How do the ducks talk to each other without tongues? Maybe they know sign language.

    I went to Bau Truong at the end of last year and loved it...that menu is enormous and a bit daunting for the Cabramatta novice like me. We were there for dinner, when Cabramatta is really quiet. Cannot wait to go back for a day time trip and soak up all the food and atmosphere.

  • At 2/14/2011 1:00 pm, Anonymous Josh Murray said…

    So is Cabbers Vietna-town? Claiming suburbs as South East Asian hubs seems to be the Sydney Magazine trend right now. It's been too long between Quack Fests... this weekend I'm there. Love your work Helen.

  • At 2/14/2011 6:56 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    I've never ever heard of duck tongue before. I thought their tongues would be too small to cook! Don't know if I'm keen to try it but being deep fried does make it more appealing.

  • At 2/14/2011 8:07 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Personalised ice kachang! That does sound like bliss. And, oddly enough, this meat-not-exactly-loving girl is rather intrigued by the duck tongues!

  • At 2/14/2011 9:40 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    Wow is this carb-lover's heaven or what? Fried sticky rice is what the angels eat with pandan waffles for dessert!

  • At 2/15/2011 9:27 am, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    The thought of eating duck's tongue, makes me want to bit my own tongue! Ouch =D Aww will have to make my own pandan waffles soon, a trip to Cabra is a little too far for my liking (the crowds and parking are always a scary thought).

  • At 2/15/2011 2:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gawd, tried to get into Cabramatta on Sunday (11.15am) but couldn't get within about 2 km of the place! So busy and nowhere to park! Must be good though. Ended up at Canley Heights - Gia Hoi - and had a great crispy chicken with egg noodle dry. The noodles in particular were sensational.


  • At 2/15/2011 3:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh that banh mi... sooooooo good! Time to hit up Cabra again Helen!

  • At 2/17/2011 9:06 pm, Anonymous sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    I wish I lived closer to Cabramatta, do need to make the effort to get out there more often.

  • At 2/18/2011 11:24 am, Blogger Bianca said…

    Great post Helen. Bau Truong is one of my favourite Cabramatta restaurants! I haven't tried the duck tongue but the beef salad with star fruit is my favourite it's well worth a try on a hot summer's day. I'm addicted! Plus their seafood spring rolls are the best I've had. Come to think of it I've almost tried everything on that crazy large menu.

  • At 2/25/2011 9:49 am, Anonymous Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said…

    Deep frying the duck tongues is a much better initiation method! You can also get soy braised duck's tongues from many Chinese BBQ shops. If you fancy getting a bit more tongue on tongue action that is..

    And seeing the crowd outside Kaysone immediately makes me want a frosty cold fruit shake! Yum!

  • At 7/13/2011 9:31 pm, Anonymous Dave @ Foodblography said…

    Missed the Pandan waffles... kicking myself :( well worth it?


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