Fresh lemon juice with soda water and sugar $3.50
I've always thought that you can always tell how much fun you're having at dinner by the number of times a waiter has to come back for your order. Going out with The Second Wife and Gravy Beard is a good example of this. There are always funny stories to catch up on and our poor waiter comes back several times to get our order but we are busy catching up on things to decide what to order. It doesn't help that everything sounds delicious on the menu.
We've been coming to Bay Tinh for years - my parents love it so there's always a trip with them and now that it has been bought by Harry Hoang and renovated, it has been spruced up. Gone are the High School essay plastic folders for menus which were not without their charm - there's now a proper menu.
_Young Coconut Juice $3.50 _
We start off with drinks, young coconut drinks for some and a fresh lemon juice with soda water and sugar for me. The Young Coconut drink is refreshing and sweet (although a long spoon would have helped in the quest to eat the deliciously slippery young coconut). The lemon drink is very tart with more emphasis on lemon than lemonade.
Crab Pate 6 for $7
The Crab Pate is made up of deep fried crab meat on top of a bed of salad with fish sauce and it is similar to a fish cake but more delicate and soft whereas some fish paste cakes can be rubbery. These are delicious and spongey and soft - just don't expect French pate.
Little Rice Cakes 6 for $8
I can't resist my favourite items on the menu and of course we have to order a serve of these delicious, coconutty and crisp rice cakes. They collapse in the mouth and are absolutely divine.
Banh Cong Prawn Cakes $6
Famous in South Vietnam, the Banh Cong consists of 2 prawn cakes cut into 3 to give 6 pieces. It's unusual and delicious with a mung bean and a spongey tapioca flour texture. It's not what you'd necessarily expect in that it's not particularly prawney but still tasty nevertheless.
Duck Salad Goi Vit $15
The Duck salad is similar to Chinese lettuce cups (Sang Choy Bow) but with a tangy twist courtesy of the lime juice and pickles.
Salt and pepper beancurd $13.50
The salt and pepper beancurd is served with an intense salt and pepper sauce. Only a couple of drops of this are needed as it's strong stuff. The tofu, that The Second Wife adores, is deliciously fried and is shaped into small domino tiled shapes.
Prawn and beef bonfire Part a) The beef and prawn mix
Prawn and beef bonfire Part b) The Rice paper
Prawn and beef bonfire Part c) The salad
The DIY rice paper rolls are set slight at the table and we wait while the prawns and beef cook. It is truly a DIY experience as we are to wet the rice paper too which wasn't very successful in a couple of cases but we eventually get some pieces, fill them with the requisite salad and beef and prawns and they find their way into our waiting mouths. It's fresh and flavoursome and hits the spot. After all what is a meal without a little effort? ;)
Large Steamboat $31
The dish to ward off all WInter ills is the large steamboat. A gas cooker is brought to the table and a large pot of soup filled with vegetables, squid, fish cakes and chicken is heated up. The taste is comforting and broth is tasty with the predominant broth flavour being celery. We can easily picture a couple ordering this and some rice and some dessert and coming out very full and warm at the end.
My Steambowl bowl of goodness
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like cooking or assembling your own food at the table e.g. the Rice Paper rolls above or Korean BBQ? Or do you prefer the chef to do all the cooking?
P.S. If you havent had a chance to do so, Id be ever so pleased if you could fill in the Not Quite Nigella survey. Theres a chance to win 1 of 3 Nigella Lawson aprons! Link here. The survey finishes on the 30th of June. Thanks so much to everyone that has participated already :)
P.P.S. And if your mums or Nannas recipes are just so fantastic you want to share them with the world, click here to see our Secret Nanna recipe book project! The deadline for this is the 30th of June too :)
And last but not least, get cracking with your entry to the Brasserie Bread competition. Entries close on the 4th of July and you could win a fabulous box of Brasserie Bread delivered to your work! Details are here.
318 Victoria Rd
Marrickville, NSW 2204
Tel: +61 (02) 9560 8673
Tue-Sun 5.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm
Licensed and BYO
Visa and Mastercard accepted