Thursday, 14 October 2010
One of the things I most admire about my friend Penne is her get up and go. There is a seldom a weekend when she doesn't have a new café that she wants to try, exhibition to visit, an event to attend or a new suburb that she wants to check out. I've had many a good time following her round Manhattan and Sydney.
Conversely it is what I perceive as one of my biggest weaknesses. I've wasted far too many days sitting on the sofa. I'm not an ideas person, unfortunately. One of my resolutions on moving to Australia was to try and change this. I want to experience this fine country while I'm over here. In this spirit of adventure I jumped at the chance to have dinner in Canley Heights (near Cabramatta) on Friday night. It definitely ticked the box of being a little bit random.
I caught the train to Canley Vale and then walked over to Bau Truong in Canley Heights for dinner with food blogger friends Amy and Rhonda.
I'm a bit hopeless when it comes to Vietnamese food so I was happy to let Amy and Rhonda do all of the ordering. What a feast we had!
1. Chạo tôm, Grilled Prawn Paste on Sugarcane
2. Chicken feet with green mango salad
3. Bò lúc lắc, Shaking Beef
4. Jelly fish salad
We started with some DIY rice paper rolls of Chạo tôm and
Bò lúc lắc. The beef itself was pretty ordinary, tasting like an generic stir fry. However, I found the watercress and lime & fish sauce dressing quite moreish.
1. Canh Chua, Sweet & Sour Soup with fresh herbs
2. Cá kho tộ, Caramelised fish in Claypot
3. Sườn nướng, Grilled Pork Chop
Bubbling away on our table was a hot pot of canh chua or sweet and sour soup. This was probably my favourite dish of the evening. The soup had an initial sourness that faded to quite a nice sweetness at the end. We could mix our own okra, beansprouts, pineapple and tomato into the fish soup.
I didn't find the caramelised fish (Cá kho tộ) particularly exciting, but the Sườn nướng was very tender and tasty.
In a wonderful surprise the delightful Amy gave me a copy of New Flavours or the Vietnamese Table so that I could try some of the recipes at home. I've already used the book to cook BBQ five spice chicken and I'm definitely looking forward to trying some more Vietnamese food. Rice paper rolls and the sweet and sour hot pot are next on my hit list.