Escape the hustle and bustle from the CBD and take a short bus ride to Balmain for the day. While there isn't much more to do than your typical suburban shops and cafe's - one stood out to us and be sure to visit Phamous Kitchen on Darling Street. The food and service is equally as great but it's who you are with that makes the whole dining experience special. Phamous Kitchen is a Vietnamese restaurant with a modern and creative flair.
Duck Rice Paper Roll
We started off with a small bite, the duck rice paper rolls. Until today, we've never seen such beautifully presented rice paper roll before. These were great to start with, somewhat healthy until the warm hoisin sauce comes into the picture, however the sauce simply perfects the dish - it's almost like saying you will have a burger without the bun.. that's just silly talk! The added texture of the crispy eshallots gave a crunch that definitely did not go unnoticed. It's the little things like this which is why we would recommend Phamous Kitchen to our friends and family.
The mini turmeric tart or otherwise known as Banh Khot in Vietnamese has got to be one of our favourite Vietnamese dishes. When visiting Vietnam, Christie tried the traditional Banh Khot and Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake) and found it very interesting in comparison to the modernised equivalent we are served, and this is the second time we've tried a modern Vietnamese Banh Khot. More traditionally speaking, the tart is more crispy however Phamous Kitchen presented a softer base with a large prawn in comparison to the smaller ones we have been served previously - so there is much more texture with the addition of a quality prawn which we actually enjoyed more! The fish sauce on the side lacked flavour (in our opinion) otherwise, it was quite an enjoyable light meal.
Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake) is traditionally served with pork slices, prawns, bean sprouts, mung beans, shallots and some leafy greens along with fish sauce (nuoc cham). The modern take on it by Phamous Kitchen was something we have never seen or thought of before. Combining pulled pork with picked eshallot, sauerkraut, goats cheese and complimenting it with an extremely crispy pancake base made for a unique - yet very VERY delicious experience. The addition of the sauerkraut was definitely odd, but wow did it give the pancake a powerful flavour hit, our expectations of a traditional Banh Xeo were washed out the door and we were very happy. Even after we had photographed all dishes, the base remained crispy making it harder than normal to eat, so we started to cut the pancake like a pizza and ended up eating it like a pizza slice.
This is a very heavily Western influence Vietnamese restaurant, but we are okay with that. It brings the best of both Vietnamese and Western cultures together and infuses them into the vibrant and elegant dishes you see before you. We will be bringing the family back to try more food next time!
Disclaimer: Snapshots of Food dined as guests of CPM Online Marketing and Phamous Kitchen