In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of our crawl (or rather whirlwind) through Canley Heights here.
Breaking out of my bubble continues in Canley Heights with a focus on uncovering the emerging talent & modern take on Vietnamese cuisine.
Some of you may know of Bau Truong in Cabramatta. Chef Bac Cang, started her culinary career in Australia here, taking over the business with her son and daughter in 1995. Since then, following in his mothers footsteps, Michael took charge of a new branch in Marrickville whilst her daughter opened the doors in Canley Heights. Their food can be described as quality refined Vietnamese dining.
The Canley Heights establishment has recently gone through a makeover, introducing bold colours, polished concrete floors and a funky illustration on the ceiling.
The spread of dishes awaiting us were presented just as artistically. To begin we shared a platter of rice paper rolls filled with pipes and water chestnuts topped with purple edible flowers plus curry spiced minced beef skewers served with lettuce cups, slithers of plum and fresh herbs.
Next up was a selection of noodle soups. The first was a vermicelli noodle soup in a pork knuckle broth with homemade prawn cakes (made by Bac's son Michael) with fermented bean and crushed peanuts on top. Without wanting to waste the huge bowl of fresh asian herbs, I piled a handful on top of the soup, adding another tantalising layer of flavour.
The following soup was a spicy pork and beef broth served with cold steamed pork mince parcels. To eat you unravel the banana leaves and break up the cold pork to eat along with each slurp of soup.
The last soup and perhaps by favourite, had more of a gravy consistency. A rich spiced soya bean pasted soup base with slow cooked pork spare ribs and rice noodles.
Our next stop and probably the most surprising addition to Canley Heights is Chi & Co. At first glance you wouldn't be wrong in thinking you were in Surry Hills, a more urban and trendy suburb in Sydney. Chi & Co has converted an old warehouse into a funky industrial themed bar & restaurant. It's really the only place of it's kind in the area, breaking traditional expectations of the local community. Second generation locals are welcoming it with open arms.
Picture tapas style Asian cuisine, perfect to share with friends whilst sipping on imaginative cocktails. Whilst flavours are balanced in the traditional manner, everything else has a new appearance.
We only scratched the surface of Chi & Co's menu sharing the Spanner crab on betel leafs, Japanese grey scallops served in a spoon dressed with a lime broth, Pulled beef sliders and the magical Tapioca shots to finish off. Their menu is extensive with a generous banquet menu ideal for larger groups.
I mentioned imaginative cocktails…think Lycheetinis, Lemon Thai Basil short and Pavalova in a glass to name a few.
I love how they're trying to keep the locals local, not giving them a reason to hit the city and instead spend a night out closer to home.
Our final stop on this whistle stop tour of Canley Heights was at the hugely popular Holy Basil. Holy Basil is centred more around Thai and Laos cuisine, however the menu is really a celebration of all South East Asia. By the time we stepped through their door, we had that familiar afternoon sugar craving, only their famous Deep Fried Ice-cream would do today. Usually recommended to share between two people, we had one each! Each triangle of crisp golden goodness was filled with cool creamy vanilla ice-cream served with a warm gooey caramel sauce and a sprinkling of toasted coconut and plump raisins.
Hopefully like me, you feel inspired to break out of your everyday routine and explore parts of Sydney you've never stepped into before. Guilty as served, I'm going to shake the shackles and plan my next food crawl for the not too distant future.
- 250 Canley Vale Rd, Canley Heights, NSW (02) 9755 7099
Chi & Co
- Shop 3 /264 Canley Vale Rd, Canley Heights, NSW (02) 9727 2068
- 233a Canley Vale Rd, Canley Heights, NSW (02) 9727 7585
* foodies agenda visited each restaurant as a guest of Fairfield City Council