A GUIDE TO SYDNEY’S WESTERN SUBURBS EATS
EL JANNAH, 4/8 South Street, Granville, (02) 9637 0977 (see map)
Lebenese style charcoal chicken marinated to perfection. Try and have it there, sit down with the chook accompanied with the pickles and the distinctive puffy – creamy garlic sauce; and dammit JUST USE YOUR HANDS! If you have to run, the wraps are awesome too – they pack them so full.
BANH BAO CAFÉ, Shop 1, 194 Canley Vale Rd, Canley Heights, (02) 9755 5527 (see map)
Vietnamese steamed buns. Soft, aromatic, fluffy white buns filled with a pork or chicken meatball inside which is mixed with a piece of hard boiled egg, a slice of Chinese sausage & little chunks of water chestnut. These are made locally and are also supplied to Asian grocers around Sydney – but why not go to the source at lunchtime for a freshly steamed piping hot one?
AN LAC VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT, 94B John Street, Cabramatta, (02) 9727 5116 (see map)
Vegetarian. But the good tasty sort. Linked to a Buddhist monastery in Sydney’s west, this is the real deal. Come with friends, order to share, there are simply too many brilliant dishes to list. If you’re not sharing dishes though, two favourites are the Imitation Crab vermicelli noodle soup & the Vermicelli topped Spring Rolls all served with a fresh salad mix.
VIET HOA HOT BREAD, 2/105 John Street, Cabramatta (02) 9728 2518 (see map)
One of the original spots for the infamous Banh Mi roll. This bakery has been on its corner since forever – the evidence is in the street front signage, the phone number still only has six digits: “sorry your call could not be connected”. Have the pork roll. Then have the Pate Chaud (Vietnamese style meat pie) Finish it off with a Pandan/Coconut waffle (ask for a fresh hot one) Food coma for $7.00
NGOC DUC, 19/105 John Street Cabramatta, (02) 9755 0844 (see map)
Directly opposite Viet Hoa Hot Bread is this hot spot. You will most likely greet it with a “what the?” then shoulder barge your way to the front… Basically it’s a massive food stand. Meals are in plastic tubs ready to go – it’s all takeaway. There’s everything.. Vegetarian, savory, rice, noodles, dumplings, buns, all of it. I can’t even tell you what to have, there’s no menu to look at – just look, point and pay. Then there’s an array of Vietnamese desserts also tubbed up ready to go, I have a favorite – it’s the Sago jelly and banana in coconut cream.
Don’t forget to grab a freshly pressed sugar cane drink. Or if you are feeling mighty adventurous, go to the very front and create your own dessert drink/smoothie from the rainbow selection.
BEYTI (ADANA KEBAB & PIDE HOUSE), Shop 2, 37 Smart Street , Fairfield (02) 9755 9811 (see map)
It’s a bit dingy, it’s Turkish, but it’s not glamorous. I love grabbing a take-away roll from this little spot. Flat bread baked in house, served with well-marinated tomato salad & onion salad also made in house. You can choose to have it with the Adana (ground lamb mixed with herbs), Chicken Shish (marinated chicken chunks) or Lamb Shish (marinated lamb chunks): my favorite is the Adana. Add your favorite sauce: optional.
LAO-THAI LUAMMIT DARA FOOD EXPRESS, 9/12 Spencer Street, Fairfield (02) 9755 0459 (see map)
Laotian & authentic. Both brilliant, they are a couple of doors apart, one is a bit bigger and more suited to group dining (Lao-Thai Luammit). Lots and lots of tasty tasty dishes. Favourites of mine are quite simple, Paw Paw salad, Chicken Larb, Grilled BBQ Ox Tongue. Eat it with sticky rice.
TAN VIET, 3/100 John Street Cabramatta, (02) 9727 6853 (see map)
Crispy Skin Chicken is so good. Especially here. The favorite is Crispy Skin Chicken with dry egg noodles. But you can have it anyway you like, ie: with steamed rice, tomato rice, rice noodles, egg noodles, etc. An extra serve of chicken is +$5.00 – do it, go big. Expect to line up on weekends.
THE DUTCH SHOP, 85 Market Street, Smithfield, (02) 9604 0233 (see map)
Holland has been in Sydney for 25+ years now and I bet you didn’t even know… The establishment imports everything you could want from Holland, and if they don’t already stock it on a regular basis – you can request it & it will be here. Why am I straying off point? There’s a café in the back. They serve a whole bunch of little snacky lunch type things. Grab yourself a few Croquettes or Frikandel Speciaal’s (you can also choose to have either on a soft roll as well), dive in the deep end and try the herring, wash it all down with Holland’s favorite soft drink: Cassis (blackcurrant – preferably from the “Hero” brand).
PHO VIET, 11-15 John Street, Cabramatta (02) 9728 6657 (see map)
I know Pho spots are a hot topic with great debate, so.. If you consider yourself a connoisseur – visit Pho Viet. Why? Pho Viet has been around from a time before most-of-any-of-all the places you have been to popped up. What should you expect? A solid, all-round performer. This pho is the spot that all of your Vietnamese friends’ immigrant parents would prefer to eat pho at. If you know the pho from Bankstown, consider that the swanky flashy bling brother to this more traditional bowl – I’m not telling you it’s better, but I’m telling you that’s how they do it here – is in a way more authentic.
TUONG LAI VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT, 3 Belvedere Arcade, Cabramatta – off John St (02) 9727 2650 (see map)
This little gem is tiny. Tiny venue – Tiny menu. A spot well known to locals of the area, it’s been in this lane for over 20 years. The menu is on the walls – it’s 20 or so dishes and that’s IT. (Well, that was until they added a handful of hand written special’s that also became permanent options). The food is solid, my favorite “Nuoc Mam” if here, I wish they bottled it – whatever their mix ratio is it’s perfect. Favorite dishes: Grilled chicken & broken rice (a beautifully grilled marinated thigh), Sugar cane prawn sticks with vermicelli (the chewy texture of the prawn sticks here is different to other spots – not as soft), Crab noodle soup (Banh Canh Cua – a really thick udon like rice noodle served in crab soup topped with crap meat and sliced pork leg).
JASMIN, 30B Haldon Street, Lakemba, (02) 9740 3589 (see map)
It’s Lebenese, if you know this restaurant but have not been recently, go again. They recently printed new menus that include a number of new dishes. The garlic sauce here is smooth and creamy, if you are familiar with the garlic sauces from the Lebanese spots around Cleveland in Surry Hills, you should know you would rather be familiar with Jasmin’s version instead. Go see for yourself. Dishes to have: Falafel balls (these are not like the falafel’s you’ve had before), Lamb Kafta’s (grilled mince lamb), Chicken Shawarma (sliced grilled chicken) meat dishes come with fresh bread and pickles. Use your hands.
Guide written by west side eats championer, John Long.