Mint in Burwood is a Vietnamese restaurant that is a regular haunt for my friend Belinda. She waxes lyrical about the spring rolls and the other dishes. And it's a great place for a mid week meal with friends or family. But sometimes the best laid plans go awry!
The plans had started to go awry early late in the afternoon. "Can I meet you and Cheryl at 6:30pm?" Belinda asked. That was no problem, she has a very stressful job as a child protection case worker and was anticipating a delay. And when Cheryl and I sit down at Mint Burwood another message arrives. "I haven't left Randwick yet, still talking to police." Cheryl is hungry having not eaten since 11am so we order a couple of things to nibble on.
Soda egg drink $5
Cheryl's drink choice is the soda egg drink which is fizzy with a creaminess from sweetened condensed milk. It's made with an egg yolk mixed with sweetened condensed milk and topped with soda water. It's very moreish and not overly sweet.
MINT's Signature Spring rolls $12
The spring rolls arrive while we wait for Belinda. They're crunchy and long and come four to a serve. Normally spring rolls are filled with plenty of vegetables but this appears to be an all meat affair. They come with a nuoc mam sauce but I really like the stronger hoi sin peanut sauce to go with the strong meaty flavour.
Rice Paper Rolls with Pork and prawn and fresh herbs $10
The fresh rice paper rolls are tightly wrapped and comes with slices of roast pork, prawns and herbs. They get a big boost of flavour from the hoi sin peanut sauce.
Crab meat and seafood tapioca udon noodle $14
There's a false alarm. "I think I'll get there around 8pm," from Belinda followed by an expletive and then she concedes that there's probably no chance of her making it there tonight. Poor Belinda! It looks like it is just Cheryl and I tonight so we go ahead and order. My choice is between the Pho and the crab udon soup. I'm really intrigued by the idea of tapioca udon noodles. They come out semi translucent and springy with four large quenelles of crab meat on top. This prompts a conversation between Cheryl and I on crab meat vs seafood extender (this is a bit of both I suspect). Cheryl is very much a seafood extender lover whom eschews crab meat while I am the opposite and love crab meat but am not a fan of seafood extender. The soup is a tad oily and mildly flavoured but I do like the slippery almost impossible to pick up noodles and the generous portion of the crab meat footballs.
Marinated beef fillet cubes with fried tomato rice $15
They recommend the beef as a popular choice and I was dithering between this and the bun salad but my love of tomato rice won. The beef is tender and seasoned with soy and black pepper and it comes with a tomato rice, with just a hint of tomato flavour to it.
Deep fried fish fillets with sweet and sour sauce $26
This is Cheryl's choice and it's a serve of deep fried fish fillets served with a sweet and sour sauce. I don't tend to order this but it actually goes quite nicely with the springy udon noodles for a bit of a textural interest.
MINT's Signature golden brown pastry filled with vanilla ice cream $13.90
There's plenty left over and we take some things home with us because we loathe wasting food. But there's always room for dessert. It's a toss up between their deep fried ice cream and the unusual presentation of the banana split. We go for the former. It's a triangle of filo pastry that encloses vanilla ice cream. It's an absolutely enormous serve, I can't imagine finishing this myself and I particularly like the crispy outer although it isn't quite as crispy as the one at Holy Basil.
We're the last to leave and as I get into my car I miss a message from Belinda, "I'm leaving now."
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a seafood extender fan like Cheryl? How often do you take food home? And have you ever not been able to make a dinner because of work?
This meal was independently paid for.
226 Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW 2134
Hours: 7 days 10am–9pm (Friday to Sunday close 10pm)
Phone: (02) 9744 2262