This weekend, I went exploring in Cabramatta which has Sydney’s largest Vietnamese community. As usual I love to explore everything a culture has to offer, especially the food. The Vietnamese restaurant that I checked out on this trip was Bau Truong.
It is a medium sized restaurant that had a lovely seating plan that allowed for groups of all sizes. There was a ramp that led to a slightly elevated platform which meant that it was all-user friendly. Placed at the back of the restaurant was a semi-open kitchen; perfect for those who are keen to see their food get cooked. Right next to it is a mini aquarium to keep the little ones (or even the adults) entertained. Cleanliness is a key requirement and they nailed it! Service was very reasonable with the smiling staff keen to take your order, suggest or answer any questions about the food. Food was out within half an hour of ordering which was brilliant! The prices were reasonable and the portions that you got for each dish could easily serve 1-2 people. Your everyday Vietnamese restaurant.
- SOFT SHELL CRAB: This deep fried dish was surprisingly very light in the sense that it wasn’t too oily. The crab was well cooked with lightly added salt. The crisp batter held ALL the flavour and perfectly complimented the soft crab enclosed within. To add a little more of a dimension to the flavour, lemon can be added as well. All in all, a great Starter!
- CRISPY CHICKEN w/ sesame sauce: The first thing that you can taste as soon as you bite into the chicken is the lovely crisp skin. HEAVEN! The golden brown skin makes the dish look extremely appetizing and the plating looked appealing. The chicken was perfectly cooked and salted. The spices used to cook the chicken weren’t too overpowering and you could actually taste the chicken thus, truly making the chicken the ‘HERO of the dish’. The combination with the sauce was good because the chicken could start to feel a bit dry after a few mouthfuls. Then again, it also depends on your preference. The sauce was a bit to the sweeter side which was a lovely balance to the lightly spiced chicken and you could literally taste the sesame. It was almost as though I was expecting to bite into some seeds! I personally found the sauce to be slightly thick in consistency to be eaten with the chicken but then again to each their own. For those who prefer less sweet sauces, there is some lemon slices offered on the plate to add the sourness to lighten up the sauce.
- POT ROASTED DUCK w/ pakchoy: Of course I couldn’t go to a Vietnamese restaurant and not try their duck! Best decision Ever! The duck was so tender that you could easily break it off with a fork. The strong taste of the duck was the first thing that exploded in my mouth. For those who love the ‘ducky taste’ this is an absolute smasher of a dish. The rest, Be warned! The skin of the duck was slightly tough in contrast to the tender meat and was perfect in the sense that you had something to chew at.There was a watery gravy served along in the pot and it mainly constituted of chicken stock, salt and lemon. The gravy could be eaten plain or can be eaten with rice – which is what I did. The pakchoy, its stalk more so than the leaf, was the extremely bitter accent to the dish and you definitely had to eat it with the duck or the rice. The stalk also added the crunchy element to the dish and thus made the dish an overall success.
At the end, being too stuffed to order any dessert, we were ready to pay the bill BUT were instead treated to complimentary sliced navel oranges. The perfect mouth-freshener and the perfect end to a lovely meal.
Overall, the meal was very light, healthy and extremely tasty. They truly let the food speak without overpowering it with any other spices. Will definitely try to squeeze in another visit whenever I can!