El Jannah, Granville

El Jannah needs no introduction. This is most positively the best charcoal chicken place you’ll ever go to. But, the thing is, what I like about El Jannah isn’t the charcoal chicken – it’s always way too dry, with only the drumsticks of value – but what absolutely makes up for the chicken is the delicious fragrant garlic sauce, crunchy well-seasoned chips, sour pickles and purple pickled radish! It is a MUST if you are in Sydney.
Those pickled radish n’ pickles!
I absolutely hate ordering here though. The lines are always massive, and the sight of all staff members huddled behind the counter is irritating for me.
Okay, so, this is me ordering the same thing from El Jannah over a year, on three different occasions. Even though I love it so much, I’ve only ever eaten El Jannah six times in my life, having only discovered it a a year and a half ago…

My favourite piece to order is the 1/4 piece with the drumstick, which comes with the pickled goods of radish and pickles, a generous plate of garlic sauce, bag of lebanese bread and amazingly seasoned chips as sides. The way I eat it is, ripping the lebanese bread in half and opening one half up to form a pocket, then, I would spread the garlic sauce and place the chicken, pickles and a chips in accordingly, then roll and eat! Absolute amazing flavours words cannot even remotely describe. Each time after I eat it, I think that it’s one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
A while ago, my friend recommended me to order the Chicken Wrap ($7.90) next time I go – which consists of all the goods that I would normal order with the 1/4 piece. She says it’s so much better than creating it yourself! I forget each time I go and am still yet to try it.
I can only account for the prices for the meals from one occasion, where I grabbed 1/2 a chicken with sides and drinks for a friend and myself and it equated to $25 or so…. Takeaway is a lot more cheaper (about 30-40% less of dine in cost) from what I remember! I’ve always wanted to takeway El Jannah and go have a picnic… Just thinking about all the things I wanted to do in Sydney but never fulfilled, sigh.
Well, anyway, I don’t believe that El Jannah is definitely the best place for charcoal chicken around, but it is the best for everything else that comes with it – their garlic sauce, pickles and chips are incredible! And wrapped all together… that’s a perfect combination. I’d be a slack move on yourself if you’ve never tried this same meal.

El Jannah4-6 South St
Granville NSW
2142 Australia 

  El Jannah on Urbanspoon

Sushi Rio, Chinatown

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until my last month in Australia that I was introduced to Sushi Rio. Anytime before this, when anybody would mention any sort of sushi train to me, I would be biased as hell since being scarred by the sushi trains at Liverpool and Merrylands multiple times, I decided to call it off between sushi train and I. 
My mates mentioned a place called Sushi Rio a place with plates of miraculous fresh cuts of salmon, absolute melt-in-your-mouth scallops and all the sushi combinations you can imagine – all for $3 a plate. I was a tad cynical but went along and trusted their food instincts since everything they’ve ever introduced to me have always been fantastic! 
Lining up on a weekday arvo, we were immediately seated along the high chairs of the sushi train. My friends immediately grabbed their favourite plates off the rail for us all to share before I could even process what I wanted to take off the rail.
Everything looked fresh, and you’d only expect – $3 a plate, and such popularity, they’d have to have fresh ingredients! You can either grab plates off the sushi train, or off a menu, ordering from one of the attentive staff members running around.
They also have non-$3 items, which are on the last few pages of the menu. The items from here are much bigger of course – I tried a few of them, all delicious and worth the extra few dollars!
 1.Prawn, Tuna and Avocado 
Allllll of their sushi is great!
2. Seaweed, Salmon (4 pc) and Scallops
The seaweed was as expected, nice taste to accompany the rest of the dishes. Salmon was fantastic! Tastes just as fresh as it looks. I love the presentation of it. The scallops were even better than the salmon! All absolute melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
The second time I went down here, it as for dinner, it was night time and we got lost (for a good 20 minutes). It was then when I found that there were so many $3 sushi trains in the city! I was tempted to just settle for any $3 sushi train along the way, but thought that Sushi Rio was worth the extra effort of searching! It was a Saturday night and it took 20 minutes to be seated… but it was exactly well worth it!
3. Scampi
How cute is this little guy! We ordered this out of curiosity ☺. The head and tail were of course for decoration, after removing, you have a little piece of raw scampi on rice.
4. Multiple plates are easily finished 
I tried sooo many of their dishes (not pictured) – their eel and kaarage chicken is amazing! I had their sushi taco just for the lolz, and it was purely the lolz – the one thing that was odd, a piece of shrimp on a crunchy taco shell drizzled in sweet chili sauce (what). 
Overall, this place is terrific! $3 sushi plates of the freshest ingredients all day, always quick service and a nice atmosphere. I would like to come here again to try out their drinks!

Sushi Rio
Shop 7, 339 Sussex St
Sydney, NSW
Australia 2000

Sushi Rio on Urbanspoon

Green Peppercorn, Fairfield

I’m actually embarrassed by the amount of times I’ve been here. Green Peppercorn opened up right around the corner of my street, and in the first two months, I pranced familiarly into it’s doors at least twice a week. I would have to ask my fellow diners not to check me in to the place on Facebook because I was there so often.

Since opening, they have added so many new things to the menu! Sucks that I only tried out the old menu, and a lot of the things that I would try to order (Laos sausage and a few of the desserts) would be unavailable. There’s so many things, looking through the menu that I would try now.

Not pictured, but, I’ve also tried:
Beef Tripe Salad ($11.90)
Flavours like their chicken feet salad, tangy and delicious bites of tripe.
Crunchy Nuts ($14.90)
(Oversized bowls of Hazelnut & pistachio ice-cream with caramel fudge, almonds, whipped cream, chocolate honeycomb and maple syrup) I loved finding the bits of honeycomb! Ice cream with nuts is always a winner.
Pandan Creme Brulee ($12.90) 
(Delicious fluffy and light brulee with a touch of Pandan flavour) It did get sickening after the second spoon. I just like the sweet garnishes and crunchy bits on top.

1. Larb Diep (Raw Beef Salad $12.90)
Finely chopped raw beef and tripe tossed with anchovie sauce, lime, fresh herbs and toasted ground rice powder. 
Raw beef salad is one of my favorite type of salad – I loved how uniformly chopped each piece of beef was, so each was as equally absorbed in the tangy sauce as the next. I just wish that there was more of this on the plate.
2. Soop Ma Pi (Banana Flower Salad with Chicken $14.90)
Thinly sliced banana flower salad tossed with chicken, spices, coconut cream and aromatics. 
I fell in love with the first bite, but I got tired of the overwhelming fragrance after a while. But it is a dish you have to try! It was a delicious aroma of veggies, nuts and chicken. The perfect combination!

3. Duck eggs ($3.50)
I don’t see this on their current menu – but anyway, the duck egg was perfect! Lots of meat and juices to suck out of it. The sauce wasn’t necessary for this one.
4. Charcoal BBQ Ox Tongue ($10.90)
Look at that incredibly scarce pile of ox tongue. Disappointing. It was average anyway, I really didn’t like the angle at which the meat was cut, was was very slanted, making a lot of the edges over-cooked.
5. Tom Yum (Hot ‘n’ Sour Soup $11.90) 
A traditional hot and sour soup. Infused with delicious Thai fresh ingredients: galangal, onions, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, coriander, mushrooms and chillies.
I can’t judge because I really don’t like tom yum. But, isn’t this such a nice photo ☺. They had a large number of mushrooms in there though! It took up most of the soup bowl.

6. Pad See Ew ($12.90)
Sweet soy sauce flavoured stir fried flat rice noodles with beef, vegetables and egg.
This was great! Super tasty and a great amount to share.
7. Pad Thai ($12.90)
Stir fried thin rice noodles with: chicken, garlic, chives, red onions, egg and garnished with bean sprouts and crushed peanuts.
I’ve had this twice, both with chicken, and it’s fantastic! The best pad thai I’ve had so far!

8. Khao Pad Kaphao (Fried rice with Chicken, Chili, Egg, Asian vegetables and Basil $12.90) 
Lots of flavours going on here, but I wouldn’t order it again. Too average for the price.
9. Crispy Pork Belly with Stir-fried Water Spinach ($18.90)
I loved this! (at the time :P… I ended up eating a better plate of pork belly and water spinach at Chat Thai, SO much better!) The crispy pork belly ran out of it’s crispiness pretty quickly though from all that sauce and there was such a less amount of meat.

10. Salt & Pepper Calamari ($16.90) (Centre)
Deep fried batter squid seasoned with salt, pepper, chilli and  shallots.
Just, beautiful! You could really taste the seasoning.
11. Chicken Feet Salad ($11.90)  (Right)
De-boned chicken feet tossed with coriander, shallots, fresh chilli, leaves, peanuts and red onions dressed in fresh lime and fish sauce.
Chicken feet salad is the best thing to order anywhere! It’s not too hard to get wrong ☺. They needed to be more generous with the amount of chicken feet, but I loved the tangy and fresh flavours from the herbs.
12. Paradise Bliss Coconut ($14.90)
Oversized ice-cream bowls of three scoops of ice cream, passionfruit syrup, mango, lychees with toasted coconut muesli.
This was the second thing I ever ordered from GPC! Depending on your tastebuds, it’s truly amazing – it is more sour with the passionfruit and lychee, which I thought was a great combination with the sweet ice cream. I was able to choose three scoops of ice cream – I think I chose fruity ones – lychee, coconut or mango or such. It was a nice bite with the fruits and passionfruit seeds.

The place was nicely adorned with a lot of random things, different textures and looks in each corner.
Here is a picture of my cutie sister slurping away at her delicious Coconut & Jackfruit Shake ($6.50)

Now, the thing that everyone should stop by GPC for, is their shakes! With the right combination, it is amazing!
 My favourite to order here is Coconut, Jackfruit and Lychee ($6.50). This is a godly combination!
Also shown are strawberry shakes – again, these are from the old menu. They have so many more! If I had the option to go back again, I would definitely go for an addition of custard apple or durian!

13. Banana Fritters ($12.90)
Deep fried coconut battered banana fritters served with ice-cream and drizzled with pandan sauce. 
This was yummy! Just how I expected. I love ice cream with anything. The banana was beautifully battered but the pandan sauce didn’t give any more depth to it.

14. Black Sesame Creme Brulee ($12.90) 
I liked this one a lot better than the pandan. This was in the first few months of them opening, so they came out with new items every few weeks. I saw this, and had to try it. My friend loved it! It was okay to me, again.
15. Fried Ice-cream ($14.90)
Deep fried ice-cream wrapped in pastry, served with a coconut muesli and chocolate sauce.
The Holy Basil one is a lot better, but this is still great, seeing as it was at a restaurant which wasn’t that far away from me :p. I loved the coconut muesli, it was perfect!

Green Peppercorn, as an all-rounder, is great! Always great service, beautifully presented, lovely ambiance and to-par dishes. But… it is way overpriced than others Laos & Thai restaurants in the area – The highest that the bill has ever gone up to, was for three people ($160~, heh).
You should also only ever make your visits during the quieter hours. I make this mistake every single time, and I don’t realise it until I’m in the process of making my order. It’s so damn irritatingly loud that I could hardly make a conversation, and a headache starts up.
Must eats:
Coconut, Jackfruit and Lychee Fruit Shake ($6.50)
– One of their over-sized ice cream bowls ($14.90)
 Pad Thai ($12.90)
1 Hamilton Road 
Fairfield, NSW 
2165 Australia
Green Peppercorn on Urbanspoon

Vy Vy Garden, Canley Heights

I can easily say that I’ve been here more than 15 times… I absolutely love this place! I literally spend hours here. The chairs are super comfy, there is unlimited supply of cold tea (I usually need to go to the bathroom at least once each time I visit, so, great for detoxing – the tea is so addictive!), relaxing sounds of their mini fountain at the back, a wonderful breeze and a nicely sheltered (and heated) patio. 
One of the places I miss the most in Sydney is most definitely, Vy Vy Garden. 
 The cafe extends all the way to the back, it looks especially nice at nighttime and is wonderfully dimmed. I’m always camping at the back, on one of the comfy brown chairs.
The first time I visited this place, the menu was completely foreign to me! Everything was in Vietnamese, but throughout my many visits to this place, I learnt each fruit and knew exactly which was which hehe :p. The servers are all nice and helpful, they provide great suggestions and are always super attentive.

On the menu for fruit drinks, they have shakes or ‘dam’ (I can’t really translate, but it’s like hitting). 
shake is just a traditional blended fruit drink.
Dam, is amazing! There’s a few types that you can choose from for this (or you can request to have it mixed): Jackfruit, soursop, lychee and avocado and they uniformly chopped up, mixed with a bit of coconut milk. It’s delicious! There is also two options to have your dam with jackfruit or soursop in sour yogurt.

1. Che Trai Cay ($5.50)
This item isn’t on the menu, but you can ask for it! It includes all the fruits they have, mixed with a bit of sweet coconut milk. The fruits sometimes vary, but are usually consisted of jackfruit, watermelon, strawberry, honeydew, cantalope, mango papaya and/or lychee.
2. Pennywort ($4.00)
3. Soursop in Yogurt ($5.50)
I ordered this drink blindly, I saw this item on the menu (it was in Vietnamese) and asked the server what it was – she said that it was sour sop in yogurt. I knew that this was the Vietnamese yogurt I was familiar to eating when I was younger – it was such a great combination!
4. Watermelon Shake ($5.50)
 I had number 1 and 3 of this list – but I did get to try all my friend’s drinks. They were all delicious! The watermelon shake was surprisingly, really nice! Oh, and I absolutely love their stirrers! Look how happy this ladybug looks! You’ll be seeing more stirrers in the next few photos…
 5. ‘Dam’ Soursop in Yogurt (mentioned previously) ($5.50)
6. Avocado Shake ($5.50)
7 & 8. Dam Jackfruit ($5.50)
I love the crunchy green balls that come on top of all the drinks! Many of my friends don’t like it, so I take it for the team and let them drop it on top of my shake :D.
 9. Che Trai Cay (on a different day from 1.) ($5.50)
10. Vietnamese Ice Coffee ($4.50)
And for the savouries…
11. Duck egg (Hot vit lon) ($2.50)
Served with pepper/salt, lemon and fresh herbs
12. Spring rolls 6pc ($6)
Served with sweet chili sauce

The duck egg was great! My favourite part is slurping out the juices, mmhmm! As for the spring roll, don’t judge it by my picture, it’s a lot bigger than that and nice to share. I wish they had more hot foods!
Overall, Vy Vy Garden is my absolute favourite place to chill out at! Best service I’ve ever received in the Fairfield area! Super attentive and helpful servers. It has the best atmosphere, and on multiple occasions, I’ve spent hours here… Honestly, I don’t even know where the time goes. It’s so comfortable! I hope they never have to close down.
I brought three other friends here for the first time, but they didn’t like it at all… I guess, it depends if you’re already into Vietnamese sweets!
Must eats:
– ALL OF THEIR DRINKS (But mainly the ‘dam’s ☺)
Eh, it can pass…: 
– Their ice cream… I’ve only had it twice, their Mint Choc and Lychee. Both terrible.
(I love this place)
Vy Vy Garden
226 Canley Vale Road 
Canley Heights NSW
2166 Australia
Vy Vy Garden on Urbanspoon

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

V Lounge, Canley Heights

V Lounge, one of the only hang-out places in Canley Heights for the longest time… 
 
29th October, 2012
I’ve been  to Vlounge numerous times and usually always get their boysenberry gelato (which is amazing.) We just finished dinner at Canley Heights Bistro and I felt like something small to snack on.
There is an option to ‘Make your own’ dessert ($10.50) – being a Crepe, Pancake or Waffle. With either four types of fillings (you can also request to substitute somethin’ for somethin’):
1. Chocolate, Strawberries or Bananas and Whipped Cream or Vanilla Bean Gelato
2. White Chocolate, Blueberries, Grated Coconut and Coconut Gelato
3. Mascarpone Cream, Blueberries, Hazelnuts and Spicy Caramelised Bananas
4. Nutella, Walnuts, Fresh Strawberries, Crushed Nuts, Grated Coconut and Nutella Gelato
Make your own Crepes and Pancakes ($10.50)
(with identical fillings of Strawberries, Nutella, White chocolate and Crumbled biscuits)
It was an incredible combination. But of course, ice cream is nice with anything!


____________________________________________________________

15th March, 2013

Strolling through Canley Heights, we decided to sit at the patio at Vlounge.

1. Spicy Chicken Wings ($9.95)
This could do with a lot more meat. I love chicken wings but this was well not worth it.
2. Taro & Green Tea Latte ($7.99)
Average – a very subtle green tea/taro taste. It was just pretty to look at.

Tasty, very well presented and overpriced (for the Canley Heights area), and the thing with V Lounge is that they clearly have no thought about about service. Never any common courtesy and they are super unattentive.  Kinda ridiculous but, it’s Canley Heights, what can I expect?

Must eats:
– Their ‘Make your own’ Desserts!
– Boysenberry Gelato (My favourite!)
Eh, it can pass…: 
– Their savoury foods
(I’ve tried their peking duck pizza, chicken schnitzel, calamari, pasta and wings… each in such small portions for their price. C’mon, V Lounge.)
V Lounge 
Shop 3, 239 Canley Vale Rd 
Canley Heights NSW 
2166 Australia
(02) 9723 3492
V Lounge on Urbanspoon

Holy Basil, Canley Heights

I only ever like Holy Basil during the daytime. During the evening, it’s way too crowded and even distressing for me to even look at. I short post for Holy Basil – the food is always great here! It’s always busy and is higher priced than other Thai & Laos restaurants in the Fairfield Area. 
Holy Basil and Green Peppercorn are brother restaurants – so the prices are about the same, and the food is similiar, except that I find Holy Basil to be a tad better for some dishes.
 1. Lemon Lime Bitters $4.50
Always a favourite to order!
2. Pad See Ew $12.90
With beef, the pad se ew was perfect! I loved the fat cuts of rice noodles, and the sauce was terrific of course.

3. Fried Ice-cream $13.90
This is, without a doubt, the best fried ice-cream I’ve ever had! And I get the same feeling each time I have it. It’s absolutely perfect. I love the crunchy bits of coconut museli and caramel. They got this spot on. No improvement needed. 
I’ve also tried their Sticky Coconut Rice Pudding and Durian ($13.90), which I thought was terrible. I just don’t get the sticky rice and sweets combination! There were just all sorts of wrong here.
Just like Green Peppercorn, their shakes are fantastic! It is .50c less here, but they don’t have an option of coconut – so I much prefer GPC for shakes! 
I can’t help but compare Green Peppercorn and Holy Basil because they’re both so similiar. There are cheaper prices at Holy Basil, overall, better dishes, a nice patio and fried ice cream; but at GPC we have coconut shakes and very attentive staff! I guess it depends on what you prefer at the time of deciding!

233A Canley Vale Rd
Canley Heights NSW
2166 Australia
Holy Basil on Urbanspoon

Albee’s Kitchen, Cabramatta

Albee’s Kitchen. I so wanted this place to be my favourite restaurant in the area.
I had really high hopes. I would walk past the Malaysian restaurant weekly, I loved how cute-sy it looked. It’s very different from the rest of the restaurants in Cabramatta.
I’ve visited Albee’s Kitchen three times.
My sister and I finally settled on a date and time to have lunch here. We were one of two in the restaurant at 12PM on a Wednesday arvo. We were hardly greeted with the server hastily laying two menus on a table. I guess that’s where we’re meant to sit. 
The walls across the restaurant were covered in the menu items. We were focusing on the pictures, they all looked delicious! Including the menus in our hands, there were so many options! I was actually not that hungry, and my sister wasn’t either, so we decided to go with something to share. Malaysia is known for their Hainanese chicken, so, this was a no-brainer to order. We also grabbed two of their curry puffs, an extra bowl of hainanese chicken rice and two drinks.
After 15 minutes, our orders arrived. 
1. Hainanese Chicken Rice ($9.50)
Served with chili and ginger sauces and a bowl of soup for side
I loved how it came with these sauces. I only went for the ginger sauce, I love chicken with ginger sauce! It was nicely paired with the flavoursome rice and very tender pieces of sliced chicken. We both thought nothing of the soup, it was very bland.
A bowl of chicken rice each! Everything happily sitting on my spoon!
2. Karipap ($2.60/each)
(A small pie consisting of specialised curry with chicken, sweet potatoes and egg in a deep fried pastry shell)
This was actually pretty bad. I couldn’t take more than two bites of it, and I like everything! It just had a weird flavour to it, and the egg was a bit too hard. But, I guess the first strike was watching the server take two of the Karipaps out of the fridge for the, clearly sweltering chef to pop into the fryer.
My sister and I were pretty satisfied. The best Hainanese Chicken Rice I’ve tasted! And I loved the drinks we grabbed with it – I can’t remember too much what I got, but it was some sory of bean che, my sister had milk tea.
On my second visit, my friend and I wanted to grab a small bite after our visit to Ikea. It felt like such a long day. Walking in, we were lucky that there was one vacant table. It looked like there was a lot of families here for Friday night dinner. We decided to go with the Char Kuay Teow. 
Char Kuay Teow ($10.50)
Flat stir fried rice noodles with soya sauce, shrimp, clam meat, chinese sausage, bean sprouts and chives
Or as the description may suggest – I did not see a clam meat and hardly any chinese sausage in sight. This was my first go at Char Kuay Teow. I do like it a lot better than Pad See Ew. It has a sort of elasticy-oily taste to it, hehe. They gave a generous proportion of this, we finish it, and I did feel disgusting afterwards.
And on my third (and final) visit here, I made a visit with my sister again – this memory is very vague, even though it only occurred a few months ago. I think I just tried to block it out of my mind. I came in for lunch on a weekday, it’s the same server I come across each time, and again, the same poor hasty service, no smile or anything. 
I ordered their Hainanese Chicken, the dish that when I walked out of their restaurant the first time, I thought was the amazing, and would preach the same words to everyone who brought it up. My dish came out in 10 minutes, and, it was cold. The chicken and it’s sauce was as if it’s been waiting out for a long time and the rice was slightly hard. Oh how disappointed I was. It wasn’t even slightly warm. How could this even happen? I grabbed the attention of the same server, and this was the only time I saw her crack a slight smile on her face – ‘Oh, did you want it hot?’.
This place has the coldest service you’ll ever receive. I’ve tried to like it. The Cabramatta location for Albee’s Kitchen is plain terrible – I’m glad they have other locations. It just saddens me.

Albee’s Kitchen
2/44 Park Rd
Cabramatta NSW
2166 Australia

Albee's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Hai Au Lang Nuong, Canley Vale

This was one of the saddest meals I’ve ever had.
Many have commented that Hai Au Lang Nuong is the closest you can get to around here for good ol’ Vietnamese cuisine. I’m not sure if it was because of my emotions that my tastebuds were out of place at the time, or if the food was just plain ol’ average.
You can just skim through this post for the pictures, I wasn’t in my photo-ready mood this night, so I can’t recall the exact names of the dishes, prices and what were in it.
 My cutie friend being the rice server for the night.
 1. Fried Tofu
Very very lightly seasoned, it hardly had any taste.
2. Sweet Sour Pork
Usually, this is meant to be an addictive plate… Not so much here.
3. Rau Muong (Water Spinach)
Not too sure why the sauce was murky and grey – tasted like the usual garlic and spinach though.
 4. Ca Kho (Caramelised fish)
The best dish of them all! I love caramelised-everything! It came in such a small lot though.
5. Canh Chua
Filled with the usuals of canh chua. But, I’ve never liked this soup – I know, very un-Vietnamese of me.
 Everything looking pretty and colourful on my plate. 
They had frames stuck along the ceiling…
They brought out the dessert menu, which consisted of three items.
6. Hai Au’s version of the Creme Caramel Flan
This was pretty unappetising. Tasted like artificial sweetener, and the flan wasn’t melt-in-your-mouth like you’d expect. It was very stiff and riggidy.
7. Che
I think I was the only one that didn’t enjoy this… was way too sweet for my liking, it tasted a tad like strawberry syrup.
They’re probably just best for their BBQ nights (Friday – Sunday). Not so much their other dishes…

Hai Au Lang Nuong
48 Canley Vale Rd
Canley Vale NSW
2166 Australia

Hai Au Lang Nuong on Urbanspoon

TK Something, Canley Vale

For Valentines Day, myself and three girlfriends went for dinner. I’ve passed by this place countless times since it opened more than six months ago and only now have stepped through it’s doors. I’ve only heard that it was pretty average and didn’t have some of the most valued dishes that people go to KBBQ for.
TK Something, is purely an all-you-can-eat, so there’s really no other options. Just $29.50/pp.
Ages 4-12 are charged $14/pp and below 3 eat free… Drinks not included.
 We were given (sticky) menus, that I didn’t really want to touch (lol) – it was double sided with a list of conditions running down the side. Maximum sitting time is two hours, which I believe we only stayed for an hour and 30 minutes and for every uneaten dish, we will be charged $5.
There was also a small self-serve desert bar.
What sucks the most about an all-you-can-eat… and them charging for each uneaten plate is that, we have to finish EVERYTHING on the plate. Even if we don’t like it.
We went ahead and made our orders:
– Beef patties
– Pork belly
– Octopus
– Calamari
– Chicken wings
– Satay chicken
– Corn cob
– Mushroom
– Onions
– Nem nuong
Now, this was a lot of food…
The Nem Nuong (top left) was terrible… And why do they even have nem nuong on their menu? It’s a Vietnamese dish. Get it right at least! We were absolutely forcing the patties down, the Beef Patty was pretty bad too. Everything else was okay, marinade not worth praising.
They didn’t even have cuts of beef in the regular marinade…
They even had sriracha among the sauces! We were cooking way faster than we could chew.
 Octopuses waiting to firm up and a mutant mushroom
The slack dessert bar…. Wasn’t much variety going on!
Basil seeds, swirl cake slices, canned jackfruit, watermelon, pannacotta and coconut jelly.
The bad thing about cooking your own food, is not knowing when it’s ready… So two of my friends that were sitting opposite to me (cooking their own food), ended up being pretty sick the next day…
It was pretty dissappointing. It was a lot of stuffing ourselves with patties that weren’t even slightly appealing, and really nothing to look forward to eating next. Way too full after chowing down all the dishes and reaching for dessert… Not a good variety of meats either. I’d rather trek further for an all-you-can-eat KBBQ, TK Something, you’re not doing it for me.

TK Something
Shop 6-7, 47-49 Canley Vale Rd
Canley Vale NSW
2166 Australia

TK Something on Urbanspoon