Monday, April 9, 2012

Cabramatta Food Crawl by Noodlies

New South Wales has numerous diverse communities. Communities containing ethnic backgrounds that contributes to the beauty of this country. 

Located within south-western Sydney, is the suburb of Cabramatta (also known as 'Cabra'). It is a suburb like no other! Driven by the unity of its many cultures and wide range of amazing food. This is a suburb of many splendid wonders. People from backgrounds such as Vietnamese, Chinese, Laotian, Cambodian and European play a big part in this suburb. 

Not long ago, I was one of the few lucky bloggers selected to take part on the Cabramatta Food Crawl. A food crawl to explore the superb Vietnamese cuisine that Cabra has to offer. This event was organised by the renowned Thang Ngo of Noodlies food blog and SBS Feast Magazine.

I had the pleasure of going in this adventure with 6 other bloggers and V.I.P. guests: Simon, Amanda, Cheryl of Fairfield City Council and her husband David. Thang took us on an educational and gastronomic journey through Cabramatta.

First stop was Pho Viêt for our Pho fix! Did y'all know that Pho Viêt has been around serving Pho for around 30 years? Now that's very impressive!

Pho Tai ($9.00).  This Vietnamese rice noodle soup dish includes thins slices of rare beef (cooked in the broth), meatballs, and tripe. Set aside is a separate plate of mint leaves, basil and bean sprouts. Both the mint leaves are normally placed in the pho (amount is of personal preference). For maximum flavour, break the mint leaves before mixing it in the broth. It is good value for a very generous serving of excellent quality pho. The broth was very well balanced in terms of flavour. The tripe is well cooked. It is one of the best phos I've ever had.

Second stop was Vinata's Bakery, home of the best banh mi and baked goods in Cabramatta. The lovely and proud owner Vinata was kind enough to let us sample her bakery’s bahn mi and some baked goods. Baked goods like twisted sweet croissants and pâté so (puff pastry filled with pork sausage) were made with passion evident in their taste.
The bahn mi at Vinata’s is the best one I’ve had. The fresh bread used reminded me of a baguette and is also perfect (crusty outside and fluffy soft inside). Encased in this perfect bread roll was a combination of awesome flavours from pickled carrots, liver pâté, cilantro, slices of pork, other slices of vegetable and a sauce made by Vinata from scratch.

Then, we took a short stop at Thu Phung for a sugar cane drink ($2.50 Medium and $3.50 for large). I fell in love with the drink instantly. It had the perfect harmony of sweet and sour in a refreshing drink. The citrus sour component comes from the cumquat juice.

Next stop was the very popular Bau Truong. As Thang has described it, it is unpretentious and the food is authentic. The lovely owner Linda, graced us with some of their specialty dishes. Dishes such as: Rice paper rolls with special hoisin sauce dip, banh xeo pancake and my favourite, ca xuc banh trang.

The bahn xeo is a fried pancake that also contains coconut milk. The pancake is filled with ingredients like bean sprouts, prawns and chopped shallots. A piece is sliced and wrapped in a leaf of salad and herbs.
The ca xuc banh trang is my absolute favourite. Dipping the fried rice paper with black sesame into the amazing fish curry dip was a golden moment. The caramelized curry and fish still lingers in my mind. It is that good!
After all of that awesomeness, we were also served with a lemon, lime and lemongrass crush. The lemongrass turns a lemon and lime combo drink to another refreshing level.

We also bought some takeaway desserts at Ngoc Duc. I watched the emperor’s puffs being made with amazement.

Last stop was at Café Nho. It has a very laid back vibe where I can see myself hanging out all day.
The Café Sua Da is a Vietnamese style iced coffee with condensed milk. It is strong but not bitter. The condense milk component mellows down the drink.

The food crawl party had to end at some point but I left with fond memories, a happy stomach and a game plan for my next visit to Cabra. I certainly had an amazing time and deeply enjoyed the food that was very yummy for my tummy!

Ramen Raff took part in the Cabramatta Food Crawl and dined as a guest at various restaurants courtesy of supporters: Fairfield City Council, Lenovo, SBS Feast Magazine and Royal Umbrella Rice

Pho Viêt
11 John Street  
Cabramatta NSW 2166
(02)9728 6657

Pho Viet Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Vinata’s Hot Bread
13/1 Hughes St, Cabramatta NSW 2166

Bau Truong
42 John Street  Cabramatta NSW 2166
(02) 9727 4492

Bau Truong on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm proud to be the first to comment on this blog. What a fantastic summary of the day! Great to see you acknowledging the many different cultures of the area mate.

    Beautiful pics too!

  2. I am sooooo jealous, this is exactly my sort of thing!!!! i might have to go to cabra and copy everything from your post....looks amazing :)

  3. Looks like you had an awesome food crawl!

  4. WOWzers! What an amazing day out. I agree - Cabramatta is one of the most interesting 'burbs in Sydney. I love the soupsop smoothies from there, and now I REALLY want to try that dish with the fried rice paper. YUM.

  5. *drools* I'll head to Cabra on stinking hot days just for a single cup (or three) of that sugar cane drink. And I haven't had Pho in over a month - you're making me crave it now!

  6. Seriously jealous! I may need to visit Cabra now :)
    omg croissants with pate <3 such a wonderful mix of cultures

  7. Awesome post :) and ur pics capture the prettiest part of Viet culture. and u r so right about the sweet and sour awesomeness of the nuoc mia sugarcane juice!!

  8. OMG your post shows that you guys had an amazing day! How wonderful that you got to try everything - you must have rolled home after it :-)

  9. why does thang look so gay..oh wait..


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