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Asian

Banh Cuon Ba Oanh

I love restaurants that do one thing, but do it well. And when it comes to Banh Cuon Ba Oanh? It’s all in the name. For the uninitiated, banh cuon is a wonderful little Vietnamese dish of steamed and rolled rice noodles, not unlike the ones you get at yum cha. But instead of being served with tea as a mid-morning snack, banh cuon is traditionally served for breakfast, though you’re certainly welcome to have it for dinner here, if you don’t find yourself tempted away by the other home-styled northern Vietnamese dishes.

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Tontaro Honten Ramen

Another day, another bowl of ramen. And up for review today is Tontaro Hoten Ramen, the relatively new venture by Jun Toyoda, whose artery-clogging ramen at O-San has a bit of a cult following. Though I’ve been told that Tontaro is a step up from the food-court setting of O-San (having never been myself), the set up here is nevertheless very no-frills. The blond wood panels a sparse, canteen-like space, and everything is pretty much self-serve. I do however appreciate the individual seats lining the edge of the restaurant, which makes solo dining a much less awkward situation if you’re bothered by that sort of thing.

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Dopa Donburi and Milk Bar

In the no-man’s-land between Christmas and New Year’s, finding a good restaurant to eat at can be a bit of a challenge to say the least. Thankfully there are some wonderful souls who forsake their own holidays so that the rest of us, who are too lazy to cook, can have somewhere to wine and dine. And one of those wonderful places is Dopa Donburi and Milk Bar. Located at the mouth of the fancy new Darling Square Precinct, Dopa caught my eye on my very first foray into the area with its sleek, minimalist design. The menu is very much in vogue, and has its finger on the pulse of what Sydney seems to be loving right now –…

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Holiday Eats – Thailand Michelin Guide

Although I spent most of my time in Thailand just eating whatever I felt like and could get my hands on, I did also take a quick gander at the Michelin Guide to see what eats they recommended. And whilst I had no intention of paying through the nose for high-end meals – that’s not what a holiday to Thailand is about in my opinion! – I did take a good look through what local eats they’ve highlighted as the best of the best. I ended up with a pretty hefty list, and whilst I didn’t manage to get through everything, I did try enough to cobble together this little series of mini-reviews. And so without further ado, here we are!

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Holiday Eats – Thailand, Bangkok

I nicked off to Bangkok for 10-odd days at the beginning of December, and it was a great old time, even taking into account when I got sick (or rather, when Chris got me sick) towards the end of the trip. Many temples were seen, many markets were trawled, and much, much food was eaten. But aside from a few restaurants recommended by the Michelin Guide, I more or less just walked around eating whatever I felt like, preferring to take a more relaxed approach to things. After all, there’s no place like Thailand – the home of street food – for impromptu eating.

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The Mandoo

After an extremely long day, I found myself unwilling to even contemplate cooking, and so ended up at The Mandoo, a small but popular Korean dumpling restaurant that I’ve had my eye on for the last year or so. The place is even tinier than I had imagined, with diners crammed elbow-to-elbow on shared tables in the narrow space. Combined with the warm day, the lack of air conditioning, and the steamers full of dumplings in the open kitchen, and you’ve got a stuffy and frankly rather uncomfortable place to eat. But having dined perched on plastic stools at the side of the street in South-East Asia during summer, this is far from a deal-breaker, and would be happily forgiven…

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