Lets just say our family has not had the best month. Life has been pretty stressful with dad coming home from being critically ill in hospital with pneumonia, mum experiencing the pain of root canal as well as being frantic at work and I have had a middle ear infection and fever. With all this happening I missed half my trial HSC exams and had to cancel my ‘surprise’ 18th birthday. In a state of helplessness I asked mum “could things get any worse?” and to my surprise they did. To top it all off her work partner recently fell down a flight of stairs and broke her foot, which had to be operated on. Our close friend Alham also had a fall and her daughter is sick in bed with a virus. Oh and did I mention that my baby nephew is also in hospital with pneumonia? *sigh*
In times of distress it is important to think positive and enjoy the little things life has to offer. The other night was one of those moments where two best friends caught up over some delicious food. My new blogging buddy ‘Poppet’ aka Daniella decided to take me to Newtown where we explored the suburb in search of a nice place for dinner. King Street is jammed packed with restaurants, particularly featuring the Asian cuisine. After much consideration we decided to dine at Thanh Binh as we were both eager to try Vietnamese.
Thanh Binh has a warm welcoming atmosphere where authentic Vietnamese decorations illuminate the restaurant. Our waiter was very friendly and offered us a table near a set of lights to assist my photography. For drinks Daniella ordered the young coconut juice, which had fresh slices of coconut meat at the bottom of her glass. It is now her new favourite drink. To try something different I chose the ice herbal drink with longan, barley and seaweed. To my disappointment they had sold out so to cleanse my palate I ordered Jasmine tea. Next visit we want to try their three colour bean drink with crushed ice and coconut cream.
I found their ‘roll your own with rice paper and salad greens’ option quite interesting on their menu. It is a section where you order your chosen ingredients and ‘cook at your table’ provided with rice paper, vermicelli, salad greens and dipping sauce. Although this looked inviting we both went vegetarian. Daniella wasn’t feeling too hungry so she ordered ‘Dau hu nam xa ot’ which is stir-fried tofu and mushroom with lemongrass and chilli. Our waiter said he would accompany her dish with a bowl of rice however we realised later he had forgotten. She said the highlight of the dish was the silky tofu. The bok choy was refreshing and soaked up the juicy flavours of the sauce. I could not really taste the chilli however the subtle hint of lemongrass was divine. The little carrot pieces shaped as four leaf clovers were very cute!
I ordered the ‘Com chien chay’ translated as vegetarian fried rice, snow peas, tofu, mushroom, taro, carrot and egg. I hadn’t had fried rice in a while so it satisfied my cravings. It was full of flavour and very filling. Fried rice is one of those comfort foods that makes you feel warm and content. The long thing strips of taro gave the dish a lovely texture and the little pieces of scrambled egg were nice and creamy. The tofu was quite subtle and the mixed vegetables seasoned the elements of the dish well.
Before we knew it we were one of the last few people to leave. We highly enjoyed our first taste of Vietnamese food at Thanh Binh, which Daniella scored it a 7.5 out of 10. I am looking forward to our next night out!