Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Shop of the Week - Ha Noi on Anzac Day

Richard and I thought we'd head up Illawarra Rd to the Marrickville RSL, as it's ANZAC day today (the links are for you non-Australian readers). But it was lunchtime, and we got no further than our favourite Vietnamese restaurant, the Ha Noi. Given that ANZAC day is also used to remember Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war, I think that's kind of poetic & appropriate, don't you?

There was a bit of a queue outside - always the sign of a good restaurant in Marrickville. The Ha Noi is in a strip that has a few Vietnamese places - it's close to the station, directly opposite the Hellenic Bakery, and is the only one with a sugar cane juicer out the front.

Their turquoise walls and other decorations always make me feel happy.

This is something most Vietnamese restaurants have - a selection of condiments on the table, along with cutlery, chopsticks and tissues. Mostly they're different types of chilli, but there's also fish sauce and hoi sin sauce (made from soy beans, chilli, sugar & salt) here.

And perhaps my favourite, whole raw garlic and chilli pickled in white vinegar.

Once we've ordered, I like to make a little palette of chilli - starting with the pickled garlic at the top and going clockwise we have fresh ground chilli, a pickled whole chilli, a dollop of satay chilli (sticky concoction of ground peanuts, chilli, dried shrimp, sugar and oil) and finally Chinese-style salty blended chilli. So many flavours, so many textures!

Richard got some deep fried spring rolls - these are about double the size of most spring rolls, and they come with this beautiful dipping sauce, nuoc cham, made from rice vinegar, fish sauce and palm sugar - it usually has carrot pieces in it.

This was definitely the highlight - chilli salt tofu - it's to die for. I actually dream about this dish sometimes. The tofu is floured & deep fried, then tossed with a kind of Vietnamese salsa made from coriander, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, fresh chilli, spring onion, Spanish onion and lots of white & black pepper. Food for the soul, yep.

Hanoi Quan. 346b Illawarra Rd, Marrickville, ph:02 95591637

10 comments:

R.H. said...

A nice photo of the restaurant. Lovely. The walls of my living room are that colour, and busy with decoration too. I had a Beaumonts curry pie about an hour ago. Your blog is excellent.

That's so pants said...

I feel so hungry and homesick.

jonathanm said...

Yum.

elsewhere said...

You can't get Yum Cha in Alice. Sigh.

Kirsty said...

It's too close to my dinner time. I'm drooling. Plus the picture of the turquoise walls made me happy from afar.

Ampersand Duck said...

That is the first time I've read something that actually makes me want to move back to Sydney.

Meredith said...

Sydney is great if you're in a good spot. And good spots are hard to find if you don't have a lot of money. I think Marrickville is one of the few still-vaguely affordable places with a life.

JahTeh said...

Every blog I've been to today has had food, I'm starving (weigh-in tomorrow) but deep fried tofu in my soup should be okay.

OTT said...

Oh! This makes me miss home so much.
Looks like delicious tofu!

Geoffi said...

This is a fabulous little place. Limited menu, but everything is superb, and the servings are very generous. The 'Fish TV' is great for keeping kids entertained.

Bun Bo Xao is my fave here, but order anything and enjoy.