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.
Cheapie Lunch (Under $20)
It’s been literally yonks since I’ve had a good Middle Eastern meal, and as I’m only a few weeks away from moving out of Sydney’s southern suburbs – one of the best locations for no-frills Lebanese food in the city – I was keen to use that time to check out some of the more popular restaurants in the area. And if you prowl a little around the internet, you’ll see that Al Yasmin is a name that comes up frequently on the best-of lists. Having expected a cramped, fluorescent-lit space, the reality came as a pleasant surprise. Not only is the space brightly lit, clean, and spacious, it even had some rather pretty paintings of desert scenes hung along…
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.
I love it when my sister comes up from Melbourne to visit. Not only is she great fun, she also provides the perfect excuse for me to try out places that I normally wouldn’t visit, usually due to health and/or price reasons. And today, the plan is to have a huge Indian/Pakistani feast at Faheem’s Fast Food. Calling Faheem’s a restaurant would be a stretch; it’s barely even a canteen, with its rows of Formica tables squashed into a tiled room with zero décor. Service is strictly limited to three points – when they take your order, when they bring out your food, and when you head up to the ancient register to pay. But ambience and hospitality is not…
I find it a bit hard to get excited over brunch these days. As much as I love the indulgent weekend ritual, it does start feeling a little same-same after a while. And paradoxically, this is actually exacerbated by how infrequently I have time to go out on a Saturday morning. When I do finally get around to it, I tend to expect the world from my brunch, and end up getting quite disappointed if it doesn’t live up to my hopes. Thankfully, I had spotted Oppen a few weeks before I was due to come back to Melbourne for Christmas, and was rather keen to try out their Scandinavian take on brunch.
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!