Beneath the bustling George Street in Sydney’s CBD there is a quiet Vietnamese ‘tuck shop’ that has round the corner queues, wooden tall chairs and an atmosphere of a South East Asian side street.
The main reason to come here is for the Vietnamese rice paper rolls, and a word of advice is bring a few friends so that you can share the love and try out the various options that are available.
For our lunch, my friend and I got the Tiger Prawn & Green Mango rolls and the Satay Chicken and Cucumber rolls to share and I also got the Scallop and Prawn steamed dumplings with a Chu Crush: lycee and cucumber, coconut drink.
The rolls were given to us immediately, so if you’re in a rush than those are your best option, and the rest we had to wait for a little while. The seats are absolutely limited here, but we were lucky to find a table after crawling over a group of four.
Finally we were ready to dig in as we exchanged a roll each and I drowned my meal in the thick sweet chilli sauce provided. I have to say that when you pay more than $3 for a rice paper roll, you really can feel the difference: the presentation was amazing; with the colourful leaves emerging from the translucent rice paper like veins in the skin and the freshness of the ingredients was experienced in the crunch that followed every bite.The dumplings were a little plainer however that was easily solved with the hot sauce that was available on each table, and the coconut crush provided both relief from the chilli heat as well as a dessert replacement after the meal. Beware however of the green flakes if you intend to emerge from the underground straight afterwards.
Overall this is a great place to grab a bite to eat as the portions are not overwhelming however definitely filling and the design of the shop does make you feel like you have gotten away from it all, if only for an hour.
Fresh Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (2 rolls):
Tiger Prawn & Green Mango – $7.50
Satay Chicken & Cucumber – $7.50
Steamed Dumplings (3 per serve)
Scallop & Prawn – $7
Chu Crush (coconut) lycee and cucumber: $7.50