Eight Notable Treasures of Cabramatta

I was in the Cabramatta area since I first moved to Sydney (in 2002). Cabramatta has always been my absolute favourite place, while many trash it, I’m that voice in the group that praises it. The afternoon bustle and Vietnamese chatter walking down John Street is most nostalgic. I love the familiarity, and being in the area for so long, it hasn’t been until now that I’ve visited other ‘Asian’ areas, that I realised what was so special about the area.
1. Arcade Takeaway Meals
I love walking down this specific arcade, to the right of Viet Hoa (the bakery open most hours of the day) on John St. Absolute eye candy. Selections of savory glutinous rice based goods such as Banh uot in many combinations (from $6.50) and, of course, my favourite (as per me, dancing with on my banner) Banh bot loc. They also sell Vietnamese Sweets, boxes of plain ol’ Banh uot, and containers of Nuoc mam (fish sauce) to go with it. 
When I’m super lazy, I usually grab just a box of Banh uot from here (priced, depending on the amount, usually $5~7), a cylinder of Cha lua ($5~), Cucumbers and Beansprouts from a grocer and make it all at home. It’s the best! The combination of Banh uot, Cha lua, Beansprouts and Cucumber, topped off with a generous heap of cold Nuoc mam, the perfect summertime treat, I’d say. 
Here I have, Banh Uot with Cha Lua and a Savoury Shrimp Muffin ($6.50)
(Topped with mung bean, mints, lettuce and green onions)

My favourite part of eacting Banh uot – is the fish sauce! I like mine super spicy, and you know when you have enough fish sauce when it’s practically soup!
There is also another John St arcade, on the end closer to the parking lot side, which sells good ol’ Vietnamese che and savoury glutinous bites, $2 each or 3 for $5. I’ve tried so many of their che’s – and none have failed me! It’s such a great treat. They also sell boxes of frozen spring rolls in shrimp or taro.

2. Pandan Waffles
This just does not get enough love! Always hot and fresh, and great for a quick nibble! It’s always consistent with it’s sweetness and amount of shredded coconut. Coincidentally, this is located right across the set-up mentioned in number 1.

Banh Kep ($1.50)
My favourite part of this is peeling it, and nibbling it. The shape of the Banh keps just make it that much more fun!

3. Pate Chaud
When I was in high school, walking home from school was always the best time of the day for me! Once a week I would treat myself to one of the goods along Cabramatta CBD. Most often, it would be a Pate Chaud, a french-inspired savoury pastry with it’s roots from Vietnam. My favourite place to get it, was at the Bakery right on Hill St, closest to John St, but they stopped making them years ago.

What has come closest was the Pate Chaud at A One Cakes, which is right at the intersection of Arthur St and Railway Parade (across from the station). They make them nicely for $2.00/each.

My way of eating these beautiful pastry pieces, is from the bottom and top layers, inwards! I’d always be entertained peeling each layer and eating it ☺. Once you’re left with the soggy bit of pastry surrounding the meat – now this is the best part! Eat the layer, inch by inch, then enjoy the wonderfully loosely seasoned pork ,with gorgeous bites of onion.

4. Alleyway Treasure: U.E Restaurant
My papi always took my sister and I to this shady alleyway restaurant when we were younger. It’s located on Hill Street, closer to the end of John St. They serve delicious meals in a broad variety of combinations based around egg noodle dishes. Very decently priced!

5. Cabramatta for Laos
Situated on the not-so-popular side of Cabramatta is, Phounguen Restaurant. It sounded more like a Vietnamese restaurant, and I was surprised when I sat down and looked at the menu that they were all Laos dishes! Very nicely priced with dishes starting from $8.

Laos Sausage, Raw Beef Salad, Papaya Salad, Ox Tongue, Sauces and your usual complimentary plate of greens. 

No complaints here! The Laos Sausage was perfect and Ox Tongue was just right! I loved each one of the dishes we ordered. Definitely one of the lesser-known tasty Laos restaurants in the Fairfield area.

6. Dim Sum, without the Yum Cha Dining
I have been visiting this place from as long as I could remember. This place, I don’t remember the name, but it’s located to the left of the entrance of BKK shopping centre (close to the intersection of Arthur St and Park Rd).

It would always be the most beautiful weather outside when my younger step-brother and I would take two dollars from the family money box and would venture down from my Park Road flat in Cabramatta to have a stroll through Cabramatta’s CBD and visit one particular shop.

With the two dollars, my younger step-brother would request for two dim sum pieces (.45c each) and I would have one deep-fried pork dumpling (.90c). He would gulp it down in seconds after ordering it, while I would savour each savoury, meaty bite while we continued the rest of our stroll through Cabramatta.

Since then, of course, the prices have gone up. But they’re still consistent in flavours, and I believe, of great value – these will be the tastiest Har gow and Dim sums you will have in Cabramatta! I use to make weekly trips to Cabramatta (in my Roly poly days ;)), ordering, exactly, seven Dim sums (.50c) and two Har gows (.50c) and a Deep-Fried Pork Dumpling ($1.10) with a squidge of Chili sauce on side.

Har gow, Dim sim, Pate chaud and Chicken curry pastry

Their hot pastries go from $1.10 – they have many options! They also sell a lot of other steamed and frozen goods that I haven’t tried (and don’t intend to – because I am happy with my dim sum and har gow hehe).

7. That One Asian Lady on John St
There’s this one cute little Asian lady that stands either on the parking lot side or inner shop side of John St with her pull-a-long granny trolley. You’d most likely catch her on a Saturday during the arvo. She always has stacks of containers of Banh bot loc and Banh it tran for $3. Banh bot loc is my absolute favourite in the world, so I’m always happy to see her chilling on the street and snatching up my easy $3 feed.

8. The Best Pork Roll
And of course, I can’t end this list without mentioning, what Cabramatta is known for – their Pork Rolls! I’ve hunted far and wide (not really. Just in the Fairfield area), for the best pork roll. I’ve tried many bad ones, some average ones, and the only one that I’ve found, which has earned it’s title to be the Best Pork Roll in Sydney (or, the Fairfield area) – is Kim Thanh Company Hot Bread.
Kim Thanh is situated right across from the ‘nicer’ side of Cabramatta station. It is the bread shop on the right, when facing from the station. Don’t get it mixed up!
What I look for in a pork roll, is fresh bread, a generous helping of meat and a nice crunch from the pickled radish and carrots. Kim Thanh has all of those expected qualities, packed in for $4.50.

Happy exploring!

Addresses for the fore-mentioned shops:

2. Banh Kep/Pandan Waffles:
Viet Hoa Hot Bread on Urbanspoon

4. Alleyway Treasure:
U.E. Chinese Reastaurant on Urbanspoon

5. Cabramatta for Laos:
Phounguen Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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