A trip out to Cabramatta usually involves eating delicious Vietnamese food. However, tonight's trip out to Valet in Cabramatta involves sating our love for Bing Soos (shaved ice desserts), fat chicken katsu sandwiches, K pop fries and fries smothered in Singapore chilli soft shell crab!
It's late Saturday afternoon when we swing past Ivy and Ryan's house to pick them up for our drive to Cabramatta. Although they've been living in Sydney (from the US) for a few years this is their first time to the suburb. Taking them to Valet isn't say your typical Cabramatta dining experience (and we've already made plans to come back when the weather is a bit warmer for shopping and lunch) but we all love bing soos and I had heard good things about theirs.
The name Valet references the carpark that they're located next to (although there isn't valet parking, that would be too good to be true). While Cabramatta is rich in history, culture and good food, parking can be a bit of an issue. Service is fine. It's sweet from some while others silently place menus and give us water studiously ignoring us. The menu is many pages long, not because it is insanely large but because there are large pictures of each food item. The sweets section is almost the same size as the savoury section.
Ideally the weather would be warmer when ordering a frappe but these are the most interesting sounding of the drinks so we order a few of these despite the chilly wind outside. The caramel taro frappe is caramel, taro milk and ice blend with Chantilly cream and salted caramel sauce. Despite how it sounds it isn't overly sweet striking just the right balance. That's also the case with the Matcha Madness with a strong hit of matcha (not for those that don't like their matcha flavour forward).
The Pink Star is Mr NQN's choice with watermelon, lychee and strawberries blended with ice and is perfectly refreshing and not too sweet just bringing out the natural flavour of the fruit.
We aren't waiting long for the food and at just after 5pm the restaurant isn't overly full (it will become very busy around 6:30pm). I have an unabated love of sandwiches. The katsu sando box is a beauty (although I don't really understand where the box comes into it). The white bread has a slightly eggy exterior without being wet enough to be French toast. Inside there is a thick and tender fillet of chicken breast katsu, bulldog sauce, slaw and kewpie mayonnaise with smoked paprika fries on the side. I want to eat the whole thing but share I must!
Everyone's favourite main is the K Pop fries. We ordered two types of fries and this one is French fries topped with popcorn chicken, sticky Korean gochujang sauce, mayonnaise and cheese. The sauce is really what brings this whole dish together so nicely with its slightly sweet and creamy flavour and I find myself scraping the bowl for the sauce with the remaining fries.
I admit I was intrigued by the two main flavours: butter and curry seasoning. The base for the breading isn't panko but rather cereal crumbs that lend this a similar texture but with a sweet element to it. It's good and the squid is tender.
We ordered the soft shell crab fries because Ivy loves soft shell crab. It's an enormous serve of fries and deep fried soft shell crab with Singapore chilli sauce on a soft bread roll. The sauce is quite sweet, a bit too sweet for Ryan and it isn't so much spicy although it does taste like that addictive sweet Singapore chilli crab sauce. There is a generous amount of soft shell crab on this too.
It's time for dessert and as someone that loves mochi donuts we had to order the beach balls. Usually when something looks so bright blue I'm a bit wary-sometime things just look good but don't necessarily taste good. It's like the inverse relationship between views and good food (some of the ugliest food is the tastiest and some of the dingiest restaurants have the best food). However these sweet potato mochi balls are delicious. Freshly fried so that you get that addictive glutinous rice flour stretch in every bite with the flavour of sweet potato. They come with some edible sand that is like a finely crumbled up shortbread, a butterfly pea flower custard and fresh raspberries and a seashell chocolate to make it look like a beach side scene.
We saw a few of these tiramisu bingsus go out to other tables and there are a few bingus to choose from. If it were hotter we may have gone for the melon bingsu with its colourful assortment of melon balls around it but there's something so alluring about the idea of tiramisu bingsu.
This shaved ice bingsu arrives in a cloud of dry ice and the base uses a finely shaved vanilla milk ice that is so fine that it melts on the tongue. There are Vietnamese coffee soaked sponge fingers, mascarpone cream and cocoa. And blow me over with a feather if it doesn't taste exactly like a tiramisu!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you find that there is an inverse relationship between views and good food? How about good looks and good food?
This meal was independently paid for.
38 Arthur St, Cabramatta NSW 2166
Monday to Wednesday 9am–6pm
Thursday to Sunday 9am–10pm
Phone: (02) 9724 2856