Holy Basil has been opened for over 2 years now and it’s success has just continued to soar. Every time I drive past, no matter if it is a weekday or weekend, there is a long line of customers waiting to get seated (sometimes I think it’s quite ridiculous).
We come here this evening to farewell the last of my relatives who came to visit from the USA. It was one of many farewell dinners for them (lucky them!). The wait for a larger table was daunting as no diners looked like they were going to go anywhere anytime soon (it’s no suprise really). It was no guess that we could only get a table outside, but we weren’t complaining.
Seafood Tom Yum Soup (Hot ‘n’ Sour Soup) $16.90
I always love a good tom yum soup. Even writing this right now makes my mouth water, knowing that the soup is sour and tangy. I missed taking a photo when it first came out so this is what it looks like when half eaten – yeah, not really appealing. Oops. The broth really had bags full of flavour. I honestly find it very hard for a restuarant to go horribly wrong with tom yum. The portion size is relatively small to be shared amongst 8+ people, so that was our bad.
Nem Khao $12.90
This was my first time trying nem khao. According to the menu, the nem khao consists of deep fried rice balls tossed with cured pork (nem chua) coriander, shallots, chilli, kaffir lime leaves, onions and mint leaves served on lettuce leaves. I thought this dish was okay. I enjoyed the different textures, particularly the deep fried rice balls.
Ox Tongue $10.90
Grilled ox tongue is a must must must order for me. I tend to enjoy eating it here at Holy Basil only because they cook and serve it differently to what other places normally do. Here, they grill the whole tongue, slice and then serve. I find that it stays incredibly moist and tender this way. Most other places slice the tongue, cook it and then serve it, making the ox tongue slightly tougher. It is served with Holy Basil’s “special dipping sauce” – they really need to give a bigger serving as it’s just not enough (especially on a asian soup spoon) because it’s so tasty!
Tam Mak Hoong (Papaya Salad Laos Style) $10.90
It’s taken me quite a long while to even try paw paw salad. I have no idea what it is but there is just something about it that I’ve never wanted to try. Now that I’m getting older, I’m willing to try new and more things with paw paw salad being one of them. I love the crunchiness and texture of the papaya salad. It had the perfect sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavour which really wowed me.
While on the paw paw salad note, I have recently tried a friend’s home made version and all I can say is that I am deeply in love with it. Despite the mass amounts of chilli and the slight upset tummy upon the first fork full, it is simply amazing.
Laos Sausages $10.90
A very popular menu item is the laos sausages at any thai/laos restaurant. It is very hard to go wrong with such a simply item. It doesn’t make me go wow, but it sure does taste good.
Yum Nua (Thai Beef Salad) $14.90
The last dish that we have to share is the thai beef salad. Although the picture doesn’t capture much at all, it really is a light and flavourful salad. As per the menu, you have marinated beef strips wok-tossed in a salad of Spanish onions, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber; mixed with herbs of coriander, shallots, chilli powder, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and mint leaves.I love the tang that is left on your palete after a fork full has been eaten.
Holy Basil Deep Fried Ice Cream $13.90
And now, what everyone primarily comes to Holy Basil for…. *drumrolls*… their Deep Fried Ice Cream! What Holy Basil have done is taken a modern twist to your typical deep fried ice cream coconut ball. The ice cream is wrapped beautiful in a a thin layer filo pastry (and deep fried of course), plated on some butterscotch sauce and with a side of dried coconut and nuts. It is seriously ALL a match made in heaven. The filo pastry is so delicate and crunchy whilst the ice cream in the middle is still cold. You will have to try and gobble it down before the ice cream starts to melt all over the place. But there shouldn’t be an issue, it always gets eaten up so quickly anyways, because it is THAT good.
I must admit I’ve eaten at Holy Basil just for their deep fried ice cream. I wonder how many of you have done that also…
OH! Great news for all you city peeps, there is now a Holy Basil opened at Shark Hotel at 127 Liverpool Street (Cnr of Pitt St), Sydney!
233A Canley Vale Rd
Canley Heights NSW 2166
Tel: +61 2 9727 7585