Everyone has their local spots to eat out at. I’m quite fortunate enough to live very close to a couple of suburbs that has on offer a variety of cuisines. One that has been expanding right before my eyes is Canley Heights. With Holy Basil, Chi Chi, Twelve Spices and Noggi opening up/renovated, the suburb has become more known and talked about. Just as it should.
One of my best girls is craving grilled meat and wraps (that is, rice paper rolls) and takes me to her favourite place, Hai Au Lang Nuong.
Bo La Lop Nuong Than $25
We asked if we could order half beef half pork skewers – I don’t think they normally do this so we were lucky this evening. The marinated beef is wrapped in betal leaves whilst the pork is marinated simply with sesame seeds.
Fresh chilli, Rice Paper Sheets, Dipping Sauce; and Vermicelli and veggies
The dipping sauce is like no other – it’s not the traditional nuoc cham that the Vietnamese use. It’s cloudy and has more tartness to it. The smorgasbord of vermicelli and veggies are served on a wooden platter in neat piles and cut up in the perfect size for wrapping in the rice paper sheets.
The portable grill using charcoal
Our dinner is a cookin’ away
There is a bit of joy in grilling your own food, although the wait gets intense as your appetite starts building up.
Carefully layering up the ingredients for my rice paper roll
We cook the pork so that it has nice grill marks to it. It’s amazing how much of a difference cooking the meat over a grill makes. The smell is amazing and the flavour that shines through is too!
Before and After
Although the betel leaf is very subtle, the grilling of it brings it to another level. It adds another depth of flavour whilst the marinaged beef absorbs the (light) smokiness.
Thanks to my mumma, I’ve been taught how to roll up a rice paper roll (and spring rolls at that). As much as we want to load it up with lots of goodness, each wrap can only hold and take so much filling =)
This is our go to place whenever we are craving a banh bao.
A whole lot of banh baos ready to be eaten – small or large!
Small $1.60 each or $4.50 for 3
Large $2.50 each or $4.50 for 2
We of course go for the big baos :D
The dough is soft and sweet, and always is. It’s my favourite part of the bao! Inside there is a filling of pork, onions, mushrooms, boiled eggs and lup cheung (one tiny piece). I don’t know what it is about this so called steamed dumpling but I’ve got such a soft spot for it. I don’t eat it often but when I do, I demolish it.
One random Saturday brings my siblings and nephews together to have lunch at Long’s Kitchen. You see, my 2 older nephews who are currently 5 and 3 have quite a strong palette for their age, enjoy eating meats and flavoursome food. My oldest sister wanted to bring them here because she knew just how much H and J would love the food (so sweet isn’t she?).
Luoi Bo Nuong – Grilled Ox Tongue $11
The kids love eating ox tongue and enjoyed it here because they were already cut up into small pieces. Not the best batch I’ve had but still hits the spot.
Goi Du Du Ba Khia – Paw Paw Salad $12
The paw paw salad is made quite good here. The balance of salt, sweet, sour and spice is just right, and there’s plenty to share amongst the 6 adults.
Com Chien Ca Man – Salty Fish Fried Rice $13
A favourite amongst us all. The salty fish really lifts up the rather normal fried rice. It wasn’t too overpowering which meant it was a delight to eat. My dad loves this dish and probably would have cleaned this right up by himself.
Cua Lot + Goi Xoai – Soft Shell Crab + Mango $21.50
With young mango being out of season, we got served up an apple salad instead. The soft shell crab had a crisp batter and best of all, the pieces were rather large (the kids loved it!). The apple salad which was served underneath was very much reminiscent of a vietnamese salad with the dressing being a spicy nuc cham sauce. It was delicious and was the perfect accompaniment to the soft shell crab.
Sweet and Sour Pork $13.50
I love it when the pork pieces are still crunchy, even when drenched in the sticky sweet and sour sauce. This one was pretty good. There was still a bit of crunch from the batter which meant that it was made fresh. Can’t complain about being served fresh food.
Beef Pad Thai $13.50
This wasn’t your average pad thai as it had more of a tomato sauce base than tamarind. Not the best tasting thing but I thought it looked pretty good.
I know this next place doesn’t fall within the Canley Heights area but it does happen to be in the same post code so it still counts :)
J’s Kitchen Steak House has renamed themselves and relocated to the heart of Cabramatta on John St. They were formerly operating at and known as Cooks Hill Hotel in a neighbouring suburb.
$10 Menu – all day!
What they’re known for is their $10 dishes, all day every day, which has proven very, very popular within the local community. It’s also a great fit within Cabramatta as you can now get western food at a competitive price similar to the Asian food found in the area.
Despite the open space, this place really does get filled up and quickly at that. My family and I ensure to be prompt and meet at 5.30pm on a Sunday evening to ensure we get a table for our party of 14 (yes, that’s how big my family is).
Steak with chips, salad and mushroom sauce $10
This is the go to meal for nearly everyone in my family, inlcuding my nephews. I cannot believe my 5 year old nephew can demolish the steak to himself. He sure is one little carnivore!
The steak isn’t the best cut and can be a bit inconsistent with the level of cooking, but for $10 it is rather hard to complain, especially considering the portion size. You sure won’t get this value for money everywhere, that’s for sure.
I love love love the salad dressing here. It’s a very creamy honey mustard dressing that they make in house. Definitely a memorable dressing that is so delicious.
Grilled Chicken with chips, salad and dianne sauce $10
Just for this one evening I go for the grilled chicken. Rather average I’d say. I think I’ll stick to the steaks next time.
For a quick fix and a cheap feed, J’s Kitchen Steak House is always an option for my family. It’s just about the only time my parents enjoy eating non-Asian food. Oh yes, traditional parents… =P
Hai Au Lang Nuong
48 Canley Vale Rd
Canley Vale, NSW
Tel: +61 9724 9156
1/194 Canley Vale Rd
Canley Heights NSW 2166
Tel: +61 2 9755 5527
El Cortez Hotel
Cnr Avoca & Canley Vale Roads
Canley Heights NSW 2166
Tel: +61 2 9604 4775
J’s Kitchen Steakhouse
96 John St
Cabramatta, NSW 2166
Tel: +61 424 523 411