Cabramatta, Sydney “Little Saigon” Vietnamese Food and Market

Australia – Day 14 – Sydney – Cabramatta (and Day 1)

So there is Chinatown in Sydney and there is a “Little Saigon” as well. Cabramatta is a suburb in south-western Sydney and relatively close to my Aunties House.  I shared a couple posts about Cabramatta like and Lobster Sashimi at Iron Chef Cabramatta.

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On Day 14, we met up with another auntie for lunch, then went to the Cabramatta Market (Auntie is preparing a home cooked meal for dinner), as well as a few random things I saw and noticed as we went shopping. Oh! And I’ll revisit the very first meal we had in Australia (since I managed to skip that). This is a Cabramatta Food post!

Bun Bo Hue Dong Ba

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There are so many different Vietnamese restaurants in Cabramatta! But they each kind of specialize in their own dishes, even though all of their menus may look relatively similar. I guess you kind of need to know your way around or in this case read the name of the restaurant.

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I took a few pictures of the menus and the quick picture of the inside of the restaurant and one of the ladies from the restaurant (probably the owner?) started walking up to me, presumably to figure out why I kept taking pictures of everything.

Auntie had to explain that I was her relative from abroad and I’m just being a tourist and taking pictures of everything. The lady kept staring at me but just left me alone. haha.

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We’re here for Bun Bo Hue. This is a beef noodle soup from Hue (a city in Central Vietnam). Bun Bo Hue is typically spicy, sour, salty, and sweet in a single bowl. I know it sounds super complicated in flavors. The noodles are a thicker round noodle, and everything is topped with pigs blood, beef brisket, pigs feet (or knucles), etc.

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To me, the soup flavor is like Pho…BUT with a sate type of spicy and lemongrass. I wanted to eat this when we first arrived in Sydney when we went to Binh Dan located across the street on (day 1 more on that further down this post).

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150919d Cabramatta Dong Ba Bun Bo Hue _12The vegetable served are also a little different. Every heard of banana flowers?

This bowl pretty good! I really like it when the Bun Bo Hue is not too spicy. For 2 reasons. 1. because I’m really not that good with eating spicy food, I can handle maybe level 3 out 10 after that it’s not very fun. 2. I’ve had a bowl of Bun Bo Hue in Hue, Vietnam and that bowl was not very spicy at all and probably the most amazing bowl of Bun Bo Hue I’ve ever had.

There is a place in Orange County that comes quite close though.

And because I was feeling greedy, I ordered a drink/dessert. The 3 colored “Che” is always a treat for me. Although my best friend spoils me for kind of  customizing it for me whenever she makes it for me at her family restaurant in San Diego. It is definitely NOT a 1:1 ratio.

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Mom and Yuntiha do not eat beef, so they ordered the Chicken Pho. Which is basically a chicken soup, with pho noodles, and chicken.

And as we learned, don’t stray off from their specialties too much. This was not very good. Mom and Yuntiha said it was very sweet, as if sugar has been added.

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They use fresh noodles unlike the skinny dried vermicelli that is served in the US. I grew up with the dried stuff, but this is definitely much more authentic. I shared a little more about pho in Australia when we were in Melbourne and went to Mekong Vietnam.

Binh Dan

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Actually Dad also ordered pho when we were at Binh Dan. Auntie wanted to make sure we tried the fresh noodles.

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So before we even arrived at Aunties house in the suburbs of Sydney she took us to Binh Dan. There was actually a variety of things they are well known for giving us a few more choices compared to Bun Bo Hue Dong Ba.

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Because Bun Bo Hue was not a specialty Auntie insisted that I get the Banh Canh Cuo instead.

“Banh Canh” is the type of noodles and “Cuo” is crab. So in short I ordered the crab noodle soup.

The soup at first look almost reminds me of a watered down sweet and sour sauce but it was definitely not anything like a sweet and sour sauce. The orange color comes from the crab base in the soup. The flavor is very strong and soup is interestingly thick. This was really good!

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Auntie ordered the Banh Canh Gio Heo. Gio Heo is the pig foot (pick knuckle). The soup is a much lighter flavor and consistency compared to the Banh Canh Cuo I had.

The noodles (Banh Canh) look like udon, but the noodles have a slightly more chewy and are almost translucent.

150906b Binh Dan Cabramatta _15 150906b Binh Dan Cabramatta _13Yuntiha ordered the Bun Mang Vit.

This Bamboo Duck Noodle Soup is one of Yuntiha’s favorite soup dishes and a soup dish that my Mom hasn’t tried to make at home (maybe that’s why yuntiha likes to order this when we go out).

It’s a duck based soup, but the duck is actually served on the side along with vegetables etc.

As you can see here, the noodle is once again different. This “Bun” noodle is a vermicelli noodle that is usually served with out soup. Usually it’s usually served served cool with meat, vegetables and a fish sauce.

Mom ordered duck as well, but she went with a Chinese Vietnamese noodle dish.

Mi Vit Thiem is a Roasted Duck Soup with Egg Noodles. The duck soup base is very dark from the roasted duck as well as the star anise things and creates a rather unique almost herbal (because of the star anise in my opinion).

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After lunch we wandered around (Auntie was on a mission to meet up with an old high school friend that lives nearby). Sorry, Auntie asked that I not post any pictures of her.

Cabramatta Market

Then we headed to the market to prep for dinner. On our menu: oysters, sashimi, shrimp, and steak. Oh, and of course to pick up more souvenirs etc along the way at the Cabramatta Market.

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150919g Cabramatta Market _07We went to get the steak first, so we walked to a meat shop. As Auntie was busy getting her cut of meat, I was busy snapping pictures and being very fascinated by everything on display…I mean for sale.

But seriously, look at the the beef tongues and pig feet just hanging around!

Oh, and then then were this drum stick. Can I call it a drumstick when it’s from a cow and not a chicken? I think this is the thigh?

I was so fascinated that Auntie asked the guys to pull it out for to see and take a picture. The guys that work their were much more fascinated with me cause I wanted to take a picture of that thing.

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And after all of my pictures, we got some Australia beef. We saw all of these cows as we drove from city to city it was about time we got to actually eat some.  But why is it frozen? No we didn’t get all of it, we just got a few slices to make steak at home.

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Next stop, seafood. Cabramatta is dubbed “Little Saigon” but look at all of the different languages on the sign. I see Vietnames, Chinese, English, and my guess Thai or Cambodian?

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We were here for the oysters. Auntie picked a couple dozen! So fun to just eat with no reservations at home. Sydney Rock Oysters are so sweet! Compared to the fat but salty baja oysters in Southern California.

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And of course, while Auntie ordered our oyster I went exploring with my camera in hand. Yabbies? Spanner Crabs?

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Auntie sent Uncle and my Dad to go to another place to get shrimp.

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And I just couldn’t help but to be so happy seeing all of these fruits and vegetables.

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One comment

  1. All the food looks very good! What is banana flower? Is it the yellow stuff in the drink?

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