Thursday, 14 October 2010

Restaurant Review: Bau Truong, Canley Heights

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 Banh Hoi Nem Nuong. I thought the water brought to our table was a finger bowl. Luckily Rhonda educated me that it was for softening the rice paper before I made a complete fool of myself!

After we'd devoured the rice paper rolls two salads arrived of chicken feet and jelly fish! Against expectations, the only previous time I've eaten chicken feet I actually quite enjoyed them. Unfortunately it wasn't the taste this time. There was quite a lot of bone / gristle left in the chicken feet and it was an unpleasant experience not knowing if you will bite into soft meat or bone.

Conversely the only time I've previously had jelly fish it was chewy and horrible. However, the jelly fish and green mango salad was pretty good. The salad contained pork, prawns, green apple and lots of other yummy things.

I was verging on being satisfied at this point, but we weren't even half way through the feast! Next up came the beef salad of 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.

Bau Truong on Urbanspoon


  1. "Get up and go" - geez, I feel under pressure now! I definitely think I was better at this in New York than in Sydney. And in Brisvegas....well...don't even start! The food sounded yum. I'm craving a trip to Chinatown here.

  2. "not an ideas man"?? says the man who got up and went halfway around the world to live and work...

  3. I'm still daydreaming about the soup, prawn paste rolls and BBQ Pork Chops! I'm also guilty of sitting on the sofa. I have a list as long as universe, of things I want to do but don't end up doing it. Hopefully that will change soon.

    btw. that's the second best photo I've seen of myself! Can you send it to me? Thanks :)

  4. So this is what you got up to. Looks great. I just don't get chicken feet though, a whole lot of work for very little reward

  5. Love how colourful the food looks! Looks great!

  6. Oh wow that is ALOT of food for 3 people! But I suppose that's what food bloggers do! (I don't think I'm a true food blogger in my case haha)

  7. There were partners there as well Angie! But as they aren't food bloggers I didn't advertise their presence. It was still a lot of food for six people...