Tropical Night cocktail
The opening of a new bar above one of my favourite restaurants, Bay Tinh is always cause for a cocktail. And tonight in the room above the Bay Tinh restaurant my friend Christie from Fig & Cherry and I are sipping some gorgeous little cocktails called Tropical Night which is a delicious combination of Frozen Soursop a creamy cocktail with Cointreau, Bacardi Rum and Vanilla ice cream. For those of you unfamiliar with the Soursop fruit, it is a creamy fleshed green exterior fruit with a fruit salad-ey taste and a creamy texture.
Harry Hoang, carrying a rice pancake to the food critic Cherry Ripe
Who is Harry? Harry is Harry Hoang, the owner of Bay Tinh, a man who came over in 1980 as a refugee boatperson he's an immigrant success story. The food is Southern Vietnamese which is different from Northern Vietnamese cuisine due in part to its French influences. Harry spent the last 6 months perfecting the dishes here and removing all additives and ensuring that it is replaced with all natural ingredients. Indeed, the food is MSG free which he says, despite its use, is a flavour suppressor as it suppresses the natural flavours of food. Harry is an adorably enthusiastic man whose passion is evident. He tells us of his quest to serve fresh and good quality food and an example is the grain fed only beef used in all dishes.
The trays of cocktail food brought around by a girl in a traditional Vietnamese costume are delicious and a great range showcasing the range and healthiness of the food on offer. It's almost impossible to choose a favourite.
Lighting fixture, yes you know I love a good lighting fixture...
The decor is chic with gorgeous textured walls and patterned wallpaper and Christie and I particularly like the Zambelli shirts that the staff wear. The crowd tonight is a mix of press, family, friends and locals-even the renowned food critic Cherry Ripe is here.
Pork mince spring rolls: Cha Gio
The spring rolls are delicious earth shatteringly crunchy on the outside and filled with a combination of pork mince, vermicelli and vegetables. I'm not usually a big spring roll eater but I really enjoy these as they're meatier than most.
Fresh Prawn Rolls Goi Cuon
A perennial favourite, the Prawn, pork, herbs, lettuce and pickles rolled in rice paper are delicious with clean, mild flavours.
Little Rice Cakes: Banh Khot
These would have to be my favourite items ever. I once stood at a buffet in a hotel in Bangkok and watched them make a dozen of these, only to appropriate 6 for myself! In my defence these are gorgeous, crispy and light with a coconut flavour to them.
Duck Salad Goi Vit
This was a refreshingly good duck salad with clear, clean flavours such as mint and chili offsetting the rich roast duck.
Tender beef cubes: Bo Luc Lac
The grain fed beef is sauteed served with a salt and pepper sauce with lemon juice. The salt and pepper dip is an interesting revelation and the cubes are deliciously tender. I admit I had quite about 6 or 8 cubes of this as it was so very flavoursome. Suze and Helen also seemed to like these.
Beef rolled: tender beef: Bo Cuon Cha Tom Banh Hoi
My favourite of the night, the tender beef is rolled in prawn paste, bbq'd to golden brown and served with steamed rice noodles, salad and Hoi Sin sauce. These were incredibly moreish with a complex and mouthwatering flavour to them. Harry, you've done well indeed!
Harry's Bar de Ville
Upstairs at Bay Tinh restaurant
318 Victoria Road, Marrickville, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9560 8673
Bar open Fridays from 4.30pm and Saturdays from 5.30pm
Restaurant open 7 days from 5.30pm